A word of warning and caution. There are certain 'dos' and 'dont's' here which should be adhered to at any cost, to derive maximum benefits and avoid harmful results by the practice of Yoga:
1. Generally, Yoga Asanas may be practised by young people only after twelve years of age, and not before. The minimum age limit is higher for certain specific Asanas like the Sirshasana and Sarvangasana. (see 'caution' under these Asanas).
2. Practice of Asanas for curing diseases must be done under the personal supervision of an experienced instructor.
3. Those who are suffering from chronic eye disease, running ears, high blood pressure and heart troubles should not practise Yoga Asanas. They can however practise relaxation in Savasana alone which is very beneficial to them.
4. Get up early in the morning at 4 or 4.30 a.m. If you feel sleepy, practise standing postures and four to six Surya-namaskaras. Then answer the calls of nature and wash your face.
5. If you are not in the habit of answering the calls of nature in the early morning, you can practise Asanas without answering the calls. After finishing the Asanas, Pranayama and meditation, you can go to the lavatory.
6. Take bath in luke warm water or cold water according to your capacity and convenience.
7. Wear a Langoti or Kowpina or suspendary bandage or close fitting underwear.
8. Spread a folded blanket on the floor and practise the Yoga Asanas over the blanket.
9. Do not wear spectacles or loose ornaments when you do Asanas. They may get damaged and may also cause injuries.
10. If you are accustomed to take bed-tea early in the mornings, after tea practise 4 to 6 Suryanamaskaras and then answer the calls of nature and start the practice.
11. Asanas should be done on empty stomach, in the morning, or at least 3 or 4 hours after food. Half an hour gap should be there before you take heavy tiffin or bath, after the practice of Asanas.
12. One cup of milk or tea can be taken ten minutes after the practice of Asanas. If before, then there must be an interval of at least half to one hour.
13. In the beginning, each Asana can be practised for a few seconds and gradually increase the duration of time. There should not be jerks or rapid movements of the body.
14. After the practice of Asanas and Pranayama, one must sit in a comfortable posture, and practise meditation at least for ten to thirty minutes, according to one's convenience.
15. If it is not possible to practise all the Asanas in the mornings, one can do the standing postures and Suryanamaskaras followed by Savasana. The remaining Asanas and Pranayama can be practised in the evenings.
16. Before starting Sirshasana and also Pranayama, one must see that one's body and mind are calm, serene and undisturbed. If one is tired, fatigued, mentally or emotionally disturbed, then one should relax in Savasana for ten to fifteen minutes, and then start the practice.
17. Asanas should be practised in a well-ventilated clean room where there is free movement of fresh air. In cold regions, one can practise in a closed room. The floor must be even. Asanas can be practised on sandy river beds, open, airy places, and by the seaside.
18. If the practice of Asanas are discontinued due to some unavoidable circumstances there is no fear of any adverse reaction. After some days you can again start practising.
19. If you are a beginner, start the practice of Asanas from Sarvangasana onwards. Try Sirshasana after Yoga Mudra. Before Sirshasana, relax one or two minutes in Savasanas. While doing Sirshasana, the brain cells should be fresh without any fatigue or tiresomeness. The body must feel completely rested. Once you master the Sirshasana, then you can do it in the beginning itself, as per the sequence given in this book.
20. REGULARITY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IF YOU WANT TO DERIVE THE FULL BENEFITS OF THE YOGA ASANAS QUICKLY.