More at home on a boxing mat than a yoga mat? Spend most workouts rocking a heart rate over 160bpm? You may find yourself making a few mistakes when you try your hand at the more spiritual exercise. Even if you're not a beginner, you'll likely have made or still make some of these common yoga faux pas.
Even if you're not a beginner, you'll likely have made or still make some of these common yoga faux pas.
Here IAM sharing the 15 errors she sees time and again, and what to do instead!
1. HOLDING YOUR BREATH
Yoga is breath led, if you are holding your breath or going red in the face you've gone too far! Step it back a bit and stay with an option where you can breathe fully and easily.
2. SEE-THROUGH LEGGINGS
You didn’t check your behind in your new leggings and the row behind is getting to know you rather intimately! Always check your rear view out in a mirror, some fibers leggings have a tendency to go see through when you bend over.
3. DOING WHAT THE TEACHER TELLS YOU NO MATTER WHAT
If it hurts, don’t do it! A good yoga teacher will encourage you to adapt the pose so that it works for you.
4. GOING INTO ADVANCED CLASSES WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW THE POSES
You may well be gym fit but yoga is a totally different discipline.
Instead of using outer strength to get you into poses (that’s just tension), learn to tap into your inner strength and soften your edges. Start with beginners classes to get a feel for the poses.
5. LETTING THE TEACHER BELITTLE YOU
Compassion, kindness, and knowledge are so much more powerful than someone making you feel bad about yourself. Who needs that in the yoga room?
6. COMPARING YOURSELF WITH OTHERS
Don’t compare yourself to the person next to you. We all bring our years of physical and mental conditioning to the mat.
If you sit of most of the day, then your journey is a different one to someone who moves around for most of the day.
7. LOCKING OUT YOUR JOINTS
This is so wrong! Your joints are not weight bearing and this will stress and weaken them. Send the floor away instead to engage your muscles and let them do the work.
8. GOING FOR THE HARDCORE CLASSES ALL THE TIME
The purpose of yoga is to quieten the mind. If you always go for endurance classes you are missing out on the real fruits of yoga.
Busy people need quieter practices. Add in restorative and yoga nidra to your weekly regime and you’ll notice the calmer you!
9. TRYING TO MAKE YOGA YOUR CARDIO WORKOUT
No matter how many chattarungas you do you'll be hard pushed to get your heart rate up to 160bpm. And you'll knacker out your joints in the process.
Need convincing? Here are the stats:
Heart rate during a strong Ashtanga practice increased to over 30 beats from the resting heart rate, (which can vary from 60-100 beats per minute) whereas in a very gentle yoga class heart rate is only increased by around 15 beats per minute.
To keep that heart healthy make sure that you build in regular cardio to complement your yoga practice.
10. BECOMING A YOGA BORE.
Yoga is a wonderful addition to your life but do remember that your yoga journey is a personal one and people come to it as and when they need it.
11. HAVING SEX WITH YOUR TEACHER
It’s easy to confuse physical and emotional release with stronger feelings for your teacher. All teachers, including yoga teachers, are bound by a code of ethics but once you’ve crossed that line, it’s a bit tricky to wind back in!
12. WEARING INAPPROPRIATE CLOTHING IN CLASS
Short shorts? Big gold hoops? This is yoga, not Carnival!
Wear clothes that you can easily move around in without having to tug down every 5 seconds, your yoga practice is meant to give you space from all that.
13. CORRECTING YOUR BOYFRIEND IN CLASS.
Making him feel useless is a sure fire way to ensure he NEVER comes to yoga again. Let the teacher teach and focus on your time on the mat.
14. FEELING GUILTY IF YOU DON’T PRACTISE 90 MINS EVERY DAY
Some yoga franchises encourage that because they need to keep their classes full - all of the time. A little every day is SO much better than full on and then burn out.
15. FESTISHISING CERTAIN POSES
A downward dog is an inversion, you don’t need to do a headstand every time you hit your mat.
+Prof: Koti Madhav Balu Chowdary