10 things to watch out for when you do yoga

Jul 15, 2014, 07:32 IST | Hassan M Kamal

Many types of yoga are practised in Mumbai, each promising quick results. But what they don't tell you is that not all routines might be suited for everyone. Hassan M Kamal invited yoga expert Dr Amrapali Patil to share mistakes we make while practising yoga

1. Yoga on autopilot: The essence of yoga is the union of mind and body. When done correctly, the yoga practitioner brings the wandering mind back on its track. So, don’t chat while doing yoga, don’t use your cell phone, and don’t stare out of the window. Instead focus your mind.


2. The factory yoga: Some people are flexible while others are stiff. If you belong to the latter group, ask your expert for appropriate modification of the asanas (yoga postures) to suit your body type. Don’t over-stretch to ape your nimble buddies or instructor, just because you’ve read about it and wish to emulate it to the T.

3. Unaware of the difference between pain and discomfort: Listen to your body so you can discern between pain and discomfort. As a simple rule, pain stays on while discomfort is for a short span. A little discomfort should not de-motivate you; however, if it pains, stop and release the asana slowly, and consult your expert or physician.

Dr Amrapali Patil
Dr Amrapali Patil

4. Push and rush: Don’t let your instructor push you too hard into a difficult and a risky posture. It might suit him/her while it might impact you in a different way.

5. Overzealous: Just because your yoga pal did 100 Suryanamaskars, doesn’t mean you do the same. Adjust according to your needs, else you may end up with spondylosis, slipped disc or even sciatica. Remember, it’s not a competition.

6. Consult a doctor before starting yoga: Certain asanas, like the head stand or Shirsasana, should be avoided by those with high blood pressure, spondylosis and migranous headaches as it can worsen the condition. Likewise, those with a medical condition should avoid asanas such as Sarvangasana and Halasana.

7. Breathing exercises (Pranayams): According to certain references, when some advanced Pranayams are done without following the required instructions, it results in impaired memory and in worst scenarios, even causes memory loss. Ask your yoga expert or consult your doctor.

8. Yoga on full stomach: Barring a few asanas like Vajrasana, which aids in digestion, yoga should be avoided on full stomach. Certain asanas like Paschimottasana or Halasana increase abdominal pressure and cause retching and acid reflux in susceptible individuals.

9. Escape the basics: Enroll for a beginner’s class before joining advanced sessions. Knowing the basics will help your posture during practise.

10. Self-reliance on advance asanas: Never do any of the advance procedures without expert supervision. Some like Jalaneti may lead to aspiration pneumonia or even damage the nasal septum. Practise these under supervision before you master it completely.

Information courtesy: Dr Amrapali Patil, weight management expert, yoga expert and founder of Trim N Tone

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