Discover basic tips to keep your body safe and healthy whilst practicing yoga asanas.
Work within Your Limits
Splits, handstands, a twisty one arm balancing pose anyone? Sure the teacher makes it look so easy, but they have had YEARS of practice to increase their strength and flexibility. Try not to have such high expectations of yourself and acknowledge where you are at with your body. Try not to force your body into the pose, but rather, you will actually gain more benefit by being gentle and easy with your body.
Everyone is at a different stage with their practice, so recognise where you are at with yours and work within your own abilities, and not compare yourself the person next to you.
Focus on Your Breath
The breath is such an important part of your yoga practice. By focussing on your breath, your body and mind become more relaxed. As your body relaxes, each muscle relaxes more and more. If you are in a deep stretch, you will feel your muscles releasing with each exhale.
You will turn your attention more inward onto your own body and be more aware of the different bodily sensations. As you tune into these sensations, you will be fully aware of how far your body can go without straining or causing an injury. You will notice the difference between a deep stretch and a strain or pain.
Some basic alignment tips to help you establish safety in your poses:
- In most bent knee position (lunges, warriors, bow pose etc) keep your knee in line with your ankle or a little behind the ankle. Chair pose is the exception to this.
- Relax your shoulders and keep them away from your ears, especially in back arches and standing postures.
- Neck in line with the spine – remember your neck is an extension of your spine
- Chest open and lifted – makes it easier to breathe and helps to improve your standing posture over time.
Have Fun & Smile on the Inside
Yoga is not all serious! Lighten your mood, have a playful approach to your practice, and soften your face muscles. Each day is going to be different with your practice, so remember some days are easier and others are harder.
Gradually Build your Endurance
If you are feeling weak or shaky in a pose, feel free to come out of it. There is never pressure to hold any pose for any length of time. As you practice more, you will notice your body becoming stronger and more flexible and you’ll build up your endurance.
Want to give yoga asanas a go? Check out our timetable to find a class!