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Get Started in Yoga

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Updated February 08, 2009

Yoga is a wonderful way to relieve stress and anxiety. Although it cannot cure a phobia, many sufferers feel that regular yoga can lessen symptoms and make the phobia feel less severe.

If you have never done yoga before, you may wonder how to begin. Provided here is a step by step guide to help start your journey.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Varies

Here's How:

  1. Check With Your Doctor: Yoga is an intense physical activity. If you have a permanent injury or chronic illness, it is important to talk to your doctor before you begin. He or she can advise you on poses to avoid and precautions to take.

  2. Research Types of Yoga: There are many different styles of yoga, each with a unique philosophy and emphasis. Although yoga is a physical activity, it is also spiritual. An excellent overview of the types of yoga can be found at Yoga Style Guide.

  3. Find a Teacher: Once you have selected a style of yoga, look for a teacher. A live teacher is best, but many people successfully learn yoga through a book or DVD series.

  4. Avoid Heavy Meals: In the two hours before class, it is best to eat as little as possible. Drink plenty of water and enjoy a light snack.

  5. Wear Loose Clothing: It is important to enjoy a full range of movement, so choose lightweight clothing that is not tight or restrictive.

  6. Pay Attention to Your Body: It is normal to feel a bit of tension and resistance. Pain, however, is not acceptable. If you feel pain, stop what you are doing and change position. Never try to force a pose or move further than your own limits.

  7. Practice Regularly: The first few sessions will probably be frustrating, as you discover your body’s limitations. With regular practice, however, you will become more flexible. Take it slowly but be persistent.

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