If I go one week without doing yoga, I’m already feeling achy (and a little cranky). Taking regular classes helps me to gain flexibility, strength, balance, endurance and a calmer state of mind. I recommend it to almost everybody. However, if practiced incorrectly, yoga can do more damage to the body than good. Misaligned poses can lead to injuries ranging from aching joints to pulled muscles. “Yoga injuries are often a result of not knowing or realizing your body’s limitations,” says yoga instructor and educational kinesiologist Candace Morano. Below are Candace’s dos and don’ts of the top five yoga techniques commonly misaligned:
#5 Seated Pose with Pranayama:
DON’T: Sit in a slumped position. It decreases the ability to breathe into a straight, long spine. “Not breathing fully into the torso and body can also lead to anxiety and low energy,” says Candace.
DO: Sit in a comfortable cross legged position on the floor or on a blanket. Loop a yoga belt or one of your own comfortably around your lower ribs. The belt will serve as a boundary for feeling the connection between your diaphragm and breath.
As you begin to breath feel your lower belly expand. Then feel your breath extend higher above the belt, into the mid-chest as you extend your breath further into your top chest. Follow this pattern as you begin to descend downward and start to exhale. Using the belt will help you understand how to breathe into the lower and upper torso and how to preserve the space that is created within, even as you exhale with full attention. Want to see number #4? Go next page to see more …