Welcome back to our Get More Energy 5-part blog series! Today’s blog, 5 Popular Mistakes Most Yoga Beginners Make (and how you can avoid them) is the second blog in the series.
Get More Energy is a 5-part series of in-depth blog posts designed to help you discover how easy yoga poses, breathing exercises and meditation techniques can help you relax, be healthier and have more energy so that you can do the things you love with ease.
If this is your first visit here, then you might have missed the first post in this series, Why Yoga Is the Best Way to Boost your Energy (even if you feel tired all the time!).
If so, click here to read Why Yoga Is the Best Way to Boost your Energy (even if you feel tired all the time!) This article is a very meaty read and set the foundation for the rest of this 5-part series.
If you haven’t had a chance to read blog #1, “Why Yoga Is the Best Way to Boost your Energy (even if you feel tired all the time!)”, here’s a quick summary of what we covered.
- Learnt that being tired and fatigued is a common problem faced by many women
- Discovered that most of my yoga students use yoga as a form of rejuvenation and enjoy their weekly yoga classes, especially their private yoga lessons
- Looked at seven popular reasons why people start yoga
- Understood the top benefits of yoga
- Unearthed the historical roots of yoga
- Discussed what is yoga
- Found out more about the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga
- Explored the different styles of yoga and what style suits you best.
Where Did The Idea For The Get More Energy Series Come From:
The idea for the Get More Energy series came about from general chats with my friends and conversations with my yoga students.
Feeling tired all the time, struggling to get up and go and having no energy to do fun things with their family seem to affect everyone.
So, to find out more and to see if there are any common causes for this, I’m holding in-depth conversations with members of the Yoga Inspires Facebook community,
So far, these conversations reveal:
- most women want to do more with their life,
- they are worried about the effects of sitting down all day, not moving their body and feeling tired all the time.
- they want to be healthier and have more energy,
- yet feel exhausted from working and rushing around looking after their family;
- they do not have the time – or energy- to care for themselves,
- there is a sense of fear that life is passing them by and
- they want to make the most of their time with loved ones.
So, in an attempt to address this situation, I am offering the Get More Energy 5-part blog series to encourage and support you to learn easy ways to energise, feel healthier and ultimately happier so you feel better, take amazing care of your body, and have more “get up and go” energy to enjoy fun leisure activities with your family – evenif you are super busy and feel tired all the time!
For example, most of the women I interview understand the value of yoga, daily activity and being healthy, yet had no time to go to classes and lack the motivation to exercise at home. So, to help them de-stress and relax, I recently started doing daily inspirational Facebook Live videos to teach you simple on-the-go yoga breathing exercises and Chair Yoga exercises you can do to reboot and energise instantly.
They are fun and easy to do.
Watch the video below for a quick refresh and energise breathing exercise.
What Else Does the Get More Energy 5-part blog series Cover?
In the rest of this 5-part series, we will
- Explore the common causes and reasons why you are always tired.
- Hear from popular bloggers their top tips to help you feel less tired and get more energy, and
- Practice basic yoga breathing exercises; yoga poses for beginners and meditation techniques you can do at home or at work to combat fatigue, get healthier and boost your energy.
At the end of this series, you will be equipped with powerful, yet simple yoga exercises, breathing and meditation techniques to help you be healthier while feeling more energetic.
If you can’t wait to receive all this goodness, and you are tired of being tired and wish to feel energised, happy and healthy, get my gift, 7 Simple Stretches to Boost Your Energy.
Simply click here to receive your free download and video.
Now that we have recapped blog post #1, let’s continue with blog post #2 looking at the five popular mistakes most yoga beginners make – and more importantly, what you can do to avoid them.
Your time is precious.
You don’t have time to waste on things which don’t work so I hope these tips will help you get the most from your yoga time so you can reap the benefits of a regular yoga practice.
Mistake #1 Most Yoga Beginners Make: You Compare Yourself To Other Students.
Have you ever gone to a yoga class and find yourself peeping and comparing yourself to the other yogis?
Yoga classes attract a wide range of people with different physical abilities and emotional issues.
