Top 10 Yoga Fails and How to Avoid Them

Posted: May 27, 2014 at 5:03 am


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Yoga's an every-woman activity. But just because anyone with a mat and a will can bust some yoga moves doesn't mean you're doing it rightor getting the most out of your hour.

"When you practice yoga on autopilot, not looking at your mistakes and working to correct them, your form and awareness suffer, reducing your practice's benefit and increasing your risk of injury," says yoga expert Kimberly Fowler, author of Flat Belly Yoga! and founder of YAS Fitness Centers. And we aren't just talking newbies here. "Yoga is a practice. You never achieve perfection," she explains. "The goal is to constantly improve."

So whether you're a beginner or an experienced yogi, chances are that your practice can benefit from some fine-tuning. Fowler suggests you start by watching out for these 10 common yoga mistakes.

Breathingsomething that you typically do without giving it a thoughtcan feel anything but automatic during a challenging pose. But without constant breath, your muscle fibers don't get the oxygen they need to fire, support your body weight, and bend at will.

The result: wobbly limbs andif you're in a balance posefalls, says Fowler.

And little chest raises won't cut it. You want to go for full-belly breaths: Inhale through your nose so you feel cool air hit the back of your throat and your stomach expands with air. Then slowly exhale through your mouth until you feel your lungs are empty.

"'No pain, no gain' doesn't apply to yoga," says Fowler, who notes that most peopleif they're really being honest with themselvesknow when they're pushing themselves too hard.

While in some exercise classes and sports you want your muscles to cry uncle, the exact opposite is true in yoga. It's a sign you're on the fast track to muscle strains and injury.

Yoga should never feel painful. If it starts to, back off. Yoga is all about awareness, about listening to your body's subtle signals, and responding accordingly.

Every class has that one super-flexible yogi who seems to effortlessly master every moveand who has a core you could bounce a quarter off of.

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Top 10 Yoga Fails and How to Avoid Them

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Written by simmons |

May 27th, 2014 at 5:03 am

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