Yoga is meant to be super relaxing and good for people of all fitness levels – and it is. But there are some moves that are so complex and advanced that most folks are better off steering clear.
Putting excess pressure on bad knees, trusting balance that hasn’t developed yet, or attempting to bend yourself into a pretzel on your first day are all yoga moves to be avoided. But we don’t want to discourage you from doing yoga entirely, as the practice has many health benefits including increased flexibility and a calmer mind.
The following are seven yoga poses you should never do as a beginner.
1. Uttanasana – Standing Forward Bend
What could be wrong with touching your toes? Every school student does this in gym class all the time. And the pose is good for loosening up your hips, calves, and hamstrings.
This is a deceptively simple move, but actually causes a large percentage of known yoga injuries. Forcing yourself to touch your toes without bending your knees can be very damaging to the back. It may also tear those muscles that you intended to stretch.
If you can comfortably complete this move, feel free to do so. But if not, bend your knees as you do it or use a foam block on the floor to stop the stretch before you overextend.