Here I will at times publish either one Asana or one Pranayama in detail, so you have some reliable source of reference, naturally so not to be studied or read during practice, but best before or perhaps afterwards. It can at best serve as a support and is in no way meant to replace a regular visit at class. Only practice at home what you have previously learnt from a competent yoga teacher.
The instructions of the Asanas and Pranayamas given here can, out of its nature, never be complete and in some cases do not apply at all. It is possible that some or each Asana or Pranayama must be amended or adjusted to suit your individual and unique physical, emotional and psychological condition. You should always follow the rules and guidelines and when uncertain look for an expert on the subject.
One of the main rules is: If you are unable to learn to relax in an Asana, which initially reveals to us spots or areas of tension in our body, and perhaps creates even more tension, then you surely move away from yoga. You should try to ‘breath the tensions away’ with each exhalation. Visualise all areas of your body, where you are still ‘holding on’, to be softening, releasing, relaxing through an act of ‘letting go’. In order to experience higher states of yoga a gradual relaxation of your physical, physiological, emotional and psychological self is an absolute pre-condition. Only a completely relaxed person can experience states of meditation. You try to let go of everything, except perhaps of the form of the Asana itself you have assumed, in order to uncover the abovementioned freedom for yourself.
If it hurts, you definitely practice wrongly and with ‘himsa’ (violence). The first rule of conducts to be observed in yoga is ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence). Many people still believe in the following maxim: No pain – no gain. It is actually quite the opposite in yoga! Use your intelligence which definitely develops through an approach that is carried out with (inner) awareness and mindfulness!