Millions of people worldwide practice yoga for its benefits in the physical and mental realms. Yoga is not only a practice that makes you physically fit but also a stress management tool that helps you combat stress in your day-to-day life. However, these benefits can be gained when it’s done correctly. If you start your yoga practice for the first time, it’s better to be mindful of the common pitfalls for beginners. These are beyond the yoga poses, and it has to do with your approach to yoga sessions, your state of mind, and even the type of clothes you wear for the classes.
So, here are some of those common mistakes:
Lacking Body Awareness
Your yoga instructor might be reminding you multiple times, “Listen to your body!” while performing the asanas (the yoga poses). But do you listen? In the beginning, you might be caught up with an overdose of perfection that even if your body is aching, you will not stop and relax. There is a subtle difference between tolerable pain and unbearable pain. Be careful not to push yourself so hard that you end up injured. And only when you listen to your body that you realize which type of pain you are experiencing.
Consistency is critical for any habit to get established as a routine. And the same rule applies to your yoga practice as well. Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are a lot of distractions around us, and it needs a lot of discipline to stay consistent with your practice. If you want to be regular with yoga, mark it as a priority task, and then plan and schedule accordingly. Don’t give up. If you fail initially, start over again because it is worth your time and effort.
Wearing the Wrong Clothes
It’s needless to say that you need to wear comfortable clothes that don’t hinder your movement during practice. Clothes that aren’t too tight or loose are recommended, preferably from natural materials like cotton. Before you start using them for your yoga sessions, try wearing them beforehand and do a few yoga poses to check if you feel comfortable in them. Wearing the right clothes for yoga sessions helps you focus better on your asana practice than being conscious.
Another essential point to remember is, “Don’t compare yourself with others.” This is true in life as well as in your yoga classes.
There might be different people with different levels of flexibility and years of practice in a session. Some of them could effortlessly get into particular asanas, whereas you might need a bit of practice to attain that. Always remember, in yoga practice, comparing someone’s pose with yours is pointless. The whole practice of yoga is to focus on the self!
Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” It takes time and practice, and it’s perfectly ok to be consistent.
Coming Late for The Classes
Yoga sessions are planned in a particular rhythm of poses as per the instructor, and being on time helps you take advantage of them instead of missing out. In yogic traditions, a lot of weightage is placed on honoring the practice. Thus, attending the sessions on time with a sense of reverence towards the practice is essential. You are coming late shows that you are not committed to the sessions. To avoid this, plan your timings well in advance.
Having Heavy Food Before Yoga
As per experts, yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach. Even if your stomach isn’t empty, it should be as light as possible. When the stomach is empty, it’s easier for the abdomen walls to contract or expand during various asanas. Also, as per yogic tradition, when food is in the stomach, the bioenergy is focused on digestion & nutrient absorption in the body. And doing yoga during this time disrupts the process. That’s why eating before the practice is counter-productive.
So next time you are heading towards your yoga class, keep these tips in mind. Be attuned to your body and breath, and keep practicing consistently. Enjoy your yoga session and make the most out of it. Namaste.