Good morning! It’s a happy Friday, isn’t it?
This week, I took my first yoga class in probably 13 years!
I have a lot of work to do! But really, I guess I should look at myself as a yoga newbie, although I would never think of myself that way.
It’s going to be a challenge to take it slow, so as a step to do that, this post is all about steps that yoga newbies need to take.
I need to take heed, right?
Common Mistakes: Things a Newbie Should Avoid
Some of the common mistakes include from when and how to practice yoga, to the moves themselves. By avoiding these mistakes, you will be more likely to continue practicing yoga and can also avoid unnecessary injuries.
Doing Advanced Moves Too Quickly
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes a yoga newbie often makes when they are just starting out. If you have only done yoga a few times, you’re probably not ready for advanced moves like inversions. Trying to do a handstand is not a good idea before you can comfortably do a downward facing dog. Start slow and gradually do more advanced moves as you get stronger and increase your flexibility.
Long, Advanced Yoga Sessions
Not only should you not do moves that are outside your current skill level until you have practiced more, but you should try to avoid lengthy or intense yoga sessions at the beginning. As you’re getting used to the basic yoga practice, you might not want to enter a hot yoga session. These are often very intense with high temperatures and lots of sweat, so your body may not quite be prepared for the yoga poses as you deal with the temperature. You should also keep your yoga classes fairly short in the beginning until you get more comfortable with the poses.
Doing Yoga Poses Incorrectly
The other common mistake with yoga newbies tend to be due to the poses themselves. Every pose has a correct way and incorrect way to do them, but here are some of the more common ways poses might be done wrong:
The mountain pose is a simple standing pose, which is exactly why many people do it incorrectly. You don’t want to stick your butt out too far, as this may cause quite a bit of back pain. Instead, focus on a completely flat back and buttocks by engaging your abdominal muscles.
With the chaturanga pose, a common yoga newbie mistake is when the shoulders dip and the butt is up toward the ceiling.
Many people try to do the downward dog either at an awkward angle with the head and upper back, or they attempt to do a plank, when in fact your buttocks should be up and head down.
Now that we have looked at some common mistakes, let’s discuss some tips for those of us that are new to the discipline!
Start at Your Current Level
No matter how much of a beginner you are, you should start yoga exactly where you are. This means not trying to do advanced or intermediate moves when you are a beginner. Look for a yoga class or DVD that is specifically for beginners. If you have never done yoga before, look for a starter class specifically for people trying yoga for the very first time. Other classes are more for a yoga newbie, but not necessarily those just starting out. Do a little research to find the right yoga class for you.
Take a Class First
It’s highly recommended that you start on your yoga journey by taking a class with an experienced instructor. You don’t necessarily have to do this forever, but it can help you get the poses right, make modifications depending on your physical health and other considerations, and will set up the right environment with other people who are dedicated to their yoga practice.
Use Accessories as Needed
Another thing to remember with yoga is that there are quite a few tools and accessories that can be beneficial, especially when you are just starting out. For example, if you need a little help with flexibility during the moves, using yoga blocks is excellent. Don’t be afraid to bring them to class or use them at home – even advanced yogis use blocks from time to time. Also remember some of the basics, like your mat, towel, water bottle, and a light snack just in case you need it.
Push Yourself When You’re Ready
You definitely don’t want to try advanced yoga moves when you are a yoga newbie, but don’t stick to the exact same beginner’s workout without ever transitioning into something different. As you get accustomed to the current yoga routine, switch it up, try something new, and attend an intermediate or advanced class. This keeps you moving in the right direction, but at more of a gradual pace that won’t overwhelm you or cause any unnecessary injuries. There are also some modifications you can make to your current routine to make a little more challenging.
All of these apply to me right now! I am going to continue with the beginner class for a while to improve my flexibility and strength.
I will keep you updated as it goes!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Loving Life—The Reboot!