It is interesting when we discover a new activity and dive head first into it, wanting to become the best at it as fast as possible. While on such a rapid journey, one tends to forget the basics, leaving themselves exposed to a variety of problems, whether injuries or inhibitions which will hinder their progress.
Yoga seems like a pretty tame way of exercising, especially the basics, right? This is a setup and the answer is no. The movement one practices in yoga, especially the basic ones, can leave the body injured, if done improperly, especially because they are so easy and can be repeated indefinitely (or until an injury prevents repetition).
Following is a simple guide on how to approach the basics of yoga and how to avoid injuries.
There is a good reason why yoga is focused on the breath so much. By working on you breathing technique, you calm yourself down and start slowly gaining insight into what your body is doing and what you are feeling when performing a certain set of moves. This is really important, because the calmer you are and the better your mind-body connection is, the more likely you are to be able to perform a perfect set of moves.
This is true of every sport and physical activity and not just yoga. Some call it being in the zone or being mindful, but the breath has a special purpose in yoga, for both practical and religious reasons, the latter being a topic for itself.
The Basic Moves – Find the Right Guru
The basic moves are the essential part of yoga, alongside the breath. Whether you are looking at the downward dog or the warrior stance, you should find the right teacher for you. It is hard to discern which teacher is the right one, but if you are lucky, you’ll end up with one who is at least familiar with biomechanics, even if they do not know the strictest scientific terms.
Don’t Learn on Your Own – Yet Question Everyone
Learning by oneself can help embed mistakes, which is something nobody wants. On the other hand, you shouldn’t overwhelm your teachers with questions, because they might get bored or feel offended. You should ask the right questions, especially ones pertaining to injuries and form.
Yoga can help us with many things, from building better habits and a stronger focus, to building a stronger and more flexible body. Depending on the reasons you start learning yoga, you can gain a lot of knowledge, insight and physical prowess, provided you master the basics (which is and always will be, the hardest part of any discipline).