When people ask me if they can just do a yoga DVD at home, my response to them is, “Sure! But I’d recommend taking a few classes at an actual studio first before jumping straight into DVD.” – why do I say that? Because Yoga involves a lot of intricacies that can’t be caught if you’re alone at home following along to a DVD. If you don’t do the poses correctly, you won’t see the full benefits of yoga. Not only will you miss out on the benefits, but incorrect form can also lead to unnecessary strain and possible injuries.
Individual yoga classes can get pricey, but many yoga studios offer introductory unlimited classes (like $29 for 2 weeks) for new students. These are great deals to pick up to get you started into the world of yoga.
Let’s take a look at some common mistakes:
Standing Forward Bend: The image on the right is correct. Notice how your hips must be directly aligned over your ankles and that you need to bend forward at a 90-degree angle. She is also standing with feet parallel to her hips and keeping a slight bend in her knees.
Plank: The bottom picture is correct. Don’t lift your butt so high in the hair. Make sure your back is aligned with your hips in one straight diagonal. This releases the pressure from your shoulders and engages your core muscles.
Cobra: The posture in the first image is incorrect. As you can see, her chest is up too high and her shoulders and nearly touching her ears – this puts strain on the shoulders. It feels awkward just looking at her. It’s important to pull your chest down and squeeze your shoulder blades together, as if you were cracking a nut in-between them.
Downward-facing Dog: this basic yoga pose was one of the most troublesome for me when I first started out. My yoga teachers would constantly come around and pull my hips up higher even as I thought I was doing all I could to get this pose correct. Your body is bending downward in a “V” with arms straight in front of you, palms pressed flat into the floor, and fingers spread apart. The head should be aligned with the spine.