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6 Yoga Poses You Might Be Doing Wrong

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Yoga is enjoyed by people of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels, and can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, Since a majority of yoga is done at home using videos and tutorials, however, getting a few fundamentals wrong is a pretty common occurrence. This is especially true for beginners who may not yet be familiar with the lingo that often accompanies yoga instruction. Words and phrases such as “pranayama” and “fire breathing” aren’t especially helpful for those just starting out, and may result in improper breath control or form. Below are six common beginner yoga poses commonly done wrong, as well as some tips on how to improve your form. Enjoy!

6. Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

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The forward fold position is great for stretching and opening up the backs of the legs and decompressing the spine, but done incorrectly, this pose could lead to discomfort and even injury, not to mention a lot of frustration. When getting into the forward fold pose, always make sure to keep your spine straight, which is much more important than having your legs straight. Beginners should stand with the feet hip-width apart, and allow the knees to bend, if necessary. More intermediate and advanced students should have the feet touching. The knees should never be locked, even once you’ve gotten to the point where your legs are fully straightened.

5. Warrior One (Virabhadrasana 1)

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Commonly following downward-facing dog, the Warrior one pose can be deceptively difficult to do properly, especially if you’re learning from a video or tutorial. When in the Warrior one position, the heel of your back foot should line up with the arch of your front foot. Your hips should face forward, not to the side, and your tailbone should be drawn down and ribs pulled inward. Make sure your back foot is at a 45 degree angle (not 90 degrees).

4. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

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This pose is great for opening up the whole body and often precedes the Warrior One pose. Many beginners attempt Downward-Facing Dog by locking the knees and forcing the heels onto the floor – a much more advanced version of the pose – and end up in a more boxy position. Like the Forward Fold, the straightness of the spine is much  more important than keeping your knees from bending or your heels on the floor. The hips should be lifted back and up, as though you’re being pulled upward by the hips. Over time, your calves and hamstrings will begin to loosen, allowing you to achieve the pose with straight legs and heels flat on the floor.

Marissa is a talented writer and journalist with a strong background in covering physical and mental health issues. Find Marissa on LinkedIn!

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