The Rishikesh Series consists of the initial relaxation pose, breathing and warm-up exercises (e.g., the Sun Salutation), the 12 basic poses and the final relaxation pose. The basic exercises are described in other articles Yoga For Beginners, along with some variations.
There are inverted poses, forward bends, backbends and twisted poses. These four categories should be practiced in every yoga session in the above order. Depending on your experience and physical fitness, you can then select more exercises from each category or simplify or vary the exercises as required.
As you perform the exercises, bear in mind the following basic principles:
- Make sure that you perform the exercise correctly, i.e., contract only where required; relax all other muscles.
- Go with your body’s feelings and accept your own limitations. Yoga exercises should never be painful.
- Aim for relaxed, abdominal breathing and if you can, use Ujjayi, (see chapter on relaxation), so that you can slip further into the end position.
- Focus your mind on performing the exercise and on your breathing. It is easier to be in tune with your- self if you close your eyes. Forget all thoughts of the past and future and stay in the present moment.