Yoga is a journey. Regardless of how experienced you are, there are always ways to improve. When first starting yoga, there are certain mistakes that beginners often make. Whether it’s choosing the wrong yoga bra or practising on a full stomach, these mistakes can be avoided! While it’s true that you’ll learn from your mistakes, it’s better to start as you mean to go on. That’s why we’re here to help. In this article, we explore the most common mistakes when starting yoga.
If you’re new to yoga, there’s no point attending an expert class. While it’s great to be ambitious, it’s essential to learn the basics before using a complex class. Not only will you feel out of your depth in an expert class, but you may even feel a little embarrassed. If everybody around you knows what they’re doing, you’re bound to stand out as a novice. The best thing to do it look for a beginner’s class or intro class. This way, you can learn the basics with people of the same ability. If you can’t find an intro class, look for a beginner’s yoga DVD instead. While this won’t be as good as a physical class, it’s a great alternative for those hoping to learn the basics. If your budget permits, splashing out on a few private sessions will be well worth it. This way, an experienced instructor can give you one-to-one support.
A common mistake amongst beginners is being too shy. If you’re using a class, get there early enough to speak with the instructor beforehand. Let them know that you’re new and mention any limitations or injuries you may have. This way, they can show you how to make the necessary modifications and keep an eye on your posture throughout the class. Introducing yourself to the instructor before the class will ensure they pay close attention to you.
If you’re new to yoga, you probably won’t want to stand at the front of the class. However, you also don’t want to hide at the back. The best thing to do is to choose a space right in the middle. This way, you can watch the more experienced yogis in front of you and your instructor can also keep an eye on your form.
Another common mistake when starting yoga is holding your breath. Breathing is one of the most important parts of yoga and controlling it can help you to connect with your body. However, it’s not uncommon for beginners to hold their breath during complex postures. This then creates unwanted tension in your body and defeats the purpose of the asana. During your first few classes, pay special attention to your breathing. Throughout each posture, take care to breathe normally. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth.
It’s not uncommon for beginners to wear a baggy T-shirt and a loose pair of sweatpants. While it’s important to be comfortable, it’s best to wear form-fitting clothing that supports your body. Not only will baggy clothes not support your body, but they can also get in the way during certain asanas. It’s important to note that form-fitting doesn’t necessarily mean tight. Your clothing shouldn’t be too restrictive and should allow you to breathe normally.
There is no need to be insecure when you take up yoga. During your first few classes, nobody will judge you. Everybody needs to start somewhere, and your classmates will remember when they were in your situation. Also, it’s important to remember that your practice is for you. Unlike some forms of exercise, the practice can be adapted to suit your specific needs and allow you to get the most benefits. Yoga isn’t about complex postures or perfect form, it’s about connecting your body and mind through movement and breathing. Providing that you’re breathing correctly, and your form isn’t damaging, the postures can be practised however you feel best. You do you!
When you’re new to yoga, don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, show up to the class and do your best. Don’t worry about what your classmates are doing or how well they’re doing it. It doesn’t matter if they can hold an asana for longer than you can. All that matters is that you’re getting the most from your practice. Remember that you’re there for yourself, not those around you. Providing that you’re benefiting from the class, nothing else matters!
A common question amongst beginners is what and when to eat before a class. If you turn up straight after a big meal, the poses will not only be uncomfortable, but your practice will also be less effective. Instead of flowing blood to your muscles, your body will funnel it to your stomach. This means that your muscles will not get the energy they need for good practice. Turning up with an empty stomach isn’t advised either, though. If you haven’t had anything to eat, you’re likely to feel drained, light-headed, and have little energy to practice. Ideally, eat a meal 2-3 hours before your class. If this isn’t possible, have a bowl of cereal or some fruit 1 hour before you practice.
At the end of your practice, remember to take time to relax. Taking a few minutes to reflect on the session will do wonders for your health – both physically and emotionally! If you have a hectic schedule, this may be the only part of the day you can dedicate to yourself. Instead of stressing about wasted time, take a few deep breaths and absorb the benefits of the class. If you leave the studio and skip Savasana, you don’t get time to feel the magic.
If you’re a newbie, take the common mistakes when starting yoga into account during your first session. This way, you can avoid them and get the most from your practice from the get-go. If you do make any of these mistakes, however, try not to panic. Providing that you’re wearing a well-fitted yoga top and you’re practising safely, you’ll reap the benefits of the practice in no time.