Is Your Yoga Form Terrible? Find Out With Alignment Chart
Yoga is the perfect quarantine workout : it can be relaxing or physically punishing, and all you need to get started is your body and a reasonably soft surface. But as with any exercise, you don’t get much out of your yoga practice if you’re in bad shape – so before hitting a rug (or rug) for the first time in a long time (or ever), think about yourself. … …
You probably have a rough idea of what the pose should look like to the observer, but it is much more important to know how to get in and out of it correctly. This is called alignment in yoga and is not easy to master on your own – the best way to learn this is by asking the instructor to physically tune your body when you try to take a pose. With yoga classes canceled for the foreseeable future, Instagram might be your next best alignment tip.
Alignment charts exist for every yoga pose from the easiest to the most difficult and are very easy to find. I follow @inf flexibleyogis and @howtopracticeyoga on Instagram, both of which mostly repost content from individual yoga teachers, and I save the most important posts to come back to later. It may sound silly, but diagrams like the one below were much more helpful and inspiring to me than any tutorial video:
Full Disclosure: I’m not a yoga expert or a fan of video workouts, and I think that’s why I love these charts so much. (If you love videos, pretty much everyone I know strongly recommends yoga with Adriene on YouTube , especially for beginners.) The differences between the left and right sides of photography are immediately apparent to me in such a way that Aren’s oral or written instructions and they are better in my brain too. Ever since I learned that bending my knees is perfectly normal – and rather than bending my back forward to touch the floor – I’ve been getting a lot more out of my front bends. Also, who knew that the secret to standing back bends is to violently squeeze your glutes?
When I feel like I want to add a new pose to my very laid-back yoga routine before bed, alignment charts are my first stop. You don’t even need to go too deep into yoga instagram if you don’t want to; just google “align [pose]” and see what appears. Whether you have been practicing yoga for years or just a few days, this time has a lot to say if you heed the advice from the internet.