It has been said that Yoga cannot entirely be learned from a book, it is the practice that develops the practitioner. While this is partially true, it must be remembered that books were what we heavily relied upon before audio, visual, and Internet technology were developed to their current levels. These days, there is so much information about Yoga, that it is hard to have enough time to absorb it all.
In the past, many of us read the few Yoga books that were available, many times over. In some cases, we were guided by line drawings in between the author’s valuable wording. We worked in small groups analyzing the text and line drawing until we got it right.
It is easy enough to access Yoga techniques on the Internet with libraries full of information, videos or video streaming technology, and Podcasts. Yet, how do you decipher which sites have reliable information. Yoga is an evolving system, and there are many different Yoga styles. Below are a few guidelines for sorting out Hatha Yoga information on the Internet.
Research your own pre-existing medical conditions and find out if there are any warnings that directly pertain to you. For example: If you have high blood pressure, your head should not be below your heart and you should seek professional medical advice before practicing Hatha or any physical form of Yoga. Make it a point to consult with your physician about the condition of your health.
Antiquated or erroneous information does exist on some Yoga sites. Hatha Yoga is a constantly evolving science of life. It is better to take the time to do your research, consult with your doctor, and speak to a professional Yoga teacher, about your particular case.
Even if you are young, athletic, flexible, and in perfect health, you should still consult with your doctor and do some research. The point here is: Educate yourself enough to avoid injury. If you have pre-existing injuries or ailments, you should be very cautious. Hatha Yoga can be very safe, but depending on the class, it can also be very challenging.
If you do not have access to a doctor, who is knowledgeable about Yoga, or a competent Yoga teacher, you should research Yoga and seriously consider taking an entry level Hatha Yoga teacher course. These courses can be found online or at an on-site intensive. Education is a safe method for discovering the subtleties of Yoga.
Whether you are practicing Hatha Yoga postures (asanas) or Yogic Breathing (pranayama), you should never force, push, or strain, through a technique. This is just common sense, but even the best of us can forget, if we let our ego get the best of us.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications