International Day of Yoga 2021 - Guidelines for Practising Yoga

When people say “Yoga is Life”, they aren’t lying. It improves your heart health, helps you lose weight, makes your bones stronger, aids digestion and improves mental and emotional health, to name a few. With so much work going into your body, you are bound to live a long and fruitful life!

Yoga is the journey that takes you to your real self, to your soul through yourself!

Happy International Yoga Day to all!

General Guidelines for Yoga Practice

Yoga practitioner should follow the guiding principles given below while performing Yogic practices:


  • Śauca means cleanliness - an important prerequisite for yoga practice. It includes cleanliness of surroundings, body and mind.

  • Yoga practise should be performed in a calm and quiet atmosphere with a relaxed body and mind.

  • Yoga practice should be done on an empty stomach or light stomach. Consume a small amount of honey in lukewarm water if you feel weak.

  • The bladder and bowels should be empty before starting Yogic practices.

  • A mattress, Yoga mat, durrie or folded blanket should be used for the practice.

  • Light and comfortable cotton clothes are preferred to facilitate easy movement of the body.

  • Yoga should not be performed in a state of exhaustion, illness, in a hurry or in acute stress conditions.

  • In case of chronic disease/ pain/ cardiac problems, a physician or a Yoga therapist should be consulted prior to performing Yogic practices.

  • Yoga experts should be consulted before doing Yogic practices during pregnancy and menstruation.


  • Practice sessions should start with a prayer or an invocation as it creates a conducive environment to relax the mind.

  • Yogic practices shall be performed slowly, in a relaxed manner, with awareness of the body and breath.

  • Do not hold your breath unless it is specially mentioned to do so during the practice.

  • Breathing should be always through the nostrils unless instructed otherwise.

  • Do not hold the body tight or give undue jerks to the body.

  • Perform the practices according to one’s capacity. It takes some time to get good results, so persistent and regular practice is very essential.

  • There are contra-indications/ limitations for each Yoga practice and such contra-indications should always be kept in mind.

  • Yoga session should end with meditation/ deep silence / Sankalpa / Śānti pāṭha etc.


Bath may be taken only after 20-30 minutes of Yoga practice. Food may be consumed only after 20-30 minutes of Yoga practice.


A few dietary guidelines can ensure that the body and mind are flexible and well-prepared for Yoga practice. A vegetarian diet is usually recommended, and for a person over 30 years, two meals a day should suffice, except in cases of illness or very high physical activity

or labour.


Yoga is essentially a path to get liberated from all the bondage. However, medical research in recent years has uncovered many physical and mental benefits that Yoga offers, corroborating the experiences of millions of practitioners. A small sampling of research shows that:

  • Yoga is beneficial for physical fitness, musculoskeletal functioning and cardiovascular health.

  • It is beneficial in the management of diabetes, respiratory disorders, hypertension, hypotension and many lifestyle-related disorders.

  • Yoga helps to reduce depression, fatigue, anxiety disorders and stress.

  • Yoga helps to regulate menstrual and menopausal symptoms.

  • In essence, Yoga is a process of creating body and mind that are stepping-stones, not hurdles, to exuberant and fulfilling life.

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