Don’t know if you’re doing the pose correctly? You’re not alone! There’s so much to learn when starting out in Yoga and simple dos and donts for poses can make a huge difference! The biggest hurdles some of us face are all about alignment and leave us wondering ‘Am i doing it right?’

twisted lunge

Hi athlete! Today we take about alignment in Yoga and why it is important. Many times you will do a pose incorrectly. While shifting your knee a little or extending your arm directly over your head might sound like tiny little details, they can make a world of difference to your practice.

Yoga dos & donts for Beginners

There are so many cues that can help you make improvements to your practice by perfecting the way you do your favorite Yoga poses. Let’s go over the dos and donts for some of the important poses you will learn in Yoga!

Downward-facing Dog

Downdog do's and don'ts

✅ In a Downward-facing Dog always draw a straight line from your hips to your arms

✅ Keep your hands shoulder-distance apart and your feet hip-distance apart

✅ Do pull your shoulders blades back and actively lengthen your spine

❌ Don’t arch or round your back

❌ Don’t hyperextend your elbows

❌ Don’t tense your neck

High Plank

✅ In a high plank Keep a neutral spine and protracting shoulders 

✅ Make sure your core and glutes are engaged

✅ Keep your arms stacked in line with your shoulders 

❌ Don’t let your hips sag towards the ground

❌ Don’t arch your back. Rather keep your tailbone tucked

Plank do's and don'ts


High lunge do's and don'ts

✅ Reach through the arms and spread your fingers with palms facing each other

✅ Make sure to lengthen through the side body

✅ Pull your navel in and up and keep your ribs down

❌ Don’t reach back or elevate your shoulders 

❌ Don’t over-arch your back and keep a neutral spine

High Plank

✅ In weight-bearing poses like planks and down-dog, spread your fingers evenly to distribute your weight evenly

✅ Make sure you are pressing down on the base of each finger where it joins the palm to neutralize the weight

✅ Keep your arms stacked directly underneath your shoulders

❌ Don’t sink into your shoulders

❌ Don’t crouch your fingers together and put undue stress on the wrist

plank do's and don'ts

Upward-facing Dog

updog do's and don'ts

✅ In an Upward-facing Dog, make sure to stack your wrists exactly under your shoulders with your hands actively pressing down

✅ Draw your shoulder blades slightly towards each other for the correct frontal alignment

✅ Do lengthen your spine, torso and arms to feel a good stretch

❌ Don’t over-extend the spine

❌ Don’t compress your neck rather keep it relaxed and gaze forward

Yoga Squat

✅ In a Yoga Squat always keep your upper body straight

✅ Draw your shoulder blades slightly towards each other for the correct frontal alignment

✅ Do lengthen your spine, torso and arms to feel a good stretch

❌ Don’t round your upper body

❌ Don’t compress your neck rather keep it relaxed and gaze forward

squat do's and don'ts

Reverse Plank

reverse plank do's and don'ts

✅ In a Reverse Plank always keep your core, and legs engaged

✅ Always keep your elbows, shoulder and wrists aligned in a perfect line

✅ Do keep your frontal body open as this pose is a chest-opened

❌ Don’t sag your hips towards the floor or tense your neck

❌ Don’t dump your weight into your wrists, rather keep your shoulders lifting and drawn down


✅ In a Chaturanga keep your body, from your heels to your neck, in a straight line

✅ Do keep your palms stacked under your elbows in a 90° angle

✅ Do keep your core engaged and your head neutral

❌ Don’t lift your hips or sag them

❌ Don’t tense your neck or gaze forwards or upwards

❌ Don’t round your shoulder blades

Practice makes perfect

Nobody has the perfect alignment from the get-go and this is where these dos and don’t come in! As you get used to the cues and what they mean, you’ll start adjusting your own body even if you don’t hear the instructions every time. If you’re not sure how you’re doing, you can record your own practice for instant feedback. Nevertheless, the best feedback is the one your own body gives you when you achieve the correct alignment – you’ll feel the pose working, and you’ll feel like you can move better or go deeper than before. 

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!