In a class, it is tempting to compare what you are doing with someone else, for example, when doing the Downward-facing Dog pose, you might have tight hamstrings or weak wrists which makes it harder for you to get into the pose. Generally, when you compare yourself to others, you lose your focus and may even start to put yourself down or, heaven forbid, feel boastful and proud of how good you look in the downward dog pose compared to the woman in front of you!
Solution: Stay focused on your breath.
Yoga is a personal journey.
Your yoga class is your “me time” and an opportunity to relax and let go of the constraints of work and home life. Some days your body will feel more open and flexible, and you can touch your toes in the seated forward bend; on another day, you may have a stiff back, and your body refuses to move into the pose.
By staying focused on your breath and being aware of what is going on inside your body, you honour the integrity of your body and practice non-judgement of yourself and others.
Mistake #2 Most Yoga Beginners Make: You Rush Through The Poses.
There is an expression in yoga, what you do on the mat is what you do off the mat.
For example, if you are the sort of person who is always rushing around it is tempting when you are on the mat to go straight into a pose and forget to make sure your body is ready to be in the pose. For example, in the triangle pose, you fail to make sure your feet and hips are in correct alignment and rush straight into the pose and stretch your arm above your head, you run the risk of injury to your knees and hips and do not get the full benefit of the posture.
Solution: Take your time.
All yoga poses consist of 3-phrases:
- getting into the pose,
- being in the pose and
- coming out of the pose.
It is essential you take your time to get into the pose, to correctly align your body, slowly breathe your way into the posture, remain there for at least 5–10 rounds of deep breathing and then slowly come out of the pose.
For example, in the triangle pose, take time to ground your energy in the Mountain Pose, mindfully make sure your feet and hips are correctly positioned before you get into the full pose and keep your hips and torso align as you move into the pose.
Mistake #3 Most Yoga Beginners Make: You Get Frustrated and Annoyed With Yourself.
Most basic yoga exercises (asanas) look deceptively simple and easy to do. Consequently, a lot of new students expect to be able to go straight into the “perfect pose.” However, if you have never exercised before, lead a very sedentary lifestyle or spend most of your time at a desk using a computer, your body becomes stiff and inflexible.
The expression “use it or lose it” applies to the human body.
Over the years your body adapts to the demands made on it.
Yoga exercises require you to stretch, lengthen, strengthen and move your body—although yoga is gentle, this can still be a shock to your body.
You realise just how inflexible you have become over the years. I often see students get cross with themselves and moan, “I used to be able to touch my toes” as they struggle to position themselves in the forward bend pose or have stiff shoulders and trouble raising their arms as they prepare for the seated forward bend pose. When you start to practice yoga, you realise how stiff and inflexible you are.
Solution: Be gentle and accept your body as it is today, not how you imagined it to be 2, 5, or even ten years ago.
You are a living organism and, if you haven’t exercised for a while, your body will be stiff and inflexible.
With time, patience and regular practice, you will notice an increased range of movement and ease in your body.
For example, one of my students, aged 73 years, can now place his hands just below his knees in the seated forward bend. When he first started yoga, his back and hamstrings were so stiff he couldn’t lean forward without slouching and being in pain. Over time, with gentle movement and focusing on strengthening his lower back and lengthening his hamstrings, he was able to lean forward and rest his hands on his mid thighs.
The increase in his range of movement meant he felt more confident being out and about with his older grandchildren and could easily pick up his new grandson from his cot.
Mistake #4 Most Yoga Beginners Make: You Miss The Final Relaxation Exercise.
Most yoga classes finish with the Final Relaxation, a chance for you to lie down on your back in Savasana (the Corpse Pose) while your yoga teacher takes you through a deep guided relaxation.
The Final Relaxation can last anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. Many students who have other commitments skip the Final Relaxation and leave class early.
As a yoga teacher and yoga student, I feel the Final Relaxation is the most important yoga pose of your session. It gives your nervous system a chance to absorb the benefits of the practice and for your thoughts to turn inward and settle.
Solution: Schedule your yoga class at a time that allows you to complete the class and relax completely.
