While the practice of Hatha Yoga improves health and releases tension, you may find to begin with that you feel more under the weather. Please do not be anxious, and do discuss any problems with your teacher. Sometimes new students experience symptoms such as an increase in spots, headaches, and irritability, which is due to the cleansing process of Yoga and will pass, though it could take some weeks or even months. Try not to give up your practice; releasing years of tension can take some time. The cleansing effect does not happen to every student, and is a positive sign that your practice is working. This cleansing process can also occur when advancing your practice.


Yoga emphasises the importance of practicing non-violence or ahimsa, so remember to treat your body with care and respect. If you are being competitive, you create an inner conflict and tension. Try not to compete with others, or with yourself. The best posture that you can do at any given moment is the perfect posture. The Yogabhashya states, 'The posture becomes perfect, when the effort of achieving it vanishes'. During a session you will find it helpful to often remind yourself why you are practicing. Is it to become a gymnast, or to find health, peace and harmony? Try to stay mindful, and learn to practice without competing. It can take time and patience to learn how to relax while practicing, yet once mastered your session will become a joyful experience.


In order to receive the benefits Yoga has to offer, we have to practice. To practice requires a certain amount of discipline. It is difficult to persevere at anything, even if we know our perseverance will bring us a better quality of life. However, if we do not care for the body it will become weak and more vulnerable to disease. If we do not calm the emotions, they will overwhelm us. If we do not still the mind it will have us running round in never ending circles, preventing us from resting at the place, which in Yoga, is called our 'true nature', a contented, alert and relaxed state.