I have been practicing yoga for many years and I really enjoy it. For me it is the perfect way to improve my flexibility and to calm down after a stressful day. Whether you intend to do yoga for spiritual reasons, for your fitness or just to control your breath - set your own goals and priorities.
Don`t aim for too much - you will most probably never reach the flexibility of one of those old Indian gurus whose photos you may have seen and admired. Do yoga according to your own capabilities, don`t overdo. And enjoy the great feeling after a session (I try to do 30 minutes four times a week). As one of my teachers said: put all your thoughts on a cloud and push that cloud away!
Yoga keeps you flexible (and strong!) and is therefore one of the best ways to slow down the ageing process.
All the following images were taken in Corralejo on the island of Fuerteventura, Spain - an ideal location for yoga!
Most people don`t breathe deeply enough - I also tend to forget this in many situations. When practising yoga, start with breathing exercises. Focus 100% on your breath - nothing in the world is more important in this specific moment. You will feel the positive effect right away. By the way, this is also great when you have stressful times - just go outside and breathe deeply for a few minutes. It helps you to calm down and to clear your mind. - If you can do this on a lonely beach with the sea close to you, even better! Nothing better than the smell of seawater in the air. Concentrate on your breath - imagine to soak up energy when breathing in and to get rid of all the toxins when breathing out. Your breath should lead your movement.
The "crow" - strengthens your balance and your arms. I really love this exercise and try to hold it for 5 or 6 breaths.
The "Warrior" - a real classic! Strengthens the whole body, in particular your back and legs.
The "tree" - excellent for your inner balance. If possible just close your eyes and think, for example, of a waterfall, leaving all thoughts apart. Try to focus on a certain point with your eyes - this will help you to keep your balance.
The "cobra" - another classic! Great for your back but don`t forget to do an opposite exercise after this - sit on your knees and bend your body forward, stretching your arms!
The "boat" - great exercise to strengthen your abdominals! Just keep your legs and back straight and breathe normally.
Here is my personal yoga video - it is NOT meant to be an instruction but rather an inspiration.
If you are looking for the ideal yoga mat, I can recommend this site.