Yoga can have some amazing benefits for both your body and mind, and it can be adapted to almost any form or limitation. Despite all these benefits, yoga requires some very unique mindsets and can also be very intensive for both your body and your mind. This is why for some people and in some situations, yoga may not be a good or appropriate choice of exercise. Here we will explore some reasons why you shouldn’t be doing yoga, and give some suggestions about what you should be doing instead.
When you’re sick
When you have a cold or the flu then listen to your body. Although yoga can be performed at this time, it is a practice that is meant to teach you how to listen to your body and give it what it needs. If it needs to be in bed with a heat pack and tissues, then that is what you should give it.
If you’re injured
This can be a tricky one. Any injury or long term issue with your body should be assessed by the appropriate medical personnel to ensure that you are getting the treatment you need and are avoiding things that could make it worse. If you have some kind of injury, whatever the cause might be, do not try to soldier through it. You’re more likely to cause more damage that way.
If you have a full stomach
Upside down or twisting poses and a very full stomach do not mix well at all. It can be difficult, making sure that you leave a few hours after a big or small meal before doing yoga, but there is a good reason for this. Nobody wants to throw up in the middle of a workout.
Because you want to show off
There are mental and emotional reasons that make yoga a bad exercise choice as well. First and foremost, yoga is not a competitive sport. Whether you want to show off your body in tight clothes, or if you want to show everyone how flexible you are, this is not a good reason to go to class. It won’t inspire you long term, it negates the whole point of yoga, and it can create an uncomfortable atmosphere that may affect others in your class.
Everyone’s doing it
Yoga is trendy these days. Celebrities do it and rave about the benefits and there are countless pictures online showing impossibly fit people twisting themselves into postures. This may be good for encouraging lots of people to try yoga, but if they move forward with this motivation then they’ll stop once the next fitness craze comes around. Yoga has many benefits, find another motivation to drive your practice forward.
To look like those online yogis
Most of the pictures of online yoga practitioners show people who are slender, graceful, and impossibly flexible, with muscles everywhere. This can make it seem as though yoga will be the answer to all your fitness prayers. That probably isn’t the case. Everyone’s body is different, it has different capabilities and different shapes and will respond differently to yoga. If you just want to use yoga to shame or punish yourself then you are missing the point.
Whether the reasons are mental, emotional or physical, yoga isn’t for everyone. Injury or illness, or even the wrong motivation or mindset, can make this healing practice into something that can cause mental or physical damage. Think carefully about your motivations before you start yoga, it can be the key to opening up the true benefits of this healing form of exercise.