How to Prevent Yoga Injuries
Yoga can be an excellent exercise if you’re planning to lose weight. It also offers tons of health benefits. Aside from relaxing your mind, yoga can help lower your blood pressure, improve your blood circulation, strengthen your bones and joints.
Yoga also helps maintain and improve your balance, it helps keep your heart healthy and it helps you focus and the list goes on and on.
This is explains why so many people are interested to do yoga. Now for beginners, it is very important that you learn the basics and truly understand and practice the right execution of yoga poses.
When doing yoga, you are going to be using much of your bodyweight, which is why it is very important that you follow certain techniques and strategies to avoid getting hurt.
What You Need to Do
The following are ways to prevent you from getting yoga injuries.
If you are scheduled to do yoga, try to arrive early to class and take time to center yourself. Begin warming up your body to prepare for your workout.
Start by establishing a breath awareness. Find your rhythm and try to sync your breath with simple yoga poses such as the Pawanmuktasana series.
When you stretch do it slowly and try to feel the movements. When you stretch too fast you can strain and pull your muscles as it triggers your muscles’ protective reflexes.
Learn the principles of alignment
Many yoga styles like Iyengar Yoga give emphasis to musculoskeletal alignment. Think of your body as a tall building, what do you think would happen if the foundation is not strong or the footings are shaky? Therefore, it is important to learn how to ground yourself with a strong foundation.
In yoga, if your alignment is unstable, you risking yourself for injuries and not only that, you’ll also miss out on the benefits yoga has to offer.
Pay Attention to Your Breathing
Watch out for your breathing during yoga class because it actually tells a lot about your mental and physical state. Long and rhythmic breaths are ideal in yoga rather than shallow and erratic breaths.
Be observant and pay attention to your breathing. Adjust your exhalations and sync your breath to the movements.
Practice From the Inside Out
Majority of the human population are visual beings. Your instinct requires you to see before you believe. You are most likely never certain of something unless you look at other people, whether you look up to a teacher or the yoga student doing a downward dog next to your mat.
You should remember that something may look perfect on the outside but ultimately feels wrong on the inside.
Practicing yoga teaches you to deepen and refine your knowledge from the most complicated façade to the most subtle.
Don’t Be Afraid to Modify
If you are recovering from an injury or a surgery, do not hesitate to use props or modify the routines. Be sure to let your yoga instructor know beforehand if you have a condition that will affect your performance.
If you feel pain – if anything hurts or if your breaths are erratic – do not think twice about asking for assistance or you could simply ask your instructor for any tips on alleviating the pain during exercise.
Try Practicing Yoga At Home
For first timers, it is understandable if your alignment is unsure and sloppy. If you don’t rectify this early on these slopy moves will stick with you like a gum under your shoe.
So if you are still learning the art of yoga, we suggest you try to practice it at home especially if the yoga class you attended in is fast paced.
The best way to deal with this is to practice in the comforts of your home where you can focus on proper alignment and explore and refine different yoga movements.
If you feel compression or if you feel like you are holding back whenever you exercise or if you would like to try a new yoga movement, practicing at home makes you better in doing yoga.
Take A Step Back – Literally
Front-row yoga students in yoga classes usually learn more if they move further away from the front. It makes them internalize the moves and focus more.
Generally but not all, front-row yoga students have type A personalities. They are also called pitta-dominants. These are the people who are conscious about how they perform. They always think about competing and overdoing just so they can reach a certain goal.
But even if you do not have a type A personality, moving a few rows back makes you feel less self-conscious resulting to a more focused exercise.
Know Your Enemy
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” In yoga, your biggest enemy is you and your ego. Ego, in yoga does not mean pride but identifying yourself with a false personality, thoughts, desires and others. Know your intentions.
There’s no denying that a lot of people these days, regardless of age, gender or fitness level, are hooked to yoga. If you love doing yoga, it’s probably because of its numerous health benefits. But just like any other sport or exercise, possible risks and injuries that can happen.
A study conducted in Finland in 2008 found out that among the 300 yoga studios that were surveyed, there are 1.18% injuries for every 1,000 hours of practice.
Another survey in Australia found out that among the 2,500 yoga practitioners, 2.4% were injured due to the exercise over the course of one year.
Most of these injuries are serious but they are preventable. So if you don’t follow these techniques you might just end up hurting yourself and it defeats your purpose of doing yoga.
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