Top 10 Mistakes Made While Practicing Yoga
Looking at the ease with which a
performs varied postures, learners find themselves pushing beyond their physical
capacity. In order to conquer your body & mind, you need to maneuver in a highly
dexterous, well thought-out manner, so that you are successful.
In the past six or seven years, yoga has become a trendy
regimen, with studios popping up all over suburbia and classes filling up at
recreation centers and health clubs. The meditative side has been de-emphasized
in favor of the physical, and much of that has evolved into more of an
than a slow stretch.
Below are 10 common mistakes committed while practicing Yoga,
Pushing too Hard:
injuries have increased substantially in the past few years, with
overcrowded classes and disengaged instructors to blame. Pain in
knee and sacroiliac joint -- result from people overdoing it in a yoga room.
People need to listen to their bodies and not push themselves beyond their
limits. The exercises have to be done with ease and pleasure and not with
effort, tension, striving and overstraining. Modifications or yoga aids might
become necessary during initial months of practice, especially in case of a
beginner. Yoga does a body good, but if you up the intensity or frequency too
soon, you can overtax your body and risk injury.
Interrupted Breathing: Patanjali regards the inhalation and
exhalation process as an impediment in Yoga, because the alternate
breathing causes a sympathetic reaction upon the breathing itself, resulting
in oscillation of thought.
meaning suspension of the breath and a prevention of the normal alternate
breathing. Suspension of the breath is supposed to lead directly to fixity of
mind, concentration of consciousness, and freedom from the oscillation of
thought, freedom from the movement of the mind towards objects of sense. One day
or the other, as the result of persistent Yoga practice, this breathing process
will get merged in the thought process, and the Yogi's vital energy will become
one with his psychological being. All that is his personality will get
concentrated in a centre of consciousness. There will be no alternate breathing
at that time. Forced retaining of the breathing during Pranayama can lead to
pulmonary emphysema (breakdown of the walls of the alveoli and widening of the
alveoli). Remember to breathe slowly and deeply
through your nose for the entirety of the practice.
Focus: Students eye each other to see who can do the pose the best or how
they stack up against the rest of the class. But it distracts from your journey
of self-discovery to constantly compare yourself against others or even
yourself. If the Yoga exercises are performed mechanically and unconsciously,
like conditioned reflex, they have minimal effect, mainly on physiological
level. All exercises especially Pranayama and Pratiahara are to be performed
with an attention guidance and full realization of the process (which does not
means thinking or reasoning). Thinking and reasoning are informational
verification of the content of the memory. The forced practicing of Pratyahara
and Samyama practices leads to neurosis and psychic stress. There is no forced
concentration in Yoga.
Energy Imbalance: The poses or
are vehicles for self-discovery. Improved fitness, flexibility and health are
by-products of the practice.
syndrome (tension and weight in the head, vegetative disturbances, terrors,
sensation of warmth or cold in the body, neurotic over excitement, para-hallucinations
– visions with the peripheral vision) is a consequence of a unharmonious
practice which overloads the central energy system (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna)
and the peripheral energetics has blockages, which leads to a energy unbalance.
This unbalance can be corrected through Tala Yukta, Yoga Nidra, Prana Shudhi,
Prana veda, Svastika darshana etc.
is a strong signal that you're doing the pose the wrong way or too deeply for
flexibility. Back off or come out of the pose the moment you feel pain and
ask for a modification. Do not ignore pain. It is common sense to realize that
a sedentary person will hurt oneself if he did the
shirasana or head stand. Instead of ignoring, watch your pain, observe, be
the witness. Like watching a desktop object - a tomato, a TV or tape recorder.
Just watch, observe, without getting involved. There are instances of people who
have successfully implemented this technique to surmount pains resulting from
gout, arthritis, rheumatism, even fractures and cancers. Relax after every pose
and at the end of the session. Never push to the point of pain -- especially in
your joints. lower back, or shoulders.
Omitting Warm-up: Under a time crunch, you may be tempted to skip
some warm-up moves and go directly into a complicated posture, but that’s sure
to increase your risk of injury. It takes a full 20 minutes to warm your body up
to the point where it’s safe to go into those serious poses that require a
deeper level of
balance, and flexibility. To warm up you can march in place,
or hit the treadmill for several minutes to get your body warmed up and then
engage in simple
stretches before taking on more complicated postures.
Forcing Meditation: A person should never enter with force into
meditation, with volitional concentration and with struggle with one's thoughts.
In Samayama (meditation) the person should enter through a fine breathing
technique of Pranayama (keivali, retaining the breathing, shiva's breath, nadi
shodhana, udjaya, the dragon's breath, etc.) or through
technique (tala yukta, cobra breathing, kriya etc.). Do not meditate or relax
while is overstressed, enervated or angry. In these cases satvasani breathing
techniques (keivali, Shiva's breath, nadi shodhana, abhaya) are performed. No
radjastanas or generating pranayama are performed.
Order of Asana: The asanas are always combined on the principle
posture – contra posture and are to be performed in groups: inverted, twisting
and turning asanas, balance asanas, relaxing asanas. For e.g., Shakti bandhi are
never performed one right after another because this can lead to a energy
overload. Between them are performed exercises that distributes the energy –
mukta asani and vari asani. Note that, inverted postures are never performed
after the generating pranayamas.
Over looking do & don'ts of Individual Asana: Let it be noted that
Yoga is not bottling up of energy, but a wise utilization of it. If water is
allowed to build up in a dam without being released, the dam will burst. Dams
are not built so that they may burst. They are built for optimum utilization of
the available water resources. But, if the waters are not so utilized, and are
just allowed to build up inside the dam, the dam will burst, and the waters will
ravage the land. Every yoga asana carries a list of instructions, precautions,
modifications under it. Its your responsibility to carefully follow the
instructions to derive actual benefit of the asana and avoid physical and
the five Tattwas: We should know how large the world is, how powerful
nature is, and what a tremendous energy the five elements called earth, water,
fire, air and ether hold within themselves! Our body is made up of the 5
elements and and so is everything we consume. The panchamahabuta concept should
be applied to maintain health and promote healing. In a healthy body the 5
elements are maintained in a particular proportion. Since tattvas are the
elements you are comprised of, you cannot get rid of their projections. When the
state of the body is not in it's natural harmony, the body will try to maintain
it's equilibrium by eliminating excess elements and taking in others. All
disorders of the body are manifested because of a disturbance in this balance of
the body’s components.
Look out for a class that emphasizes awareness rather than achievement.
Dated 07 June 2012