Guest Post. Thank you Meera Watts
5 Ways You’re Making Yoga Ineffective
Yoga isn't as complicated as you think. Once you get the flow and harmony throughout your body, you'll be able to perform the poses effortlessly.
The problem, however, is that getting to that point isn't easy. If you're a beginner, you'll face a lot of things that can make you think that yoga isn't working for you.
If you are curious to know, below are the 5 most common ways beginners mess up their yoga routine.
1. You're pushing too hard
In most exercises, feeling a bit of pain or discomfort is normal, particularly if you're doing an intense routine. That, however, doesn't apply to yoga.
In fact, if you feel physical discomfort while staying or maintaining a pose, you should take that as a sign that something is wrong.
You can think of it this way:
Yoga is meant to give you a sense of calmness and connectivity between your mind and body. It's something you can't achieve or perfect in one day.
So, take things slowly and listen to your body.
Continue to practice your poses until your body gets used to them. If you are having a hard time keeping them, don't feel awkward about modifying the poses. Eventually, you'll find them easier to work on.
2. You're too conscious of others
Don't feel intimidated by yogis who look like they mastered every pose and move. The truth is that they started out just like you- stiff, struggling, and doubtful.
Whenever you feel the urge to compare and look down on yourself, take a deep breath and focus on your movements. Don't stop just because you can't get a pose done and don't hold back just because you can't keep up with the rest of the class.
Yoga is for everyone so, stop thinking that it's not for you.
3. You're not wearing the right pants
Yoga pants aren't just for looking great in your class. Wearing them during your practice can make it easier for you to complete a pose and transition to the next one.
You see, wearing clothes that are too tight or too baggy can get in the way of your movements. The same thing can happen if you wear pants that are too revealing. Instead of being able to focus on your poses, you'll be distracted by how much of your skin is showing.
Before you get to your class, ensure that you are wearing yoga pants that fit you perfectly. Make sure that they are made from a really comfortable fabric, too. The last thing you'd want to happen is to feel itchy and irritated while doing your poses.
4. You're too serious
While yoga requires commitment and discipline, it doesn't mean that you can't have fun. The truth is that yoga can actually help you realize your happiness and move away from things that are stopping you from achieving that.
In your practice, find what works for you but be sure to balance the pleasure you get with the effort you're putting in. For example, you can play a music in your class or practice in silence as long as you don't end up getting distracted.
5. You eat before coming to class
Going to your yoga class with a full stomach can spell disaster.
It can make it uncomfortable for you to do your poses. Apart from that, a full stomach will also require an increase in blood supply for digestion. This can mean having less blood supply to your muscles, putting them at risk of fatigue and strain.
Instead of having a full meal, pick something that's easy to digest but won't leave you short of energy. You can go with a piece of banana or a piece of toast with peanut butter on your way to your class.
Yoga is effective whether you are trying to lose weight or you just want to get a more toned body. However, although it's effective, it doesn't mean that you'll get its full benefits right away or without exerting effort.
You need to be consistent in your practice and be disciplined in following the poses correctly. With these tips, you should be able to easily get started on the right track.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali)