Are you a beginner at Yoga and don’t know where to start? Have you been practicing for a few months but realize that you are making some mistakes that are hurting your progress more than anything else? If so, you’re not alone. There are several Yoga mistakes that every Yogi makes sometime in their practice. However, there are several solutions to the most common of these Yoga mistakes. Once you read through this list of most common Yoga mistakes, you’ll be able to avoid them and actively practice better techniques to help bring your practice to the next level.
- 10 Common Yoga Mistake
- 1. Not performing counter postures where required.
- 2. Releasing each asana abruptly.
- 3. Breathing through the mouth.
- 4. Straining during Pranayama.
- 5. Not communicating with the instructor.
- 6. Not warming up before practice
- 7. Rushing into an asana
- 8. Wrong breathing sequence
- 9. Tensing your body during practice
- 10. Not performing Shanti Asana (Relaxation) after practice
10 Common Yoga Mistake
1. Not performing counter postures where required.
Yoga is all about achieving balance. Many of the asanas have counter-postures that must be performed for maximum benefit. For instance, if you perform the Bhujangasana or cobra, you have to follow it with the Salabhasana or locust.
2. Releasing each asana abruptly.
Many students tend to rush into their asanas. Well, many students tend to release or come out of a posture in a hurry too! People, this is not good. Just as you should take your time getting into an asana, you must slowly release the asana as well. Always remember that abrupt actions can lead to injury. This is not what we want. Remember…zero injury!
3. Breathing through the mouth.
This happens so often! I’ve noticed many students tend to breathe through their mouths during asanas and in between asanas too! Breathing should only be done through the nostrils. Exhale and inhale only through your nose, even when you are tired. In between asanas, many students take a break, and I notice them panting through their mouths. This action will tire you out even more. When you pant through your mouth, you’re dissipating energy. Yoga is all about conserving energy. Just remember to close your mouth and breathe through your nose.
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4. Straining during Pranayama.
Pranayama is one of my favorite Yoga practices. The simple act of breathing alone has helped me become a healthier person. Wait a minute! Did I just mention the word “simple” and breathing in one sentence! Yes, I did! Breathing is simple. It becomes difficult because we’re asking you to be conscious of your breathing. I’ve seen so many students strain themselves to get through the 4:8 pranayama. Their first instinct is to gulp in as much air as they can. It seems to me like they are afraid that they will run out of air. Just let go of the fear and relax.
5. Not communicating with the instructor.
One of the biggest mistakes a student can make is to not communicate with their instructor. In a classroom setting, the instructor can easily monitor your practice and make sure you remain comfortable—Yoga, when done right, should not cause you any pain or discomfort. If you feel any pain or tension, talk to them, and help you release that pain or discomfort.
As a yoga instructor, they love taking a student’s 1st class. It’s nice being able to talk to them and to get their impression of Yoga. It’s also nice to see the look on their faces when they are asked to do the Surya Namaskar and asanas!
6. Not warming up before practice
Just like conventional exercises, it is advisable to warm-up your body before you begin your Yoga practice. Best way to warm up the body is to perform Surya Namaskar 12x. Not only is this the best warm-up exercise, but it is also a complete cardiovascular workout. When performed in the morning after getting out of bed, Surya Namaskar completely energizes the body and gives you the added burst of energy throughout the day. Make it a habit to practice Surya Namaskar every morning.
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7. Rushing into an asana
Hold on, people! Yoga is not like any gym exercise. Most beginners tend to hit the ground running with Yoga. They just rush into poses. This is an incorrect way to practice Yoga. As a beginner, you must ease your body into an asana. You are moving your body in ways that you never have before. Take it one step at a time. Rushing into asanas can have negative effects on your body. You may cause tension in your body. Yoga, when practiced correctly, will not cause any tension or pain in your body.
8. Wrong breathing sequence
To gain maximum benefit when practicing Yoga, each asana must be performed with its corresponding breathing sequence. You either inhale/exhale when easing into an asana or inhaling/exhaling when releasing the asana. The breathing sequence is an important aspect of Yoga. Improper breathing can be detrimental to your health. Always keep a notebook handy with you to jot down the proper breathing sequence. Check, check, and check the breathing sequence with your instructor. If all your efforts fail and you still forget, just breathe normally.
9. Tensing your body during practice
Many students tense their bodies when they practice Yoga. It is normal to tense your body when you are doing any gym exercises, but in Yoga, you MUST relax your body. Yoga works on the entire body system; thus, you must relax your body to enable your internal organs to be activated by the asana. Holding your body tense can cause injury and defeats the purpose of Yoga.
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10. Not performing Shanti Asana (Relaxation) after practice
It would be best if you always ended your Yoga practice with the Shanti Asana or Relaxation pose. This asana relaxes and realigns your entire body. Ending a yoga practice will rejuvenate you completely. Always find time to incorporate Shanti Asana into your practice.