Yoga has become increasingly popular over the years, as most people consider the practice to be safe and gentle enough for anyone to do. While this is true, it is incredibly important to use the correct form in each posture so that you can avoid injuries and gain the most value out of each exercise. Take the time to focus on your body positioning and be sure to take deep breaths as you move through any yoga routine. Below we have shared some common dos and don’ts associated with popular yoga poses.
Do: Do move into this pose gradually, focusing on your core muscles and proper alignment. Do keep your spine straight and your head, shoulders, and hips in alignment. Straighten your legs or bend your knees, depending on your current fitness level. Draw in your lower back, lift your chest, and lengthen your torso. Reach forward with both hands or place your hands on the ground for more support if needed. Keep your gaze straight ahead and breathe deeply throughout the exercise.
Don’t arch or round your back. Do not clench your jaw or neck. Do not hold your breath during the exercise.
Do push from your heels to lift your hips. Do keep your feet and knees shoulder-width apart and your knees directly over your heels. Keep your spine neutral and your neck muscles relaxed. Tighten your glute muscles. Clasp your hands together under your body if you feel able to do so. Breathe deeply throughout the exercise.
Don’t arch your back or let your hips drop. Do not let your knees fall inward or pull your heels inward or outward. Don’t push your body forward so that your knees are no longer above your heels. Do not clench your neck muscles or hold your breath while in the pose.
Do keep your neck elongated and your shoulders in a neutral position. Focus on pulling your shoulder blades together, rather than arching your back. Keep your elbows soft and close to your body. Ensure your pelvis and legs are firmly rooted to the floor as you lift your chest. Keep your gaze forward, rather than upward. Breathe deeply throughout the exercise.
Don’t over-arch your back or lift your shoulders. Do not tense your neck muscles. Do not open your elbows out to the sides or lock your arms. Do not tilt your head back to look upward. Do not hold your breath.
Garland Pose (Deep Squat)
Do keep your spine straight and your shoulders down and away from your ears. Keep your chest open and your gaze forward. Place a block or support under your seat if needed. Keep your feet flat with most of your weight in your heels. Press your elbows against your inner thighs. Breathe deeply throughout the exercise.
Don’t move into this pose if you have knee pain. Don’t round your spine or tuck your tailbone inward. Do not hunch your shoulders or drop your chin. Do not stay on your toes. Do not hold your breath.
Do this yoga pose either from your toes or your knees, depending on your current fitness level. This pose can also either be completed with straight arms or from your forearms. Engage your core and keep your quads and glute muscles activated. Keep your head, shoulders, hips, and knees in alignment. Keep your neck neutral and your gaze downward. Keep your shoulders stacked above your elbows. Stretch back through your heels and breathe deeply throughout the pose.
Don’t raise your hips higher than your shoulders. Do not arch your back or let your hips dip down towards the floor. Don’t tilt your head back and look upward. Don’t hold your breath during the exercise.
When you are first getting started with Yoga, the small intricacies of each pose can often seem overwhelming, but it is important to take your time and focus on good form to reap the most benefits from each exercise. Remember to breathe deeply throughout each pose and try to relax into each position. Most importantly, listen to your body. Do not stay in any position that causes you pain or discomfort. There are always ways to modify poses to better meet your current fitness level.
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