With the gazillion workout fads nowadays, it could be very hard to decide which one to follow. One thing is for sure, you wouldn’t want to break your bones with those heavy dumbbells or overwhelm yourself with the mind-boggling equipment in the gym.

Are you the type that likes to reach your head with your feet or to stand on your forearms? Then you must be a yogi!  A yogi is a practitioner of yoga – someone who wants to work out in tranquility and focus on the movements of the body. Yoga can help you become healthy and happy. However, these focus and tranquility can sometimes be compromised because of some incorrect practices.

Here are some common mistakes yogis make that you should avoid:

Wanting to be perfect.

Come on! No one is perfect, so why would you want to be one?  Yoga is supposed to help you with your flexibility, strength, and mental health. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you cannot touch the back of your head with your toes just yet. That requires a lot of practice and stretching of the muscles that were hardened by years of sedentary living. Take it slowly; that’s what yoga is for. Patience is your best friend, and in time, you will be able to reach your head with your toes!

Forgetting to breathe.

Remember, breathing is essential for living. Yoga should improve our cardio and respiratory functions. If you’re turning blue while you do your yoga poses, then it defeats the purpose. Stop! That’s not yoga anymore. That’s a death-defying act of magicians trying to get out of a glass box.

Comparing yourself with other yogis.

We all have different learning curves, body structures, muscle flexibility, and even willpower and mind control. You cannot say that a certain yogi is better because she is able to do a lotus position on day one while you have been trying for a month already but still can’t get that foot on the right place. You need to consider that other people may already be flexible and athletic before getting into yoga while you were wrestling with your wobbly laundry machine at home.  Take your time. One day you will see that lotus grow before your very eyes.

Overdoing yoga poses.

Alright, so you can do the Dhanurasana. Great job!  However, don’t push it further by reaching for your knees and hurting your spinal cord. You can do all other poses as they are supposed to be done and not break your bones by proving you can do better. Take yoga one day at a time.

Not wearing proper yoga apparel.

Let’s put it simply. You wouldn’t want your private parts getting exposed while you do your handstand or your Chakrasana poses, do you? You will be more comfortable doing any pose if you are confident that no unwanted parts will be popping out of your shirt or shorts.

Not using the right yoga props.

One purpose of yoga is to quiet the mind, not break your head. A yoga mat may seem insignificant, but it can be a lifesaver. Imagine getting all sweaty and you try to do a handstand. Your hands may slip and you fall right on the top of your head. Ouch! Always go for reliable yoga mats, and here’s a top yoga mats list for you.

Getting tired of yoga.

Anything can be boring if you are not really interested in it. Make sure that if you commit yourself to one thing, you should love it and that you would really enjoy doing it. One thing that makes yoga boring is if you are not exploring your capabilities. Try and see if you can do other techniques that will benefit other areas of your well-being.  You don’t have to stick to what your teacher tells you to do. There are a lot of references and you can do a lot of research online for other benefits of yoga and how to do them.

Taking your boyfriend/girlfriend to class.

Yes, that can be fun and couples can benefit immensely from doing things together. It can be a great relationship builder and a cool way to bond. However, if you are limiting your movements just because your boyfriend is watching you and you get all giddy and blush all over, then it may not be a good idea to do yoga together. You will not have the focus that you need. Unless you really are very comfortable with each other already, then I suggest you take your classes on your own or separately first and maximize the benefits that yoga can do for you.

Going to advanced classes.

If you feel that you have mastered the beginner level, by all means, proceed to the advanced level. However, if you’re a beginner and have done the poses once or twice only, please give yourself a favor and give it a hundred more times before you proceed to the next level. You will not be able to master anything by skipping steps. Again, patience is your best friend here. In the end, you will learn that not only have you improved your physical health and well-being, but you have also developed a great deal of patience.

Avoid doing these common mistakes and you will surely enjoy your yoga journey. For all of you yogis out there rocking it, you are beautiful!