1. A good yoga teacher is very important. The teacher should not only be knowledgeable but should make you stretch beyond your comfort zone. He must have the tenacity to ask you to do some more even when you have given-up. And you must resolve never to say no to your teacher.
2. Be honest to yourself. Only you know whether you are stretching beyond your limit. As a thumb rule, you must feel your muscles strain and quiver before you give up.
3. Count your Asanas (yoga postures) and the holding time. Counts should only increase. By practicing Yoga you tend to get younger and can do more despite the aging process.
4. I find it useful to practice meditation even while performing Yoga. I exclude everything from my mind and only focus on just the current asana. My mind is only thinking of how best to do the current asana. I also allow my mind to think of the body part which is paining from the stretch – I experience blood supply increasing to the part and the pain subsides. With the mind thus pre-occupied, the counts exceed the target before my realization.
5. Practice Yoga in your day-to-day life. Yoga is about serenity. Yoga is about achieving purity of mind and body. Yoga is taking good care of God’s greatest gift to us (our body). The good thoughts should extend beyond the Yoga time. We all have our own values, our own judgement of right or wrong. But we all have one thing in common which is a feeling of guilt – we feel guilty when we do something which our heart knows is not right. My suggestion is to avoid this guilt by always doing what your conscience tells you to do. Guilt-free living multiples the benefits of Yoga.
6. Perform Yoga as close to nature as possible. Ideally under the sky. Facing the rising Sun. Trees all around. Grass under the feet.
7. Persist. You will be able to see effects of Yoga only after one year of regular Yoga. Monitor your body vitals (weight, blood pressure, blood profile). You will notice that they improve as you continue with your Yoga. This will motivate you to never give up Yoga.