Advice before and after yoga
The most simple and the only really important advice is to listen to yourself and your body, to respect its peculiarity and limitations, and have confidence in your own sense of right and wrong. It is not easy in the beginning but gradually the yoga will increase your sensitivity and self awareness.
Yoga is not a competitive practice! So be content with what you do here and now and let flexibility and strength develop with time from within. The more you can ease into the practice so that the postures come from within (through correct breathing) the easier it becomes.
But naturally there are some practical advices that it is beneficial to take to support your yoga experience:
- Your clothes should be able to stretch but no be too loose or flowing. Remove loose jewellery. Be bare-footed.
- Bring a "sticky" yoga mat. A small towel and maybe a cotton mat to put on top of the sticky mat is nice when you sweat.
- Do not eat any heavy meals less than three hours before the yoga practice. You can have a little fruit until half an hour before. Also do not drink more than a small glass of water half an hour before the yoga practice.
- Drink as little as possible during the yoga practice - and preferably not at all! Therefore, make sure to drink enough beforehand.
- It is recommended not to drink for 15 minutes and eat for half an hour after the yoga practice to let the body calm down again.
- After the yoga practice you should rest for 10 minutes in Savasana - relaxed and with normal breathing. Put on some extra clothes or a blanket so you don't get cold.
- If you experience emotional reactions during or after the yoga practice welcome and accept the emotions. If you like you can talk it over with the teacher afterwards.
- Women can also take "ladies holidays" when menstruating. As a minimum it is recommended to practice lightly on the first day of menstruation but naturally it is individual what you feel like doing (or not doing) during this period. It is also recommended to omit inverted postures during menstruation (e.g. shoulder and head stands).
Read more about yoga and pregnancy here.