Here are a few tips for a safe Yoga practice:
Protect your body: Yoga asanas (or postures) should always be comfortable and never cause pain. If you are feeling pain, something is wrong!
Spine alignment: top of the head in line with the pelvic floor in almost all yoga poses (find the exceptions!)
Attention to your articulations (knees, wrists, elbows, and ankles): You will need healthy knees all your life. Every time you need to place your knees on the floor, fold the mat or use a folded blanket under them. If you have sensitive wrists modify the pose every time you practice arms strength… (Plake pose=> Dolphin, hands like a fist or hold a rolled mat).
Breathe: Breathe through the nostrils, smoothly, and using the most of your lungs capacity. Breathe in when you move up; breathe out when you move down. When you are doing core work, use the core muscles on the exhalation.
Start with the easy version: Always start by doing the suka (easy) variation of the pose, in total relaxation. Progressively follow with more intense variations. Go just as far as you comfortably can.
Focus attention: Focus attention on the part of the body that is being requested by the asana. Be aware of your breathing, emotions, and thoughts while you hold the asana. Be aware of your physical body. Stay connected with your Being. Remember “sensation is information.”
Empty stomach:Makesure your last meal was at least 2 hours before practice. Never practice with a full stomach. The energy of your body is being directed to the digestion process, so it won’t leave much energy for your practice. You will find the class harder this way and you may also feel sick.
Be your best teacher: Don’t worry if your pose doesn’t look like the picture you saw on that amazing yoga book. Your body is unique, and so are you! Follow the teacher’s instructions carefully, step by step. But always listen to your body and decide what is best for you.
Create a habit: Practice every day, even if it is just for a few minutes. The body and the mind will get used to it and everything will get easier. Become addicted to your practice and you will want to do it for the rest of your life!