Contrary to what some people might tell you, nobody is instantly good at yoga, regardless of how fit they are or what training was done in the past. Yoga always takes practice. And this automatically means you have to learn from your mistakes.
To help you get on track as fast as possible and fully enjoy what yoga has to offer, here are the most common mistakes people make when they pick up yoga. Remove them for better results.
Holding Your Breath
This is the most common yoga mistake you have to avoid. When you try to get your poses right, you concentrate on balancing, and you end up holding your breath.
The problem is that when you hold your breath, you make everything more difficult. This creates tension and stress, which do not allow you to relax during a yoga session that should be all about relaxation.
The fact that you have to hold your breath practically means that you push too hard. It does not matter if you stay on a single leg or you lie down. Your breath has to stay steady. Whenever you are out of breath, simply take a break to regain breath control. Only after that should you continue the routine.
No Use Of Props
Your entire yoga session is made better when you use props like bolsters, blocks, straps, and even towels. We all have different anatomies, limitations, and might be injured. Props actively help us to modify the practice so that it perfectly suits our body. For instance, when we have a block, we can use it to better position ourselves in seated poses. Straps help us to bind arms behind the back and many other examples can be given.
Make sure that you use the props you need to have a better yoga workout.
The Downward Dog
The Downward Dog is an important and common yoga pose. It is also much more technical than many think. Most beginners struggle with it because they make some mistakes. Those you need to always avoid are these:
- Making a U-shape – Your spine has to be straight. When it is curved, more weight is put on your wrists and shoulders. This can injure you. Modify the pose when you need it. You can push your hips back, bend your knees and more.
- Not protecting wrists – Your wrists can get sore and you can get injured when you are not careful. Whenever you feel pain in your wrists, make sure to take a break. There is a pretty good possibility to much pressure was put on the wrist. Then, practice spreading your fingers and pressing down on all the knuckles.
Upward Facing Dog
Cobra and Upward Facing Dog are different. It is Upward Facing Dog that is stronger. In this pose, you have to be sure your body is properly aligned. You need upper body strength and core strength to avoid crunching the lower back and affecting your shoulders.
Beginners often try to push too hard in upward dog. They incorrectly align their body and end up with a lot of strain put on shoulders or lower backs. Very common mistakes to avoid include:
- Curled toes instead of staying on the top of your feet.
- Your knees are staying on the floor and they are not lifted.
- Elbows are improperly aligned.
- Not tucking in the pelvis.
- Shoulders are too close to the ears.
- The back of your neck is crunched.
Start your movement from Cobra. Then, press hands into the flood. Move your chest forward and come on to the top of your feet as you lift your kneecaps and you tuck the tailbone. Press the mat as you lift your chest. Make sure to relax your shoulders. When the position is too tough for you, simply keep your hips and your legs on the floor as you basically do a Cobra and you keep arms bent.
The Low Plank
Also known as Chatturanga Dandasana, the low plank is very strong. However, when you do it incorrectly, you can end up injured. Those new to yoga should first do the pose on their knees. Only move to the actual low plank when you are strong.
When doing this pose, here are the most common practice mistakes to avoid:
- Letting go and collapsing to hit the floor without control.
- Shoulder tops dip under the elbow.
- Elbows are placed towards the side, not towards the ribs.
- The hands need to be by your ribs, not in front of the shoulders.
- Dipping or lifting through your hips. The back, legs, and hips should be placed in a straight line.
This lunge does wonders in toning your legs, opening your hips, and strengthening your legs. However, this does not happen if you do not get the pose right.
When the stance is wide or is not as wide as it should be, you might end up with an injured knee. This is why you have to make sure you have the correct alignment. This involves positioning your feet at the distance of a leg apart from the front knee as you trace right above your front ankle. Some common mistakes you have to avoid include:
- Having a wide stance with the knee placed behind your ankle.
- Having a narrow stance with the nee beyond your ankle.
What is important is to feel stable and strong when in Warrior 2. When you feel like you are going to fall or when you feel wobbly, the pose is not done correctly.
Yoga can help you reach a true balance but not when you make mistakes like the ones mentioned above. YouTube made it easier for everyone to pick up yoga but it also created a big problem. When you watch a video and you follow indications without anyone around you to tell you that you do the poses correctly, you are in a world of potential trouble.
The golden rule of thumb here is to listen to your body. If you feel that there is something wrong or you feel abnormal pain, it is time to analyze your pose to see if you do it correctly. You can use YouTube to look for modifications so that you can improve your entire yoga experience.