Visual PoisePeople judge you by the way you act, as well as by the way you look. The way you carry out simple activities - sitting, walking, and so forth - is important in presenting the best of you. A bit of practice and exercise will help you to perform them naturally.
StandingThe correct posture creates beautiful body alignment and graceful balance. To check your posture, stand with your back to a wall, with your feet slightly apart, and y~ur heels about 3 inches from the wall. Now lean back. If your back, head, and shoulders all touch the wall, your back is straight, the way it should be. If you find this position uncomfortable, you need to strengthen your back with exercises.
When standing, turn your body slightly to make the front view look slim and tall.Yourforward foot should be pointed straight ahead, while the back foot should be at about a 45 degree angle to the front foot. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the feet. Your knees should be slightly relaxed and never locked.
WalkingWalking should be a smooth, gliding, rhythmic action that conveys an effect of ease and confidence. Your feet should move parallel to each other. Do not take too long strides or too short steps, and walk with as little noise as possible. Your shoulders should be relaxed so that the arms will swing easily, the palms of the hands facing inward. Your head should be held high.
SittingWalk directly to the chair, turn around, and pause in the basic standing position. Touch the chair with the back of one leg, move one foot slightly under the chair, and sit down. Let the foot that is under the chair take most of your weight as you sit down, with your back straight, head up, and knees together. Do not lean against the chair and lean with the buttocks as you sit down.
Before you begin yogaThere are some basic guidelines which should be followed before beginning yoga practice:
- Wait for 4-5 hours after a heavy meal or 2-3 hours after a light snack.
- Empty the bladder and move the bowels before you start. Supported Sarvangasana and Ardha Halasana will help.
- Practise in loose-fitting clothing and bare feet.
- Work on a non-slip mat or floor. Especially inthe winter, the floor should not be too cold.
- Foldblankets neatlywhen preparing to use them, as anycreases will disturb your practice.
- Remove hard contact lenses.
- Seek advice if you experience difficulties in practice. Your difficulty may be a common one, and there is likely to be a solution. In the meantime, avoid straining.
LevelThe practice of postures and pranayama will vary according to the level and experience of the student. The basic poses should be practiced on a regular basis and should never be forgotten. One method is to vary the type of postures done each day, for instance, standing poses one day and sitting poses the next. Always include inverted poses. Beginners should concentrate more on standing poses.
Individual NeedsIn home practice you have to be sensitive to your own needs and to be aware which postures are helpful in different circumstances. For example, standing poses are invigorating, whereas forward bends-are calming.
This is one approach to practice. The other is to discipline yourself to do a particular programme irrespective of personal inclination. The first approach makes you sensitive and the second develops will-power. Both need to be learnt.
If there is a health problem for which a certain group of postures are prescribed, then this particular programme should be adhered to.