Yoga’s become a really popular form of exercise in recent years, and can be done by people of all ages. It’s got obvious appeals – it doesn’t really require any specialist equipment, and it’s accessible to everyone, even those who are only just beginning their athletic journey.
Of course, that’s not to say it’s easy – because it’s not. Here are 5 of the most common mistakes made in yoga, even by experts.
1. Avoiding common props
Just because you don’t need props to do some yoga doesn’t mean you should avoid using them. Props are really useful for both beginners and more seasoned athletes, and can help prevent injuries. “They allow you to explore poses at different levels, and can ease you into the ones which you find more difficult. One stretch proving a bit too much? Grab a block and ease yourself into it over a series of days, rather than trying to force your body into a position it isn’t ready for and injuring yourself,” explains Jimmie Dykes, a Yoga blogger at Eliteassignmenthelp and Ukwritings.
2. Comparing to others
Lots of sports are competitive by their very nature – you are competing against your opponent to see who can score the most points – but yoga is not competitive, and making it so can really reduce your enjoyment. Yoga should be about relaxing and focusing on yourself, not on whether the person next to you is able to hold a pose for longer or stretch more deeply than you can.
3. Sticking to one routine
Everyone knows how nice it feels once you get comfortable with a few poses, with how long it’s easy to hold them for, and how good it feels to be able to do them well, but sticking with just one or even a few routines really hampers your growth. You should be looking to expand your poses, even if it means going back to basics and feeling like a beginner again. Branch out, try something complicated, and boost your confidence in your own abilities.
4. Focusing on other things
This is perhaps one of the hardest challenges to overcome, and takes constant practice and discipline. Yoga is usually used as a way to wind down and relax, to detach from the chaos of everyday life and move into a pleasant space of quietness. The focus should be in the present moment, so try to avoid letting your mind drift off into what you need to buy when you next go shopping, or the chores waiting for you at home. These things will prevent you from relaxing fully, and will detract from the energy yoga brings, so try and leave these concerns off the mat.
5. Seeking perfection
Like all sports, yoga is about practice, not about perfection. Don’t let yourself get sucked into practising a single position until you’ve perfected it. “You aren’t doing yoga to get beautiful pictures or to show off to others, so learn to accept the moves as they are, and enjoy the motions for the peace they bring you, rather than seeking something which doesn’t exist. Do what feels good rather than what looks good, and allow yourself to be comfortable with yoga” says John Johnson, a Sports writer at Essayroo and Academized.
Yoga is a wonderful opportunity to unwind and relax, letting go of some of the everyday stress of life. Avoiding these mistakes will help to boost your enjoyment of your yoga routine, and let you make the most of it. Remember that yoga is about you and your journey, and you should seek to look after yourself and your needs at every moment. Don’t focus on what others are doing, thinking, or being, but just enjoy your time on the mat.
Nora Mork is a lifestyle journalist and writer at Stateofwriting. She helps people achieve their goals and get new knowledges by sharing her experience at such online magazines and blogs as Revieweal and Oxessays.
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