Yoga is a form of exercise that benefits both the body and the mind. It brings mental relaxation and is wonderful to destress. It also works wonders on the body, improving strength, flexibility, circulation and posture. The second hand benefits are also numerous, including increased concentration and an improved immune system. There’s a type of yoga for everyone, no matter what your age, gender, body type or lifestyle is.
Everyday new people are discovering the joys of adopting yoga into their life. These are some of the big mistakes that people new to yoga make though that can become roadblocks or hinder their practice.
Starting Without Proper Guidance
With all of the YouTube videos and websites out there giving instructions on yoga it can seem tempting to just start out on your own. This is a huge mistakes though, and one that can be potentially dangerous. Some yoga positions are quite difficult and you could end up hurting yourself if you attempt them without proper instructions. Certain poses require specific breathing techniques, balance or alignments that might not be obvious in a picture or video.
The best thing for any beginner to do is to take a beginner yoga class with a professional yoga instructor. In a class you’ll have a qualified teacher helping you and making sure you do the positions correctly. Don’t worry about not being good enough either. Most yoga studios offer beginner yoga classes and many instructors give alternative positions for beginners to try on difficult poses.
Pushing Yourself Too Far
When you take your first yoga class you’ll be tempted to compare yourself to everyone else. Often classes are full of people with varying experience levels from beginners like you to people who have dedicated their lives to this practice. As you watch the person next to you touch their foot to their head you might be tempted to push your body to try too. This is a mistake though as this could badly strain your body resulting in an injury.
Go at your own pace and listen to your body. Don’t worry about being the most flexible or stretching the furthest in your first couple of classes. You’ll get a little better each time. Everyone’s body is different so stop measuring yourself to others.
Forgetting to Breathe
Breathing is probably the single most important thing about yoga. It’s essential to the practice and many forms of yoga focus on it specifically. It keeps your mind focused, calms your body down, brings oxygen to your muscles and loosens you up.
Many beginners often hold their breath as they stretch or balance. As you start doing yoga you might have to consciously remind yourself to breath but as time goes on this will come naturally. Not breathing as you work through the positions can be dangerous as it can make you dizzy or tire more easily. Try counting your breath if that helps. Many instructors will tell the class when to breathe in an out and for how long so just listen or ask for advice.
Being Impatient With Progress
Ever hear that Rome wasn’t built in a day? Many beginners start yoga with the hopes of achieving some goal. Maybe you wanted to lose weight or be more flexible. Maybe you wanted it to de-stress you. Yoga, like almost everything else in life, isn’t a one-day solution. It takes consistent dedication and practice to get results.
Many beginners get impatient with their perceived lack of progress and end up quitting. Don’t fall into this trap. Stick with it. You’ll get better, stretch a little further, be a little more stable or hold the pose a little longer every time. There’s progress even if you don’t notice it right away.
If you’re thinking of starting to take up yoga or just have, be sure you don’t make these common mistakes. Take a yoga class, talk to an instructor and research online. Soon you’ll be skilled enough to do yoga anywhere at anytime. See you on the mat at our Delray Beach yoga studio!