Yoga Do’s and Don’ts
Life doesn’t have a handbook on what to do and what not to do. If it did, I'm sure all of our lives would be so much easier. But that doesn’t mean that yoga can’t have a guide to follow. There’s always things we wished we knew before starting a new hobby or career, so today I’ve composed a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to yoga.
Don’t practice yoga on a full stomach! This seems to be the rule of thumb for most things that involve exercise (swimming, running, boxing), and the same rules apply for yoga. Try not to eat a full meal for one to two hours before a yoga lesson. Instead, have a granola bar or some fruit before you get out on the mat.
Do set intentions for yourself. This one might seem odd to some, but it is truly helpful to set intentions on what you want to get accomplished before starting a yoga lesson. Something simple like “Today I intend to strengthen my body and mind” or even “Today I intend to accomplish the standing pigeon pose.” Something to set your mind on and let float in your mind throughout the exercise.
Don’t push yourself too much. When I was younger I used to be able to do backbends and full splits without breaking a sweat, now I can barely touch my toes. And that’s ok! You’ll accomplish nothing but a possible pulled muscle if you push yourself too hard too fast, especially if you’re not used to the strain on certain muscles. There’s no shame in taking your time and knowing your limits. Yoga is not about who's the most flexible, but it’s a personal journey that isn’t a competition in any way.
Do keep a positive mindset! Like most things in life, if you go into it with a terrible mood and low vibrations, nothing will be accomplished. Keep your energy high and mindset positive before every practice! Maybe that means journaling or meditating or even just texting a friend good morning. Anything to get you in the right mindset to seize the day!
Don’t leave a mess! Even if you are not taking a class in person, it is always important to clean your “station”. If you are using public mats and other equipment, remember to clean it with a towel and any soaps they may offer before rolling everything back up and putting it where you found it. It’s rude not only to your instructor, but to anybody who has a class after you. Just clean up after yourself, it’s the right thing to do. If you’re at home, clean your mat and put away all your essentials, don’t get lazy just because you’re at home!