It’s hard to know if you’re getting it right in yoga sometimes. Thankfully, there are a few tricks that can help you master your flow! We chatted with Pru Trundle from The Retreat Yoga Studio to learn the most common mistakes she sees on the mat.
Whether you’re new to yoga or a dedicated yogi, read on to make sure you’re getting the most out of your practice by avoiding these mistakes.
1. Judging yourself
Yoga is not about being the thinnest, most flexible person in the room, so quit the self-criticism! “You are practicing yoga, so in essence you are doing everything right!” says Pru. “Yoga is no judgement, so nothing is ever wrong. Always do what feels right for your body and mind.”
2. Pushing yourself too hard
It’s important to listen to your body to reduce the risk of injury. Don’t push yourself into a pose you’re not ready for and go slowly instead. Pru says, “To reach your edge, maintain a smooth, steady breath, and allow the body to ease into it.”
3. Comparing yourself to others
This is a tough one! We all want to look good in our yoga pants but you’re there to stretch and strengthen your body, not put yourself down. “Don’t compare your shape to others,” Pru advises. “Forget about what you look like in a pose and just focus on what you feel; the sensations. Make the pose work for you – yoga makes us feel amazing, so focus on that!”
4. Forgetting to breathe!
It may sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget! Quiet, deep and regular breathing is the goal of yoga. As Pru puts it, “Yoga begins with breath. Attempt to smooth out the breath and flow gracefully. Rest when you lose the breath and come back to your practice when you’re ready. Always listen to your body. It is your practice – the teacher is there to guide you, but ultimately you need to make it for you.”
5. Not being truly present
Being present means engaging all your senses and living in the moment. It means not allowing your mind to wander or get distracted. Yoga is the perfect way to practice mindfulness. “Don’t try to anticipate what’s next,” Pru says. “Let go of the past, have no expectation of the future and really be in the moment.” Above all else, stop beating yourself up as yoga is about acceptance. “Experience the moment exactly as it is, not wishing anything to be any different,” adds Pru.
If you have any more tips for yogis, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
And for an easy way to enhance the cleansing benefits of yoga, try a SkinnyMint Teatox.