Three Pointers For Your Yoga Poses
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How can I improve my yoga poses?
One of the best parts of yoga is that it benefits your mind as well as your body. When you do even the most basic yoga poses, you will be able to do them more fully (and more mindfully) as your practice evolves.
Several general principles for how to do yoga apply to basic yoga positions and to more advanced moves. Keep these points in mind as a primer for your practice:
- Don't hold until it hurts. Yoga is not about “feeling the burn.” It's normal to feel your muscles burning, or even trembling, during an intense class, but yoga is a personal activity, and if you are in great pain during a pose, back off and go to a restorative position. The goal is to challenge yourself, but know your limits. Overstretching will only result in injury.
- Don't hold your breath. Remember to breathe deeply and evenly and engage your core muscles. If you notice that you are holding your breath, or clenching any body part that's not involved in the pose, ease off and try entering the pose again. Remember to relax your jaw and your face, and try not to clench your buttock muscles while doing backbends.
- Don't lose your focus. Your mind may wander if you are holding a pose for an extended period of time, and then you are no longer actively involved in the pose. Re-focus by finding a way to work further into the pose by focusing on alignment or deepening a twist. Think about pulling your navel in towards the back of your spine as a way to restore your concentration.