“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures, but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.” T.K.V. Desikachar
When you’re brand new to Yoga, it can feel intimidating and be difficult to understand exactly where it came from and how it all got started. But a first time Yogi might know just as much as someone with an advanced posture practice if they’ve bothered to read up on it. Here are some of the most basic principles to get you started.
Basic fundamentals of Yoga
Yoga is fundamentally based on the concept that human beings are essentially spiritual beings, with the aim of freeing you from the shackles of worldly bondage. In order to attain this superior level of consciousness, it is important that individuals lead a moral life. Yoga is therefore a mind and body practice, which means you have to exercise both the mind and the body in order to reap the benefits. It is all about breaking the habits that bind you to a certain way of living.
Basic history of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient system of physical, mental and spiritual practices that have been passed down through the generations from teacher to student. Its origins are traced back thousands of years to a collection of Yogic texts dating from roughly 800 BC to 400 AD. While the word ‘Yoga’ was first mentioned in the Rigveda, the first time it was used with modern meaning was in the Katha Upanishad. This ancient spiritual text was written somewhere between the fifth and third century BCE.
Basic energy anatomy
Hatha and Tantra Yogas have developed a rich description of the anatomy of the subtle or energy body, including the different types of energies, the nadi energy channels and the chakra energy centres. Through Yoga you can explore various methods to increase, cultivate and direct this spiritual energy.
How to get started
Patience, consistency, commitment and repetition are the keys to developing and progressing in the practice of Yoga. So begin by committing to a regular schedule of 1 or 2 classes a week, and then after 1 month see if you can add in an extra class and build from there.