Guidelines for Performing
Yoga Exercises

By Robert Elias Najemy

Without doubt one needs to learn yoga from an experienced teacher. On the other hand, because some attempt to perform exercises guided only from a book, these general guidelines might be useful.

1. DO NOT FORCE YOUR BODY under any circumstances. No matter how many times we say this to people, they just keep on doing it. They try to push their bodies into the exercises, whether the body is ready or not. This is a great mistake which does more harm than you can imagine. Work slowly with your body. Respect its limits. These limits will gradually extend and you will gain flexibility if you work regularly and sensitively at stretching your limits. The body will get the message and the tension which is preventing you from proceeding will gradually be released.

2. BE REGULAR in you practice. A few times a week is not enough if you really want to heal, transform or develop your body.

3. DO NOT CONTINUE ANY EXERCISE WHICH CAUSES PAIN. Check with your doctor or exercise instructor what you should do. Pain is a message from the body which must be listened to. In some cases it may simply be the body’s process of changing. In such cases, you simply need to bear with it and continue (without forcing) and it will gradually pass. In other cases you may be doing harm to some part of your body and may have to stop and do some other preparatory exercises before returning to that one.

4. EXERCISE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH at least three hours after eating.

5. REMOVE ALL JEWELRY AND TIGHT CLOTHING. Let your body be free of any restrictions. Find some loose, comfortable clothing or body-hugging dance tights for exercising.

6. BE CONSCIOUS AND CONCENTRATE on what you are doing. Keep your mind on feeling what is happening in the body and concentrate on your breath and position. Do not think about other things or talk to anyone while exercising. If possible, it would be best if you were alone in the room, without distractions such as radio or TV, so that you can concentrate. If this is not possible, just try to concentrate on yourself and ignore what is going on around you.

7. GIVE IMPORTANCE TO YOUR BREATHING. Each exercise has a specific way of breathing. This is an extremely important aspect of the exercise. In many cases, it is even more important than the physical movements themselves. By conscious of your breathing and breathe slowly and deeply, according to the instructions for each exercise. In general (with some exceptions) we inhale when we stretch upward or backward and exhale when we bend downward or forward.


9. AVOID EXERCISING AT LEAST THREE MONTHS AFTER SURGERY, unless you have specific permission from your doctor. Some exercises should be resumed only 6 months after surgery, unless you have your doctor’s permission to start earlier. Also, avoid all exercises at any time when you suspect internal bleeding or an inflamed appendix.

10. ALLOW YOUR ATTENTION to flow through the body as you become aware of each muscle and the tension and energy stored there and allow that energy to flow and the muscle relax.

Robert Elias Najemy, a life coach with 30 years of experience, has trained over 300 Life coaches and now does so over the Internet. Info at: He is the author of over 20 books, 600 articles and 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony. Download FREE 100's of articles, find wonderful ebooks, guidance, audio files and teleclasses at His books The Psychology of Happiness and Remove Pain with Energy Psychology are available at

Yourself! Fitness
By responDESIGN, Inc.

This Yourself!Fitness Program for Home PC software brings the expertise of a certified personal trainer and nutritionist into your home to guide you through a personalized health and fitness program. Maya, your interactive personal trainer, builds a program that is tailored to your lifestyle and gives you one-on-one training with over 500 unique exercises that never get boring. Choose your music, your mood and your focus and let Maya, through step-by-step coaching, do the rest. ESRB rating: E (Everyone). Genre is Heath and Fitness. Imported. 7-1/2Hx1-1/4Wx5-1/4L".

Make a Promise to yourself today and begin a commitment to your health for life with Yourself!Fitness. Maya, the Yourself!Fitness personal trainer, wi ll help you choose your health and fitness goals and then she will work with yo u to achieve them. Maya will guide you through dynamic workouts featuring over 500 unique exercises--ensures no two workouts are ever the same. Choose your mu sic, your mood, your focus, and Maya will take care of the rest.

With Yourself!Fitness you will be in a one-on-one training situation with M aya. Maya will respond to your needs and guide you through your workout giving you step-by-step coaching from warm-up to cool-down.

