We do yoga to improve our posture, become fitter, and find inner peace. But, what happens when the poses that are meant to benefit us actually start harming us? This is exactly what happens when we perform yoga poses without being mindful of what we’re doing and how we’re doing them.
Yoga poses and common mistakes
Here is a list of 5 common poses, with the mistakes we routinely commit and how to correct them:
Crescent Lunge pose
Mistake: Faulty feet alignment, sunken lower back, forward-tilting pelvis, and widely spread legs.
If you’re not careful, you may risk stretching your legs and arms too much and may strain your muscles in the process. Additionally, a wrong crescent lunge won’t work the areas of the body it’s meant to.
Correction: Place the heel over the ball of the foot and tightly squeeze your thighs. Round the back knee of the backward-stretched leg, to ensure you aren’t overextending your leg. Lift the pelvic muscles and keep maintain a neutral spine pose (where the skull and the rib cage are aligned). Legs should only be hip-width apart.
Mistake: Hands placed too far out, collapsed shoulder, dropped elbows, pinched wrists, and pushed-out buttocks.
A wrong chaturanga can impact your lower back, shoulders, and chest muscles. Severe pain and muscle cramps may occur.
Correction: Align your wrists with your elbows and don’t drop the shoulders when lowering. Engage the pelvis, legs, hips, and buttocks while in the pose and maintain the flat alignment of the body.
Mistake: Open hips, weirdly-pulled leg, locked knee, and twisted grip.
These mistakes can damage your knee muscles and result in severe knee pain. The funky grip you use may also lead to shoulder injuries and chronic pain.
Correction: Soften your standing leg by bending the knee, square your hips, roll back your shoulders and relax. Lift your leg slowly and hold it with your palm facing out.
Mistake: Crunching your neck, rounding your spine, collapsing your upper body forward, and stooping your shoulders.
When you make a mistake in this pose, you add a lot of pressure on the sensitive areas of the body, such as the spinal cord and the neck. This can lead to severe back and neck pain.
Correction: Straighten your middle and upper back and don’t bend forward. Don’t rest your elbows on your chest, roll your shoulders back and stand up straighter.
Mistake: Splayed elbows, hyper-extending neck, rounded back, and low-to-the-floor body.
The crow pose is extremely risky (as body control is restricted to the wrists and shoulders) and can lead to severe accidents and injuries if you’re not careful.
Correction: Keep feet together, angle the hips high, hug your elbows close to the body and align wrists with elbows. Engage your core when lifting and elongate your neck.
Tips to maintain the perfect posture and alignment in Yogasana
- Be aware of each movement and breath
- Take a look at videos or pictures of the pose before trying it out
- Practice standing in the neutral spine pose
- Reduce your weight to improve balance
- Relax your muscles and don’t hold your breath when in the pose
- Use the same sequence you used to get into the pose, but in reverse, when coming out of the pose