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April 27, 2015
Many of today's commercial yoga centers only teach students how to execute yoga postures or asana. What most people don't know, however, is that in traditional yoga practice, there are different rules that must be followed to it more effective.
These rules are listed below. However, you should know that the group to which I belong to practices traditional yoga, as it was taught to us by our founder. You might find some that some of these tips go against what you have been taught.
1. Take a shower before yoga
Cleanliness is one of the pillars of yoga, which is why you should shower before doing your asana. A clean body supports a clear and concentrated mind, which is necessary for properly executing yoga postures.
2. Do not do yoga outdoors
Doing yoga in an open field may result in sudden exposure to a change in the environment, making you vulnerable to colds.
3. Always practice yoga on a mat
Doing yoga on bare ground may cause you to catch a cold.
4. Breathe through your left nostril or both nostrils
Do not practice asana when you are breathing only through your right nostril - it will disturb your mind and nervous system. Practice asana only while your breath is flowing through the left nostril or both your nostrils.
5. Do not do yoga on a full belly
It is absolutely prohibited for anyone to do yoga for 2 and a half to three hours after a full meal.
6. Massage your body
After practicing your asana, you should massage your arms, legs and entire body - especially the joints - very well. A good massage relaxes your mind and body.
7. After massage, do the corpse posture
When you're done with the massage, do the corpse posture. Lie on your back with your arms on your side, with palms facing upward, for two minutes. This clears the mind and readies it for deep meditation.
8. Do not do any strenuous exercise after asana
Running or practicing any sport is prohibited immediately after doing yoga. Strenuous exercise is not prohibited entirely though - you can do it some hours before or after doing asana.
9. Do not do yoga if you are menstruating or pregnant
While there are commercial yoga programs for pregnant women, for those of us who are practicing traditional yoga, women are not allowed to practice asana if they are menstruating, pregnant, or if they're still within one month of delivering a baby.
Doing yoga in those conditions can seriously disrupt a woman's body processes, and so we seriously prohibit it.
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