Maya will create a unique, personalized exercise program driven by your spe cific health and fitness goals. When you are ready to workout, choose the place and the music that fit your mood and start on the path to a sleeker, stronger you.

Responsive trainer
By tracking your effort (through perceived level of exertion ratings), Maya is able to alter the course and difficulty of a workout as it progresses to ma tch your personal needs for the day. Maya will keep track of this information f or each workout and modify the long-term fitness program to match your performa nce over time.

If you are ever unsure of how to perform an aerobic routine or you just can 't figure out how to properly perform a certain exercise, simply activate the t utorial feature and Maya will take time out of the workout and teach you what y ou need to know. In the tutorial, Maya explains each step in detail with the he lp of an animated model. While in the Tutorial Mode, you can control both the c amera and speed to focus on the part of the move that is difficult for you. Onc e you understand, simply return to the workout and Maya will pick up where you left off.

Fully customizable workouts
You can customize your workout by selecting one of six focus areas for the day (weight loss, lower body, core, upper body, cardio, flexibility). Maya will take your choice into account as she builds your routine, integrating your cho sen focus area with your long term fitness goals. By combining your daily focus with your long-term goals, Maya keeps the workouts interesting and fun, but al so makes sure you achieve your desired results.

Personal profile
Before you begin the Yourself!Fitness program, Maya will guide you through a series of strength and flexibility tests and ask you to build a personal prof ile including basic information such as age, height, gender, and weight. She wi ll use all this information to build a health and fitness program that fits you r body, your mind, and your schedule.

Multiple workout locations and music options
Join Maya for a workout in your choice of six locations depending on your m ood and what will motivate you toward your goals today. You may choose to compl ete a yoga routine in the serenity of the Meditation Garden, push through a hig h-intensity cardio set at the Alpine Retreat, tone and strengthen your core und er the palms at an Island Paradise, sweat out the stress of the day in the dry heat of the Desert Springs Resort, or bounce through a step aerobic dance serie s while enjoying the panoramic views from the top floor of an Urban Oasis or Em press Dojo.

Customizable meal planner
Based on your Personal Profile, Maya will recommend a weekly meal plan comp lete with recipes, preparation instructions, shopping lists, and over 4500 reci pes. You are able to adjust your weekly meal plan and your daily menu so that i t fits your taste preferences as well as the number of servings you need to pre pare.

Goal oriented
Maya helps you choose your health and fitness goals and then works with you to achieve them. She will monitor your progress toward your goals and motivate you to keep pushing until you look and feel your absolute best.

Progress monitor
By keeping track of your performance during each workout, Maya is able to c reate a record of your progress toward your goals. At the end of each workout M aya will review your achievements with you and show you a graph of where you st arted, where you are today, and where you are going.

Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual: An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice
by David Swenson

This is the most user-friendly yoga book available! It contins the entire Primary and Intermediate series of Ashtanga Yoga with three options for every asana. It is spiral bound to easily remain open while practicing. It contains over 650 photos with clear instructions and commentary. It is a great book for all levels of practitioners to enjoy and teachers will find it to be an invaluable tool for teaching their students.

The Spirit of Yoga - CD
By Ben Leinbach

"This CD is musical prana that breathes life into the practice of yoga." - Shiva Rea

"I receive at least fifty relaxation New Age albums every month and most are good, but this one is great." - John Beaudin, Smooth Jazz Canada

Album Description:
Music to ease stress away and promote peace of mind. Ideal for yoga, meditation, healing, whenever the attention is directed inward toward that dynamic place of stillness. Featuring Grammy nominated Jai Uttal chanting and on dotar and Manose Singh on bamboo flute.

The Psychology of Happiness: Understanding Our Selves and Others
By Robert Elias Najemy

Penetrates to the heart of the subject of human happiness in a deep and yet simple, clear and understandable manner. It offers a variety of techniques, questionnaires and guidelines for creating happiness. Covers Psychology of Evolution, Managing Emotions, Overcoming Fear, Loving Ourselves, Facing Loneliness, Stages of Love, Reconciling Inner Conflicts, Healing Inner Child, Forgiveness Freedom, Coping with the Death of Loved Ones, Greek version is in th printing.

