So you're finally ready to try yoga? Or maybe your yoga practice is established, but you want to improve and dig a little deeper? In either case, check out these common mistakes that you might be making, but should definitely avoid.
No judgement. Be gentle with yourself. Now let's shake off those inhibitions and take a look!
5. Staying Strong in the Pose
Yoga is not easy by any means. It varies in complexity. We should always listen to what our bodies are telling us. If we are in a pose that’s painful, we should take a rest in child's pose.
However, sometimes we can go a bit further in a pose. But we simply don’t feel like it.
Have you been there?
The yoga poses that require balance work like tree pose (Vrksasana) and extended-hand-to-big-toe pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana) can stretch us physically and mentally.
At that moment trembling out of our comfort zone seems to be a burden. We are often content with good enough. Next time you feel content with just ok. Summon your grit, determination, and strength and push yourself through the challenging pose.
Take small steps at first.
Hold the pose for a more extended length of time in each practice.
Nailing the pose will give you the boost of achievement! It will help your practice unfold to the next level.
4. “She Looks Like She Knows What She’s Doing…"
We've all been there. We compare ourselves to an advanced yogi in the room.
Self-limiting thoughts or beliefs will indeed do just that. Limit you.
The thoughts you tell yourself are powerful.
Self-help guru Tony Robbins says that these thoughts limit our true potential.
“Because limiting beliefs affect how much action we take, which then affects the results we get, which, in turn, reinforces our limiting beliefs. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy where we are our own worst enemy.”
So the next time you feel self-conscious in class, or start to compare yourself to the person doing a headstand (Sirsasana), take these actionable steps:
- Come back to your practice.
- Breathe in and out slowly.
- Dedicate yourself to being the best yogi you can be.
Someday you will be the advanced yogi, and people will look to you for advice!
3. “Regular Workout Clothes Are OK, Right?”
Wearing the right attire to yoga is essential.
The right clothes put you in the proper state of mind for yoga class. Never underestimate the power of your wardrobe!
You should purchase yoga pants that you love. Sometimes they can be expensive but they’ll make you look forward to the class each time.
You should avoid baggy clothes. They will be a pain to adjust during each pose and just get in the way.
Women usually like to wear a sports top or soft tank top with comfortable shorts or yoga pants.
For men, a t-shirt or tank top with athletic shorts work.
2. Forgetting the Essentials
Yoga mat. Check.
Towel for the yoga mat, so you don’t slip off it?
No one tells you that you need one of those.
You can use a regular towel or buy a no-slip towel. These no-slip towels stick to your mat so you can maintain your balance and ground into your pose without worry.
1. Who's Breathing? Where’s That Smile?
During our practice, we are focused on the sensations in our bodies and getting the pose right.
However, the foundation of our practice is our breath. Consciously being aware of it.
Just like how we incorporate breath into meditation. Breathing in yoga ignites the breath of fire (Kapalbhati Pranayama).
When we mindfully breathe in and out through our nose, we move to new levels in our practice.
Mindful breathing helps support our nervous system. It also helps decrease anxiety and overall tension.
In return, breath transports us to a sea of tranquility.
It helps maximize our practice because we are present during each pose.
Also, smiling can decrease any stress we feel during our practice.
Along with our breath it helps keep us in the moment. Enjoy yourself in each class. You will get a lot more out of it if you approach it with enthusiasm and curiosity!