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It is a well-known fact that yoga is extremely beneficial for our body, mind, and soul. A regular yoga practice can lead to better sleep, lower stress levels, reduced blood pressure, and increased flexibility and strength.
However, certain mistakes like practicing an asana incorrectly, stretching the wrong way, overstretching without building stability, or breathing in an incorrect manner can be detrimental to our physical health. Incorrect postures could lead to acute pain in the wrists, lower back, shoulders, elbows, knees, hamstrings, and neck.
So, if you are new to yoga—remember these things
1. Always start slow and warm-up the entire body.
2. Engage your core while performing all yoga asanas.
3. I know there are many fancy yoga asanas that are very appealing to try, but always focus and strengthen your basics.
4. Before trying any asana, always strengthen your core first and try to be as grounded as possible.
5. Warm up your wrists. Many yoga poses include being on the wrists, it’s not something our body is used to. So warm up properly and slowly add pressure instead of putting your full body weight on your wrists. Avoid cupping your palms.
6. Before folding your body in any way, always remember to engage the belly for a stable core, lengthen the spine upwards and away from the hips.
7. If it hurts, just stop. When your body says no to a certain pose, don’t do it. Pushing your body too much would most certainly be detrimental. Listen to your body.
8. Pay attention to the instructions of your teacher.
9. Never lock your joints or over overextend your hands or knees. Focus on building stability.
10. Certain asanas, like forward bending, backward bending, turning and twisting of spine should be performed only when our body has been prepped and ready for those asanas.
11. Learn to understand your body better, listen to your body and respect its limitations/restrictions.
If it’s your first time, don’t try these asanas without professional supervision:
1. Sirsasana: Any time you put pressure on your neck in a yoga asana such as during a headstand, sarvangasana (shoulder stand), halasana, or urdhva padmasana without practice, you could invite issues with your cervical vertebrae.
2. Chakrasana and Ushtrasana: Do not try to get into an extreme backbend at home without supervision. Asanas like Chakrasana (wheel pose) or ushtrasana (camel pose) require a deep backward extension of the spine.
3. Padmasana: This is a supreme pose for meditation. But let’s not get too enthusiastic and physically push ourselves into this pose. First achieve a good outward rotation of your hip.
4. Arm balances: All arm balance asanas require strong and stable wrists, shoulders and core.
5. Hanumansana: This asana is also known as splits i.e. splitting your legs apart. It gives an extreme stretch in the muscles in the thigh, groin, hamstrings and puts a lot of load on the hip-flexors. If done correctly and this could be a powerful energizer.