If you have to leave before the Final Relaxation, have a quiet word with your teacher at the beginning of the class and ask them to give you a quiet nod 5 – 10 minutes before you have to go so that you slow down and mentally prepare your body and mind to adapt and get ready to leave the lesson, with a shorter relaxation time.
Mistake #5 Most Yoga Beginners Make: You Think Yoga Is Just A Form Of Exercise.
Many new students do not realise that the way yoga is practised in the West is only one path of yoga. In fact,
- Yoga consists of a system of techniques and practices which stimulate, calm and cleanse the mind, body and spirit: Traditionally, yoga consists of:
- Yoga exercises or postures, which are a sequence of yoga poses (known as asanas) which gently open and stretch the body, improve posture, increase flexibility, suppleness and strength.
- Breathing Exercises, known as pranayama, are designed to help you learn how to breathe correctly. In my experience of teaching, many people do not know how to breathe properly and have poor breathing habits. Yoga breathing exercises teach you how to maximise your vitality through correct use of your respiratory system, to cleanse your body, boost your immunity and bring calmness to the nervous system and emotions.
- Guided Relaxation, which to release body tension and promote a sense of deep physical, mental and spiritual relaxation.
- Meditation helps to calm and focus your mind and encourages you to experience a sense of inner peace, clarity and calm.
In addition, there are four main paths of yoga practice, which all traditionally serve as a means to help you achieve your potential and unite with your divine nature:
- Karma Yoga (the path of selfless service and action)
- Jnana Yoga (the path of intellect, knowledge and wisdom)
- Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion and love)
- Raja Yoga (the physical practice of yoga—asanas, breathing, plus spiritual, ethical guidelines, known as the Yoga Sutras or Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga)
Solution: Take time to practice all aspects of yoga, especially meditation and breathing exercises, read up on the four paths of yoga and study the philosophical and spiritual side of yoga, known as the Yoga Sutras.
You can sign up for a yoga workshop which covers the wider psychological and philosophical aspects of yoga. Find out if your yoga studio offers meditation for beginners classes. Attend Satsang, an evening of spiritual chanting, prayers, spiritual discourse and chanting. Keep your mind and eyes open to lectures on the Yoga Sutras. Visit Yoga Trade Exhibitions and Festivals and try out the different classes and workshops on offer. The more you understand how everything fits together, the deeper your experience of yoga becomes, especially when you practice meditation
And, if you would like a taste of what yoga poses look like and want to practise a simple yoga routine in the comfort of your home, get my gift, Get More Energy: 7 Simple Stretches to Boost Your Energy.
Simply click here to receive your free download and video.
Summary and Recap
So, we have come to the end of the second blog post, 5 Popular Mistakes Most Yoga Beginners Make (and what you can do to avoid them) in our 5-part blog series Get More Energy.
In this post, we looked at the five most popular mistakes most yoga beginners make when they start yoga. Once you are aware of these mistakes
Mistake #1: You Compare Yourself To Other Students
Mistake #2: You Rush Through The Poses.
Mistake #3: You Get Frustrated and Annoyed With Yourself.
Mistake #4: You Miss The Final Relaxation Exercise.
Mistake #5: You Think Yoga Is Just A Form Of Exercise.
And what you can do to avoid them, you will gain a deeper appreciation of the benefits of yoga to help energise your body, so you feel healthier and ultimately happier as you take amazing care of your body, and have more “get up and go” energy to enjoy fun leisure activities with your family – even if you are super busy and feel tired all the time!
So, let me know how you are getting on with this series and what mistakes did I miss that you see other yogis make?
Let me know, so I can add them to this list and update this blog post. Thank you.
Finally, as a special bonus, in the next blog post, we will have a mini detour and look at the role meditation plays in helping you feel energised, happy, and healthy and we will look at the mistakes most meditation beginners make when they start to meditate. That way, when you start meditating, you will have a better understanding of how to sit and do the practice.
I hope you are enjoying this mini Get More Energy series, may you be happy and well and may all good flow through you.
I look forward to seeing you soon in the next blog post where we talk about the role of meditation in helping you feel energised, happy and healthy.
Remember if you are keen to get going and want to feel less tired, click here to get my gift seven simple stretches to make your energy soar.
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