Yoga is a common practice that has become highly influential throughout the Western world. It has become hugely popular, with hundreds of classes running every day, and many self-teach materials available online.

While it can be easy to log on and find a lesson to do yourself at home, there are some basic dos and don’ts when it comes to yoga. These are largely aimed at ensuring you do not cause any injuries and enjoy your yoga practice. Below are ten of the most important dos and don’ts for anyone who is practicing yoga.

1. Don’t Overstretch Yourself Especially As A Beginner

Yoga is a form of physical exercise, and like with other forms of exercise, it is possible to get carried away and overdo it. This can potentially cause injuries, some of which might be serious. The sensible thing to do, for both beginners and those more experienced, is to listen to your body. The aches and pains you feel are your body telling you it’s had enough and it’s time to take a break.

2. Do Take Regular Breaks

Yoga can be physically exhausting, particularly for beginners. It is important for all who practice yoga to not rush through the positions, and take sufficient breaks when needed.

3. Don’t Eat A Large Meal Before A Yoga Session

As yoga involves physical exertion, a big meal before a session is not advised. Some of the poses involve bending and stretching muscles, including those in your abdomen. If you have a full stomach it will be incredibly uncomfortable to perform these sessions, and it could even make you ill. Instead, have a light meal or snack approximately two hours before the session begins.

4. Do Practice Yoga At Home

If you attend a class, it is important to practice yoga at home between sessions. Yoga is more than just a form of exercise and requires reflection in order to be successful. Practice the poses at home and you will soon become much more experienced.

5. Don’t Refuse Help From The Instructor

Although this largely applies to beginners, those who are more experienced will still need guidance throughout their practice. Yoga instructions are highly trained and competent so will advise you accordingly. If they are offering to show you a position or commenting on your stretches, it is because they are trying to help.

6. Do Stay Hydrated

It is important to stay hydrated every day anyway, regardless of whether yoga is practiced or not. However, when practicing yoga it is even more important to stay hydrated. Ensure you always have a bottle of water with you at every session.

7. Do Be Honest About Injuries Or Illnesses

There are certain parts of yoga that are unsuitable for those with certain injuries or illnesses, such as muscle strains. It is important you let your instructor know about any of these so they can adapt the practice as necessary to prevent any further injury.

8. Do Ensure You Remove All Distractions

Yoga involves meditation and reflection, which necessitates a quiet and calm environment. Yoga will never be completed successfully if there are distractions such as mobile phones, children, or the TV in the room. Remove all distractions so the only thoughts you have are about your yoga practice.

9. Do Wear Loose and Comfortable Clothes

It is important to be comfortable when practicing yoga, and loose fitting clothes are best. They will enable you to perform the positions without being restricted and should prevent you from overheating.

10. Don’t Disrupt Others

Yoga is an individual practice, and requires concentration and meditation. Do not disturb others in the class, as you will interrupt their peace and disrupt their yoga.