Advice

5 Yoga Pitfalls to Avoid

Whether you’ve been practicing for years and are fluent in Sanskrit, or you barely know the difference between warrior I and II, there’s probably some unknowns in the yoga world that you took at face value or things that you might have forgotten about over the course of your yoga journey. I’m here to bring you back to reality and remind you that the beauty of yoga is that we are all different: different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, financial status, backgrounds, abilities. To remind you to use yoga to free yourself and be happy with the package you come in.

  1. You Must Break the Bank
    Let me preface this by stating that my legging collection is vast… and I mean overflowing out of my drawers, use one hand to press down and the other to push the drawer closed. BUT! Not all of your yoga pants need to be name brand or expensive. The recent popularity surge in the yoga/fitness industry has inspired clothing stores near and far to introduce a line of fitness inspired or “athleisure” clothing and thus convinced society that what you wear to sweat needs to be flashy, stylish, and expensive. I’ve paid anywhere from $3.99-$110 for a pair of leggings. There are plenty of brands that are cost-efficient and still work just fine. Read reviews online, ask your friends, take a gander in class if you’re questioning a new brand, and as long as it covers the hoo-hoos and ha-has, then what you’re wearing is fine! Don’t convince yourself that your practice is going to suffer if you’re not stylin’.
  2. Both Sides are Created Equal
    We as humans are blessed with two hands and two feet. Pros? We use those extremities to drive, shove a full drawer closed, ride ostriches, etc. The cons? We need to repeat the same flow on the other side too. It’s human nature to favor your dominant side and avoid the side that makes you feel like an awkward baby deer, but do it anyway! Over time, avoiding one side can lead to an imbalance and you don’t want to walk around in circles right? (Just kidding, it’s not that extreme.) Even if you have it down pat on both sides, you can still lose it if you pass up the bad side!
  3. Cool handstands = Cool Yogi
    Instagram, Facebook, social media in general has played a huge part in the spread of the yoga community globally. If your IG feed looks like mine, it’s flooded with bright, attractive pictures of awesome yogis doing inversions on beaches in Bali. The lighting is perfect, their outfit is on point, everything is in focus, and it’s free of background clutter. Sadly, real life sets in and your practice won’t be glamorous 100% of the time. Not to say you shouldn’t pop into pincha if you’re somewhere picturesque. But remind yourself that these pictures you see don’t dictate an actual day-to-day practice. Those fancy yogis have the same practice as you. Sweaty mess, yoga pants that have an unknown (maybe pizza?) stain, your dog just won’t leave you alone, and yes—their practice is complete with bobbles and falls. We’re all humble yogis in the end.
  4. Look Like the Picture at All Costs
    We see the pictures of that crazy pretzel pose and your mind nudges you and goes, “Dude, we can totally do that. Let’s try!” Remember that it’s important to warm up the right body parts for the pose and to refrain from sacrificing your form just to get that one picture. Maybe no one on Facebook knows that you shouldn’t be dumping into your wrists like you are, but your body knows. Oh, it knows. And it will punish you for hurting yourself just to take a picture. Warming up the body and moving into the pose at your own body’s pace will help your alignment in the asana and also enable you to hold it longer than the snap of your iPhone’s camera.
  5. Required Quality: Organic, Non-GMO Unicorn
    It might seem like to be a yogi you have to be a gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, anti-alcohol, pure ray of sunshine untouched by the processed horrors of the world, etc. But here at Bad Yogi, we know GD well that yogis come in all shapes and sizes. Don’t think you need to give up your faves just to fit into a certain stigma. I for one, looooooooove beef. Beef & broccoli, sirloin steak, a big ol’ burger with bacon & an egg on top… these are the light of my existence. But everyone’s body responds differently, and what you feed your body is your own choice. If you’re considering making a diet change, notice how your body responds to certain foods and include or cut out what doesn’t do well for your body, and of course; everything in moderation!

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5 Comments

  1. Katie

    Katie

    August 23, 2016 at 8:38 am

    FALSE. The unicorn is 100% required.

  2. Megan Reddix

    Megan Reddix

    August 24, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Thank you! I totally agree with everything you have to say. The importance of yoga is not how a pose looks, but how it feels in your (and ONLY your) body. The journey of practicing yoga is unique to each yogi. Love this!

  3. Avatar

    Karissa Hosek

    August 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    My legging drawer is the same way hahah I even stacked my jeans in my closet for more drawer space. I have an addiction and I love them all equally :/ great article, all solid points! Warming up is so so important, ive realized the majority of the inversions I want to attempt to do I can’t till I’ve done my practice for 30minutes or longer. Oh the risks we take sometimes for that epic photo haha

  4. Amanda

    Amanda

    August 27, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Great points! There are certain poses that, no matter how much we practice, aren’t going to look like the “ideal” that wins a magazine cover. And it’s okay! And I’m with you on the yoga clothes….really, any fitness wear….I’ve found great stuff at TJMaxx, Kohl’s, and randomly on sale at other places, and I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $30 for a pair of leggings. Not that I don’t LOVE some of the very gorgeous and very expensive ones, but I’m very happy with my little collection, and even happier that I’ve still got money left over. 🙂 That said, I don’t fault anyone who does buy the super-expensive ones. Feeling good in what you wear can be really powerful, and when you can look down at your leggings and love the color, design, feel, whatever, that’s fun and worth it.

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