It seems like everywhere you go these days, you see people wearing yoga pants or carrying yoga mats with them. It’s not just a fad anymore, but a fully matured combination of spiritual awakening, intense physical exercise, and emotional healing all in one.
It’s become something that people can rally behind and something many people love dearly and would hate to give up.
That goes for us newbies to yoga, too!
Unfortunately, like with everything else in life, there is a learning curve to yoga, and if we aren’t careful, we might just get hurt!
Here are the top 5 common mistakes we make when we begin learning yoga!
They push themselves too hard
How many of you remember joining your first few yoga sessions, and saw all the really cool poses the instructor asked us to do?
I’m in decent physical health, but my first time kicked my butt!
I wasn’t afraid of hurting myself, but I realized quickly I should ask the instructor for help to ensure I didn’t hurt myself.
I could tell from the others that I clearly didn’t understand the technique, nor did I have the muscle strength in those tiny muscles we never use when we workout at the gym.
Those tiny muscles are essential to supporting our bodies as we move through to the finished version of the pose.
If we don’t do them correctly, we could get hurt, and it might take us out of yoga for long enough to be difficult to get back into!
You don’t want to lose the thing you love, right?
They compare themselves to others.
I know I just said you should watch how others do their movements so you can learn more quickly, but at the same time, ignore how good or bad they are compared to yourself.
This is not a competition, it’s an opportunity to ignore the tech-obsessed world we live in for a short time, as well as connect with our minds, bodies, and souls at the same time.
Competing against a peer in a non-competitive sport would just be silly, so don’t look at them to compare, look to them for guidance and support!
Only this way can you learn and grow while enjoying yoga!
They don’t wear form-fitting clothing.
I remember my first time; I wanted to feel comfortable during the yoga session, so I wore loose Clothing like I would to any athletic activity.
I quickly saw I was wrong in doing this because my clothes made it difficult to perform the crazy twists and turns our instructor asked us to do.
It was the exact opposite of the comfortable experience I wanted to have.
Now, as a guy I wasn’t worried about people staring down my shirt or up my shorts, but I could imagine that women would not appreciate a guy doing that to them, so that could be another reason to want to wear something that fits your body.
At the same time, ladies, make sure the clothes you pick out are a darker color so they don’t stretch and appear slightly see-through as you bend over.
I’m sure you don’t want to be worried about these kinds of things while you’re trying to relax!
They forget to breathe
We have all heard many times to make sure we breathe in as we move into our pose, and breathe out as we move out of our pose.
When I first started learning, my instructor told me that relaxed breathing was important for relaxing your mind so your body could move freely and easily.
When we forget to breathe slowly, deeply, and evenly, our minds get thrown off, our bodies get thrown off, and we lose our place and have to start again, something that frustrated me until I got the breathing patterns down.
Learning to breathe like this inside yoga can also translate to added health benefits outside of yoga, for instance if you normally have anxiety attacks, or have high blood pressure.
As an avid meditator, I also have a special way of breathing during that exercise, and I’ve found over the years that people in general breathe incorrectly.
Changing your breathing patterns allows you to automatically, and almost permanently, change the way your body creates and expels oxygen.
Slower breathing means your lungs use less oxygen, and your heart pumps less blood, which means your body doesn’t need as much energy or food to sustain itself.
It also means these organs will last longer and in better health because they aren’t needed as much!
Who knew breathing was so important?
Lastly, People forget to lay down and relax at the end!
The very last pose is called the Corpse Pose. This is also very similar to what I do at the very end of meditation.
If you go to the gym, you always stretch first, right?
Well, consider this the stretch, but at the end.
It allows your mind, body, and soul to complete their connection, and slowly re-engage with the world outside of your yoga space.
It lets you acknowledge in your mind that yoga is over, and you are ready to return to whatever you have to do.
This is the best and only way to show appreciation to yourself during yoga, and most people skip over it because they mistakenly believe yoga is over.
Next time you go to a yoga class, make sure to stay and relax until the very, very end!
Just talking about yoga is making me restless; it’s time for me to unroll the mat!
Make sure not to make those mistakes, and you’ll have a great time, build muscle, make some friends, and feel happier in life.
Author Bio: Karl Burton is the owner and webmaster of Bettermindbodysoul.com. The purpose of this site is to help people start living a better quality life from today providing actionable tips. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org