3 Practical Tips For Avoiding Yoga Injuries
The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.
Jason Crandell ‧ Natural power yoga, anatomical precision and mindfulness teacher
You might think yoga is a foolproof practice. That there’s no way you can get hurt. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Injuries can happen at any time, in any sport, or even walking down the sidewalk.
Without a bit of proper care and prevention, yoga injuries can be common. While most yoga injuries are not severe and go unreported, more serious issues can occur, including strains and sprains, fractures, dislocations, and, in rare cases, sciatic nerve damage and stroke.
As with any physical activity, the safest approach to yoga is to learn how to practice the poses correctly and stay in tune with your body to avoid overdoing it. That there’s no way you can get hurt. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Protect yourself by learning a few expert pointers.
#1. Listen To Your Body
Depending on your personality, your yoga instructor, and your classmates, it's easy to get a bit competitive. Pushing your body too far on any day can quickly result in a painful injury.
Understand that some days may be better days than others. Your sleep, diet, and focus can all affect your performance. Instead of thinking, 'I did this pose last week', or 'Joe is rocking this pose, I need to do better', listen to what your body is telling you. If it’s a day to push yourself, then great. If it’s a day to hold back, then hold back.
TIP: In yoga, pushing your body too far on any day can quickly result in a painful injury.
#2. Choose Skilled Yoga Instructor
Yoga is extraordinarily popular. There are classes in just about any community across the country. The vast growth of yoga means an increasing number of instructors. However, all instructors are not created equally. Some are quite skilled; others, not so much.
The unskilled or questionable instructors can cause injuries by pushing students too far or by positioning your body in a pose you’re not ready for. Pay attention to your instructor’s demeanor. How do they handle beginner students? Review their credentials. How long have they been teaching and where did they get their certification?
Simple and Easy
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#3. Go Easy
Everyone starts yoga in the same place as a beginner. Allow yourself to be a beginner and ease into the practice. It can take some time to find the right instructor and yoga type for your needs and personality. Allow yourself time to learn and your body time to adapt.
Additionally, give your body time to warm up and cool down before class. As you ease into each class, and out of it, you’re giving your body time to adapt and do what you request of it. That also means going into postures slowly and coming out of them slowly, too.
How To Avoid Yoga Injuries
TIP: Everyone starts yoga in the same place as a beginner. Allow yourself to be a beginner and ease into the practice.
The Bottom Line
Finally, don’t go to a yoga class once a week or once a month only. The more time you give your body to learn the movements and become flexible and strong, the better your classes will be.
And, most importantly, you’ll reduce your risk of injury. Yoga is wonderful for your body, mind, and spirit. Take it easy on yourself and prevent injuries so you can enjoy your practice year-round.
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