|Yoga teacher Nguyen Hieu (Photo: Nguyen Hieu Yoga)
Nguyen Hieu is currently the general director of Zenlife Yoga Vietnam, which specializes in training yogis. She is the first Vietnamese online yoga instructors. Hieu said the first thing you need to do in order to practice yoga at home is to create a space for it.
“You need to find a space to practice yoga at home. It’s a good idea to make it a green space with some trees. Light up some candles, use essential oils, and turn on some gentle music. And don’t forget that you need your own mat for doing yoga,” she said.
Even when you do yoga at home, you need to warm up to avoid injuries when performing certain movements, Hieu recommended. If you practice alone, you might find your motivation lagging, as opposed to when you do yoga in a group. No matter what, though, you should practice it regularly, Hieu added: “Trust yourself. Don’t give up. When you first start, spend at least 15 minutes per session. Gradually increase your practice up to 60 minutes.”
Eating habits can considerably influence yoga practice. Numerous yogis advise that you should follow certain basic principles, like only eating when you are hungry. Don’t eat when you are not calm and relaxed because it will negatively affect your digestion. The time between meals must be long enough. Don’t eat too much! Your stomach should never be completely full. ¼ of its space should be for water. Another ¼ is for the passage of air. Such a balance is great for digestion. Don’t eat late at night before going to bed.
Relaxing after doing yoga is necessary. Spend the last 15 minutes to relax and refresh. Loosening your body and muscles is the fastest way for muscles and joints to recover after practice. In addition, women should cool off their body to release the heat accumulated during yoga to get the body back to normal.
“At the end of the exercise, lay down at a relaxed position for 5 to 10 minutes to refresh and recover your energy,” said Nguyen Hieu.
Yoga has become more and more popular in Vietnam thanks to its health benefits. It helps practitioners reduce stress, chronic pain, and depression. Doing yoga also increases flexibility and improves muscle strength.
55-year-old Nguyen Anh Phuong said that she has been practicing Hatha yoga, which focuses on the control of spirit, air, and body.
“I have been practicing yoga for 7 months. It has helped me improve my health significantly. I’ve learned to take deep and consistent breaths to help the blood vessels circulate and conduct oxygen better and tone up my muscles,” she said.
Diagnosed with breast cancer, Ms. Dang Thi Lac Quy of Nam Dinh province was in deep physical and mental disrepair. She found motivation to live on and recover thanks to doing yoga.
“I find myself stronger thanks to doing yoga. I don’t feel tired anymore. My health has gotten much better,” she said.