Practicing yoga can be daunting, especially for the uninitiated. With all those weird poses, it's hard not to be intimidated especially when you're the newbie in the class. To help you out, just avoid these common mistakes below:
DON'T Keep Your Shoes On
This mostly has to do with hygiene, since your hands, feet and entire body will be constantly coming into contact with both the mat and the floor at some point throughout the class. Stash them in your gym bag and tuck them away in the cubby.
DON'T Keep Your Cell Phone On
This is the one space where you're supposed to completely disconnect from the stress of the outside world. If you can't turn it off, than at least mute it and check those notifications after class.
DON'T Let It All Hang Out
Avoid wearing anything too baggy, or you might end up giving a spontaneous peep show to everyone else in the room. Tight, stretchy material will more likely keep you covered during those twists, standing forward folds, straddles, inversions, etc.
DON'T Compare Yourself to Everyone Else
One of the main reasons why beginners quit too early is because they are constantly comparing themselves to other students who have already mastered certain poses. Chances are that even the best student in that room was also a beginner at some point. Focus on your own progress, show up regularly to practice and you too will thrive.
DON'T Be An Attention Monger
Heavy breathers are very distracting. Since yoga is a personal practice, try to focus on breathing only loud enough for you to hear on your mat.
DON'T Lose Track of Your Personal Space
It helps to practice spatial awareness when you flow through your poses to avoid smacking into other students. Focus on keeping your movements within the island of your mat. This especially helps during those popular yoga classes where students packed in like sardines.
DON'T Pack Up Too Early
If you practice yoga long enough, then you will know the benefits of "savasana" which is the final pose of a yoga practice. This isn't just about lying on your back for about 5 minutes, but to absorb the practice and calm the mind so that you'll leave with the right mindset. But even if if you must leave class early, inform the instructor at the beginning of class, and leave before savasana as to not disturb the class.
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