3 Mistakes That Novice Yoga Practitioners May Make

One of the nice things about being a yoga novice is that there's always an opportunity to take more classes. Many cities have multiple yoga studios, allowing you to easily find a class that suits your skills. Alternatively, you can even find a yoga lesson online and practice some poses at home. As with any activity to which you're not overly acquainted, it's easy to make some mistakes along the way. In a yoga class, your instructor will usually correct any postural mistakes, but not every mistake that you make may be visible. Here are three things to try to avoid.

1. Failing To Set An Intention

You should always try to set an intention for your yoga practice, even if you're just going to be trying two or three poses before you get into bed. Failing to set an intention can make the practice feel a little aimless, and you may not get quite as much out of it. You have the freedom to set any intention that you'd like. It could be to focus on your core because you notice that this area is weak, or it could be to simply relax. With an intention such as relaxation set, you'll be more aware of breathing deeply and trying to focus on the poses, rather than other things that might be on your mind.

2. Treating It As A Traditional Workout

There's no question that yoga can be physically demanding, and can often cause you to break a sweat. But, you shouldn't confuse yoga with a traditional gym workout that involves using a cardio machine and lifting weights. There's no need to try to boost the intensity of the poses that you're trying; if you're trying to do more than the teacher is suggesting or incorporating your own vigorous movements between poses, you're not taking the right approach. If you find that the class isn't challenging you enough, simply try a different class next time.

3. Not Being Content With Basic Poses

When an instructor introduces a yoga pose, he or she will often give two variations — one is a simpler pose, and the other may include a slight adjustment that makes it more challenging. If you look around you and see more of your fellow students performing the latter, you may feel competitive and attempt to do so, too. Performing a pose before you're ready could potentially lead to an injury. Remember, yoga classes are non-judgmental environments, and there's nothing wrong with performing the basic variation of a pose.