How to know when to come out of a yoga pose

How to know when to come out of a yoga pose

Ever find yourself in a yoga pose that felt more like a torture chamber?

Ever wondered when it was okay to come out?

Well, wonder no more!  Here are three signs that it’s time to come out of a yoga pose.

 

#1 Pain.

There are two kinds of pain.  There’s the kind of pain that feels like mild discomfort (an intense stretch, a slight ache), and there’s the kind of pain that feels like, “un-oh! I’m in trouble!”.

If you experience the “uh-oh” type of pain you’ll know it!  It will be obvious that you need to stop your practice. In this case you’ll want to carefully bring yourself out of the pose and take appropriate measures.  If the ‘uh-oh” wasn’t too bad, hugging your knees and resting for a bit may help put your body back into balance.  If the “uh-oh” is worse you may need to seek help from a medical professional. Of course the best plan is to avoid this kind of pain all together, and that’s where paying attention to discomfort comes in.

When practicing yoga poses you should feel comfortable, easy, and relaxed (it says so in one of the ancient texts on yoga). So as general rule yoga poses should not hurt.

Discomfort in your body, whether it’s mild pain, a really intense stretch, or something that feels slightly off (or wonky as I like to say) is a sign to pay attention. This would be a good time to bring yourself out of the pose, hug your knees, and rest for a bit. When you feel like things are back to ‘comfortable’ you can continue with your practice.

 

#2 Interrupted Breathing

When you practice yoga your breath should be smooth and uninterrupted (yup, that’s in the ancient yoga texts too). Use your breath as a way to monitor your practice.

If you find you’re short of breath, gasping for air, or your inhale and exhale are not smooth and flowing, this is a sign to pay attention.  Bring yourself out of your pose and allow your breath to return to a smooth, easy, flowing rhythm before returning to your practice. 

 

#3 Mind Chatter – What’s it saying?

Negative mind chatter is often identified as an enemy of the yoga state.  So, does that mean that everything your mind says is bad? Hmmm, let’s ponder …

It’s the job of your mind to gather information and then process that information to make an informed decision. So if you’re in a pose and your mind is blathering on saying things like, ” I hate this! I don’t want to be in this pose!” don’t just assume your mind is being negative.  ASK WHY.

Why don’t you want to be in this pose?  Are you in pain?  How’s your breathing? Are you relaxed? Are you tired? Would you rather be somewhere/anywhere else?

Sometimes negative mind chatter has a way of talking you out of doing the thing that is good for you. Sometimes the chatter may be trying to bring your awareness to something you’ve been ignoring. Which one is happening right now?

Acknowledge what your mind is trying to tell you and use that information to make an informed decision about whether you should stay in the pose.

 

Comfortable, Easy, Relaxed

Remember what I said earlier about being comfortable, easy and relaxed? If your body isn’t comfortable, your breath can’t be easy. If your breath isn’t easy, you can’t be relaxed.  You see how this all ties together?

 

If it doesn’t feel right … get the heck out!

The best way for you to know when it’s time to come out of a yoga pose is to listen to the information you are getting from your body, breath, mind, and intuition.  YOU know best.  So if it feels painful, wonky, or you’re just plain tired of doing it … it’s okay to come out of that yoga pose.

 

Have you ever found yourself in a pose that felt more like a torture chamber?  Tell me about it.