1. Why are you practising Yoga?
The first step is to figure out why you want to practice Yoga. What are your goals? Do you want to practice Yoga daily, weekly or bi-weekly? Does your schedule allow for a few minutes every day, or you can take a 2-hour class once a week? Are you completely clear about your purpose for doing Yoga? Answers to these questions will help you determine what style of Yoga would best fulfil your goals. There are many styles to choose from and many types of teachers to learn from. Yoga studios and fitness gyms offer a variety of classes to fit your unique needs.
2. Talk to your doctor or other competent medical professional
This is probably, the most important step for you to take before starting any Yoga program. As with any exercise program, including Yoga, the advice of a professional is necessary for your safety. Yoga can be enjoyed by the vast majority of people provided they are aware of the limits of their capabilities. Many postures may not be suitable or even dangerous in certain circumstances. A pregnant woman doing an inverted body pose, for example, could expose herself to significant risk. The advice of your doctor cannot be stressed enough depending on your unique condition. If you have a specific condition, find out from your doctor if Yoga may worsen your current condition. You may want to discuss the program an organisation offers with your doctor, and determine your suitability with it. You could also bring a book with the postures and show it to your doctor and discuss whether they are appropriate for your condition. A DVD or video would also be useful to show your doctor.
3. The correct Yoga style
Nowadays there are so many styles of Yoga to choose from, but this could be a good thing. Everyone has a different taste and goal of practising Yoga. Some may want a style that focuses on heavy physical activities, and others may want to enjoy a style that incorporates a particular philosophy that resonates with them. You can educate yourself on several Yoga styles, or even try a few, then pick one that you like and that you feel you can stick to for the long term. The whole idea here is that the style should be enjoyable to you so you can continue to invest your time practising and keep reaping the benefits of your practice.
4. Don't compare yourself to anyone
Yoga is a personal journey, based on your current level and capabilities. You do not have to compare yourself to anyone. Your teacher may be an advanced practitioner, and many students would like to be like him or her. They may try to overstretch and force themselves into a posture which may be beyond their capability at the moment. This is not advisable as it can lead to severe injuries. Regardless of how far you are comfortable in your posture, you will gain the benefit of it. By continued practice, you may reach the perfection in the posture depending on your physical condition. Always follow the advice of your instructor and the steps involved in the position. Remember to never imitate other students or your teacher nor force yourself beyond your capacity into a posture.
5. Be patient and be persistent
Patience is a great virtue. Don't be discouraged if you are not getting the benefits you expected right away. You need to maintain your practice and make it a part of your life as a routine such as brushing your teeth. Almost everyone doing Yoga would agree that they enjoyed benefits after their first day of practice. If you are new to Yoga, you will also enjoy these benefits. There are, however, some postures that require a little more work to get them right and you may not be happy with your results. Don't worry, in time you will get there. Every time you practice Yoga, you get better and better. Being consistent is the key to progress in Yoga. For many people, time is a significant factor preventing them from being consistent. Find a regular schedule and stick to it.Raj S. Gupta teaches how to eliminate daily stress through a highly effective Yoga Program that is completed in only 7 Minutes. He has also written a free Ebook titled "27 Important Yoga Tips For Maximum Benefits".