FREE TO BE HAPPY with ENERGY PSYCHOLOGY by Tapping on Acupuncture Points
By Robert Elias Najemy

Unbelievable discovery - Latest development in psychology and pain management. Written so all can easily employ. Gives very specific guidelines and abundant examples of how this technique can remove - fears, phobias, unpleasant emotions, pain, addictions, traumatic experiences and obstacles towards increased professional and athletic performance. Over , of the authors books sold. Testimonials from leaders in this field.

Yoga Shakti - DVD
By Shiva Rea

Comprehensive but user-friendly, reasonably challenging but accessible to a variety of levels, Yoga Shakti is inarguably one of the best yoga products on the market--no small achievement when one considers just how many of them there are. Instructor-creator Shiva Rea, a California-based yogi of considerable international renown, specializes in vinyasa yoga (a vinyasa is essentially a series of flowing, connected poses, incorporating breath and movement and cultivating heat, strength, flexibility, and balance). Four complete practices are presented, ranging in length from 42 to 85 minutes and including Basic Flow (for beginners), two more vigorous Solar Flow sequences, and a Lunar Flow sequence falling somewhere in the middle in terms of degree of difficulty; familiar poses like sun salutations, forward bends, lunges, twists, and inversions are featured, although Rea adds many of her own touches (such as the four "dancing warrior" sections, sun salutation variations designed for intermediate users and focusing on hips, backbends, and so on), and there are also sections devoted to pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation. It's all good, but the principal innovation of Yoga Shakti is the "yoga matrix," which allows users to customize and program their own workouts, drawing on portions of any or all of the four sequences to create series of various lengths and levels of intricacy (some guidelines are suggested for the less experienced) and thus keep their practices fresh and evolving. One can also do the various workouts with or without the instruction audio track on (the Indian-New Age-flavored music is quite good, and usually unobtrusive), and there's even an entire second disc, containing interviews, additional instruction, travel footage (filming took place primarily in India and the Maldive Islands), and more. All in all, Yoga Shakti is most impressive. --Sam Graham

A.M. and P.M. Yoga for Beginners - DVD
By Living Arts

A.M. Yoga for Beginners
"The morning is a precious time," says the narrator of A.M. Yoga for Beginners. "Just as the sun rises and falls, so do our natural rhythms. The morning is perfect time to open our bodies and center our minds." This 20-minute yoga practice with supple instructor Rodney Yee is the perfect way to start your day by energizing your body and calming your mind. Filmed on the beach at Maui at sunrise, the video starts with a 4-minute Conscious Relaxation focusing on breathing, then glides into a 14-minute series of yoga poses that are simultaneously relaxing and energizing. It ends with a 2-minute seated Guided Meditation to center your body and mind. Yee's instruction is detailed and gentle. The video is beautifully filmed: you watch the waves roll in as Yee demonstrates yoga poses on a sandy beach. The yoga practice awakens and stretches your muscles gently, leaving you balanced and focused. "Yoga is the foundation of my day," says Yee. "A few minutes in the morning will help give meaning to your day." --Joan Price

P.M. Yoga for Beginners
"The evening is the perfect time to calmly transition between being active and being quiet," says Patricia Walden, instructor of P.M. Yoga for Beginners. "One of the greatest gifts yoga has to offer is deep relaxation." This 20-minute program is designed to balance, calm, and revitalize you at the end of the day. It starts with centering poses: gentle stretches bringing awareness and quiet to your senses. Next are standing poses to release tension, increase circulation, expand the lungs, and help you breathe more deeply. Next, forward bends cool the body and bring quiet to the nervous system. The final restorative poses are so relaxing that you may fall asleep. Walden tells you not only how to do the poses, but what you should feel, and how to quiet your body and your mind. Instruction is soothing and explicit. Although this video is aimed at beginners, seldom are modifications given for the less flexible novice, so if any pose causes discomfort or seems impossible, don't push beyond your personal comfort level. The video was filmed on the windswept sands of Death Valley. --Joan Price

Yoga Journal - Magazine
California Yoga Teachers Association

Your guide to more healthful living. Stretch your body, mind, and soul with Yoga Journal. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate, or advanced practitioner of Yoga, you'll find plenty of useful information in every issue that is aligned with your needs.

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