Happy Tuesday, my friends! Today I am going to conclude my 4 part “Common Mistakes Yoga Clinic.” I am so happy that you all have enjoyed the series, and I had a great time putting it together, but I will be happy to have my Tuesdays back, lol. Another reason why I don’t often do challenges or overly regimented things (my Monday recaps and Wednesday food posts leave me more than enough room to muck about within)–I don’t like to be tied down! Irregardless, what I would like to do today is a little summation of some of the most common mistakes that are often seen/done in these basic yoga poses as well as some other comments.
So let’s break, break it down!
- Common Mistakes Yoga Clinic Part 1 : Tadasana
- Common Mistakes Yoga Clinic Part 2: Breaking Down Sun Salutation A
- Common Mistakes Yoga Clinic Part 3: Breaking Down Sun Salutation B
- There will also be a follow up post on Monday on Jen’s Blog about how yoga has directly benefited my running!
Common Mistakes to think about and remember throughout your practice:
- Root your shoulders into your ribcage
- Aim for a neutral pelvis and protect your lower back–don’t move about like a duck!
- In nearly every pose, you should be creating points of tension–push/pull and balance. Use your the engagement of opposing muscle groups to create that neutrality.
- On that point–Be aware of your hips. Ask questions, know when your hips are supposed to be facing where.
- Mirrors are a great tool for the nascent yogi as well as the experienced yogi. I practice with and without mirrors, but I learn more about my practice each time that I do–alignment is key!
- Many of you expressed that you often feel that classes move too quickly for you to really get into the poses, and I don’t disagree.
- That is why it is even more important to get your basics down pat. Last summer when I was training for Twin Cities, I started taking C1’s (mostly straightforward Sun Salutations) again just for the opportunity to stretch out. Well, it ended up being a great stretch, certainly, but most importantly, I started to realize the bad habits I had developed. And so when I was back in C2 (more free-flow), I was more able to rock it out. And furthermore…
- There is nothing wrong with slowing things down. In fact, I recommend that you do. Vinyasa style is yoga that is programmed with your breath (work on cultivating your ujjayi pranayama), so while knowing the proper inhale/exhale pattern is important, I would rather you take an extra round of breath to work into the pose (gently at first) until you are warmed up or know that you are well positioned. Another option? Extend your inhale/exhale.
- As I spoke to during my first post on the matter, the order in which you do the poses is actually quite important. The sequences are crafted in order to prepare your body to achieve the peak pose. Sure, some people can just throw themselves into certain poses, but I have to recommend that you resist the urge to try compass without being properly warmed up. Think about it: that is like going for your one rep max straight out of the gate. Not such a good idea, my friend! That is the quickest way to pull a hamstring that I can think of.
- Don’t be afraid of yoga, and don’t think that it is something that “other” people do. Anyone can benefit from practice, even of Tadasana, as I discussed in that post.
Integrating Yoga into Your Life and Fitness
I worry that my breakdown of these poses and sequences may have scared some of you, which was not my intent. Think about it–there is a way to complicate anything, and there just about someone willing to tell you the “right” way to do something. Remember this?
What I want you to remember is that everyone starts somewhere, and remember as well that not everyone is upside-down and sideways. Last year, before I left Core Power (because of finances and time), I practiced 2 times a week. I would suggest practicing throughout the week when you are learning, but 2 times a week was great for me–a C1 and a C2. Now, I do the C1 protocol on my own (I know it by heart) at least twice a week. I don’t do anything fancy at the moment–though I was getting pretty good last year. My practice is nearly exclusively Sun Salutations, a few inversions, and standing balances.
I will undoubtedly chat more yoga in the future, but I think for now I am going to leave it at this! Lots of info, but I am so, so happy with the success of this little baby series. Thank you all so much for going on this journey with me. I hope that it has inspired you to sit or stand a little straighter, practice greater body awareness, or set yourself up success by learning new crosstraining methods.
I have one last thing I want to share with you all. As I mentioned last week, I am opening up to sharing some outside content on my blog as appropriate. But I thought that this was an informed, informative article that was a good fit for our discussion, and I think beneficial for many of you who are wondering if there is a yoga out there that might be a better fit than what they are doing now.
What, if any, points are you taking away from this? Has this been helpful?
I am not a certified yoga teacher, though I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Please understand that you assume your physical activity at your own risk. These posts are meant only as a helpful reference, and should not overrule the teachings of certified practitioners.