Technology has made incredible advances and now the age-old science of yoga is just a mouse-click or remote-button away. But hold on! If you are already feeling happy thinking that it would save you a lot of time and effort in going to a formal yoga class, consider this:
Arpita Bahl, a 24-year-old woman, was all excited about her wedding in a few months. She was slightly overweight and so was keen on losing some flab before her D-Day. In an attempt to try out some quick remedy, she started practicing yoga postures by watching them every morning on TV.
On the first day of practicing Sun Salutation, she started complaining of terrible pain in her belly that evening. The doctor said she had overdone the technique to lose weight faster.
After a few days of recovering, she took to Kapal Bhati Pranayama (again watching a yoga teacher on TV). This time, things got serious. She complained of wheezing attacks often. She informed the doctor that she did 300 fast rounds of the pranayama on the first day of learning it.
Arpita is not the only one. There are several yoga enthusiasts like her who take to quick ways of learning yoga practice – watching DVDs at home or reading up on the Internet. True, these methods seem convenient in today's busy life but they also bring with them a major health risk: the risk of harming your body if you tend to overdo a practice or not do it the correct way.
It is therefore wise to always learn yoga, like any other discipline (music, dance, aerobics), at a formal yoga school, and under guided supervision.
By not going to a formal yoga class, you may be at a double disadvantage. One, by not knowing the correct techniques or the proper way of practicing yoga, you may not be able to reap the fruit of the practice.
Two, since you may not be getting the desired results even after a long time of practice, you may just end up losing interest in yoga completely. This again means no results! Why get stuck up in this vicious cycle? Join a class, learn the correct way of doing yoga from a qualified teacher and enjoy its long-term benefits.
"I was always an obese child and was never comfortable of learning yoga in a group. But at the Sri Sri Yoga Level 1 Course, I met people fatter than me. There was even a very lean guy! All of us had a lot of fun learning and practicing the techniques together. Not even once did I feel awkward!" - Neeta Nangia, Sri Sri Yoga Course participant.
Attending a regular yoga course or going to classes will help expand your understanding of the word 'yoga'. You slowly realize that it is not just working out the body through postures or learning breathing techniques(all of which can be learned online, agreed). Yoga also includes meditation which your teacher can guide you through at the class.
The science is also enriched with some practical day-to-day knowledge that will help you live your life better. The yamas and niyamas(principles) of yoga help teach us some basic values of non-violence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), patience (kshama), contentment (santosha), and chanting (japa), to name a few. All this and much more knowledge awaits you at a yoga class.
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