If you’ve just started out on your yoga journey or are considering picking up a mat for the first time, then there are some important mistakes to avoid. By being wary of these, you can avoid injury and maintain the motivation to reach your yoga goals!


Many of these common mistakes made by beginners come from a lack of knowledge, so we’re here to help. With the expertise of two yoga instructors, we explain the five most common mistakes that beginners make and how you can avoid them.

Keeping these in mind will give you peace of mind, keep your body safe, and allow for more time to be spent stretching on your mat.

Our yoga experts

Eloise Skinner and Laura Seddon
Our yoga experts, Eloise Skinner and Laura Seddon

To help beginners stay safe, avoid injury, and progress effectively, we’ve got the help of two experts. They both have years of experience guiding new yogis through ancient practice, so they know what mistakes are best to look out for.

Our first expert is author and yoga teacher Eloise Skinner. Eloise has a breadth of experience teaching yoga and expertise in pilates, ballet, meditation, and mindfulness. As well as being a successful yoga teacher Eloise has given a TEDx Talk and spoken publicly on multiple occasions about yoga, meaning, purpose, and well-being.

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Our second expert is Laura Seddon, who is one of the four founders of Udaya Wellness. She helps the team weave together the divine energies of yoga, spirituality and holistic wellness to create a sacred space for self-exploration and transformation. Laura is a seasoned yoga teacher and mindfulness expert who guides yogis on an inward journey through her classes.

Five common yoga mistakes (and how to avoid them)

An attractive young woman and man doing yoga in green forest.

When starting out with yoga, it's best to take your time and make sure you get to grips with the basics. Over the years, our experts have seen lots of common mistakes people make when starting their yoga journey. By avoiding these, you can maintain your fitness and motivation to continue performing while preventing injury. Here are some common mistakes beginners should try to avoid:

  1. Not warm-up and cooling-down: This is vital for all levels of yogis but should especially be kept in mind when starting out. Warm-up exercises help prepare your body for the physical demands of yoga, while cool-down poses help gently stretch and relax your muscles. Avoiding these can lead to soreness, stiffness, or injury.
  2. Overstretching: Pushing your body beyond its limits can lead to overstretching. If you start practising yoga too often or try poses you are not yet flexible enough for, it can lead to muscle strains, ligament sprains, and joint instability. It can also cause micro-tears in tissues, increasing the risk of injury. Listening to your body, respecting its boundaries, and gradually increasing flexibility are crucial.
  3. Pushing too hard: Beginners are often drawn to impressive and challenging yoga poses they see on social media or in magazines. However, attempting advanced poses without a solid foundation can be risky. It's crucial to start with foundational poses, focus on proper technique, and gradually progress to more advanced variations.
  4. Lack of consistency: Consistency is key in any practice, including yoga. Beginners sometimes start with enthusiasm but need to maintain a regular routine. Yoga's benefits come with time, so you must be consistent to experience the positive effects on both the body and mind.
  5. Holding the breath: Holding your breath or shallow breathing is a common mistake beginners make when doing poses. It's important to focus on steady, deep breaths throughout the practice. Deep breathing promotes relaxation, oxygenates the body, and helps to stabilise and balance you.

If you want to learn more about yoga and read expert-led guides and reviews, then head to The Recommended's fitness section exercise. Here you can read about the best yoga poses for beginners, the best yoga poses for flexibility, yoga mats, and the best fitness gifts for exercise enthusiasts.


Finn ByrneEcommerce Writer

Finn Byrne is a Digital Writer for Immediate Media. He works across several brands including The Recommended, RadioTimes.com, MadeforMums and BBC Gardeners’ World. Finn has previously written for publications including MyLondon, The Mirror, The Express, and The Star. When not writing Finn enjoys spending time on the football pitch and getting stuck into a book.