Like many forms of exercise, yoga is simultaneously relaxing, fun, and hard work. And just like many forms of exercise, there are things you should always do to heighten your practice, as well as things you should never do because they could detract from your experience – or even lead to injury.
Whether you’re just starting your yoga journey or you’re an experienced yogi, knowing the do’s and don’ts of yoga will definitely help you continue to expand on your growth as a yoga practitioner. Our top do’s and don’ts are as follows:
- Don’t…stress about your practice. So often in life, we beat ourselves up when we can’t do something perfectly. The beauty of yoga is that you never need to worry about perfection. Every movement and pose will be slightly different each time you go through it. You will never need to worry about matching the posture of your teacher or even your neighbor on the mat. All you need to do is focus on you, your body, and your breathing – if you can do that, your practice will be, in its own way, perfect!
- Do…take breaks. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been practicing for over a year, there is never any harm in taking a break and coming back to Child’s Pose. Our bodies each have their own needs, and you are in control of yours. Take breaks if you need to catch your breath or find your center. Pause if you need water. Put simply, you do what you need to do to keep your practice fun and fulfilling!
- Don’t…push through pain. Just as you wouldn’t exercise through pain in the gym, pushing through pain in yoga is not acceptable, especially if the pain is related to an injury or known medical condition. If you ignore any discomfort, you put yourself at risk of serious injury. Listen to your body if you feel soreness that goes beyond what you normally feel after a workout; depending on its severity, you may be able to practice with modified poses, or you’ll need to take some time off to let your body heal.
- Don’t…eat before yoga. Specifically, you should avoid eating full meals two to three hours before you practice. Doing yoga on a full stomach can be very uncomfortable and can even make you feel sick. Digestion also requires energy and could detract from your focus. If you’re absolutely starving, grab a piece of fruit before heading to the mat, as fruit is a great source of fast, easy to digest energy.
- Do…forget about everything else. When you practice yoga, nothing else should matter and nothing should distract you as you focus on the strength and growth of your routine. This includes texts, phone calls, emails, and other digital diversions! Once you walk onto the mat, all that should matter is you, yourself, and your movements. (Don’t worry – we won’t judge you if a random thought or two interrupt your focus, as long as you try to shift the focus back to your practice!)
These basic do’s and don’ts will go a long way in helping you along your yoga journey. If you have additional questions about practicing yoga, or about Green Yoga specifically, reach out to us – we’ll be happy to answer your questions!
Ready to hit the mat? Don’t forget to sign up for your favorite upcoming yoga classes – whether you’re interested in our Beginners Classes, you’re looking to include your entire family in your practice, or you’re looking to explore other yoga styles, we have a class that’s perfect for you!