Are you starting to practice yoga this year? Avoid these mistakes as a beginner

Heather Larson
2 min readJan 6, 2023


Are you starting to practice #yoga this year? Avoid these mistakes as a beginner:

  • Confusing it with “exercise”
  • Only moving through ONE plane
  • Comparison
  • NOT doing modifications

You’ll save yourself so many headaches.

So you’re starting a yoga practice! Congrats 🎉

Whether you’re practicing at home or in a class, here are a few mistakes to avoid as you get started.

1) Yoga isn’t a workout 🏋️‍♀️

Yoga is a multi-layered spiritual practice with benefits that go beyond the physical. Yes, you’ll sweat and breathe heavily at times. But “getting a workout” isn’t the point of yoga and seeing it that way will rob you of a richer experience.

2) I wish I’d learned about the planes of movement before I was in yoga teacher training and 25 years of practice had gone by!

You have three planes of movement:

• Sagittal (longitudinal)

• Coronal (frontal)

• Transverse (axial)

You need to mix it up. I had favored my sagittal plane with my favorite forward bends for years. Not one yoga teacher had ever explained the planes of movement to me.

A yoga practice needs to incorporate movement along each plane.

3) Don’t compare yourself to the person next to you.

We’re not just competitive. Yoga newbies can get lost in a large class. When this happens, some look at what the person next to them is doing and try to copy that.

Don’t do that! Your body is different!

Any given day can be different when practicing yoga. Just because you were able to do a forward bend with ease yesterday doesn’t mean you will be able to do the same today.

You don’t want to compare who you are on the mat today to who you were on the mat yesterday.

This brings me to my next point.

4) Modifications are your friend.

Ask your teacher for a prop when you can’t do something. Let your yoga teacher know if you’ve had shoulder surgery. There are some poses you may have to sit out for your safety. Others can be modified.

I have scoliosis.

I spent much of 2021 making sure I didn’t twist my hips. My doctor told me not to while I healed a tailbone injury.

Listen to your physicians & your body. Then, ask your yoga teacher for pose modifications.

I hope these tips help you get the most out of your yoga practice.

If this helped, go ahead and retweet that first tweet and throw me a follow 🤝

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Heather Larson

Hi 👋 I’m Heather Larson! I’m data-driven content writer coming from traditional media. I’m a veteran broadcaster, radio personality, and journalist.