Think you got the yoga basics down pat? You might be guilty of these common mistakes. By Estelle Low
Photo: Hannah Mentz/Corbis
If you’re a regular yogi in a class of 30 and above, you’ll know that certain students – usually beginners – get more attention from instructors. A reminder to lift the knee caps, a tap on the back to make sure the tailbone is tucked, a gentle push to lean forward and stretch even more… But just because you don’t get corrected, it doesn’t mean that you’re doing the poses correctly.
After sitting through various yoga classes and workshops over a year, and considering myself a post-beginner, I found out this embarrassing truth: I haven’t been doing some poses properly. Yes, even the most basic downward facing dog.
Quick test: Do you lock the shoulders in cobra pose? Are your elbows flaring out when you lower into a chaturanga (low plank)? Do your fingers curl in a side plank? If you’ve answered “yes” to any, it’s time to fix these common boo-boos once and for all.
Photo: Aleksandr Davydov / 123RF.com
Downward facing dog (Adho mukha shvanasana)
Mistakes Rounding back, lifting head
Get it right Palms should be shoulder-width apart, and fingers spread wide, pressing firmly into mat. Keep index fingers parallel to each other. Press deep into mat with equal weight on both palms. As you push buttocks up towards ceiling, keep back straight and lower head so ears are in line with underarms. Straighten legs as much as possible and bring heels to mat.