Here’s round 2 of dos and donts of Yoga poses! Athlete, whether you are a beginner or an expert, so many times you would be unsure if you are doing a pose perfectly! If a pose is putting undue stress on your body or leading to pain in specific areas, you are doing something wrong! Here are some alignment cues to get those poses right.
Once again, we talk about alignment in Yoga and why it is so important for Yogis of all levels. Yoga is a holistic system that’s designed to take care of the body and mind. If don’t correctly it has the ability to strengthen the entire body as well as help in building mobility and flexibility. It’s essential to do these yoga poses correctly to maximize the effect it has on the physical as well as mental aspects. This in turn not only improves your practice but can also aid in inculcating good habits, improve daily life and promote a healthy mindset. Today we want you talk about do’s and donts of Yoga poses!
Not just this, doing a yoga pose with correct alignment can also help in injury prevention. It’s so important to understand and listen to your body in your yoga practice and only push yourself to the point that it feels good. Of course, a few cues here and there dont hurt.
Dos & donts of Yoga for Intermediate yogis
Today we talk about intermediate-level poses. This is determined not on how hard a pose is, rather how often you would come across a pose in your practice. Let’s go over the dos and don ts of some of the poses you would be doing in your practice
✅ In a 3-Legged Dog do keep your shoulders even and your hips squared while evenly pushing into the hands
✅ Do gaze towards the belly with a relaxed neck
✅ Do breathe into the hip flexor and open your hips slightly
❌. Don’t get tense in the neck
❌. Don’t get lazy in the toes rather keep them engaged
❌ Don’t have one shoulder lifted rather keep both shoulders aligned
✅ In a Sitting Forward Fold do hinge forward from the hips and keep your back straight
✅ Do lengthen the spine and draw your belly iin and up
✅ Do focus on moving the chest forward, rather than down
✅ Do keep your legs engaged and your feet flexed
❌. Don’t hunch your spine to force your face towards your feet
❌ Don’t round your back as that creates compression iin the lower back
✅ In a Lizard Lunge, do keep a long spine and neck
✅ Do make sure your knee is stacked directly above your ankle and your hips are squared
✅ Do keep your back toes tucked
❌ Don’t over-round the spine or over compress your neck
❌ Don’t let your front knee fall out rather keep it aligned and not sneakiing pasr your ankle
✅ In a boat pose do keep your chest lifted and ensure that your body is in a V-shape
✅ Do draw your shoulder blades together and keep your back in a straight line
✅ Do spead out your toes and let them extend beyond the sole of the foot
❌ Don’t round your back or compress your chest
Extended Side Angle Pose
✅ In a Side Angle Pose make sure you draw a straight line from your back foot to your fingers
✅ Do keep your front knee stacked directly above your ankle and your quads engaged
✅ Do look up with a relaxed neck
✅ Do keep your back foot at a 45-degree angle for stability in the pose and your back leg firm
❌ Don’t over-extend your front knee
❌ Don’t round your upper body towards the ground
✅ In a Lunge always keep your knee stacked directly over the ankle
✅ Do keep your navel in and your hips squared
✅ Do use your arms as extra balance by placing them on the knee, by the side or even raised up
❌ Don’t over-arch your back rather keep it straight
❌ Don’t let your knee over-extend beyond your ankle
❌ Don’t lean backwards, forwards or hyper-extend your neck
Standing Forward Fold
✅ In a Standing Forward Fold do hinge from the hips, keeping the spine straight and knees bent if needed
✅ Do keep your core and quads engaged and your shoulders away from your ears
✅ Do bend your knees if you are looking to relax your upper body but suffer from poor mobility
❌ Don’t round your back or tense your neck
❌ Don’t force your legs straight or put all your weight on your heels
Seated Spinal Twist
✅ In a Seated Spinal Twist do keep your spine straight and reach up through the crown
✅ Do turn your gaze over your shoulder in the direction of the twist and keep your chest open
✅ Do roll your shoulders back and down and lift your lower back while pressing down through the palm
❌ Don’t relax your hand and not extend the fingers upwards
❌ Dont compress your back rather keep it extending upwards
✅ Do stand with your core engaged allowing for a neutral spine
✅ Do stand with the palms facing forward and the shoulders relaxed down
✅ Do keep both feet fully grounded and weight evenly distributed
❌ Don’t over-arch your back and push our your chest
❌ Don’t over-hunch the shoulders forward
❌ Dont keep your feet too far apart
Need more help?
If you practice Yoga regularly there are many moments when you wonder if you are doing a pose correctly or if you look the way you are supposed to. The whole ordeal gets tough. While remembering cues and dos and donts of yoga and making sure you recall them for a pose can really help in correcting it for you, many times the help you need is more hands on and real-time! We have the answer for this.
We recently launched the Skill Yoga Movement Coach that recognizes the alignment of 17 joints in your body through your phone’s selfie camera and visually monitors your movements to give you real-time audio feedback on your yoga poses. We do this by combining AI and computer vision technology to evaluate and assess how you are doing a pose and then giving you feedback on correction, and then a final score for each pose.
This would also allow you to see progress over time till you have mastered the pose. The Skill Yoga Movement Coach just launched on iOS and is launching on Android soon! Download the Skill Yoga App and try the Beta version of The Movement Coach!
Keep at it!
Check out our earlier post on dos and donts on simpler poses here. Remember, practice makes perfect! It takes a while to correct a pose and make it perfect. That’s why we keep coming back to you with tips, tricks, and cues to help you improve your practice! These dos and don’t of Yoga are meant to help you perfect your alignment!
Practicing Yoga with the ideal alignment will also translate into your athletic training – it may improve your posture, the way you align your legs when lifting weights, or it may stop your shoulders riding too high automatically. Alignment may not sound like much but can be the key to your progress. Think these dos and donts would be interesting for a friend? Share them.
See you on the mat!