You practice yoga daily, but as with any physical activity, you wonder how to avoid yoga injuries. You already know yoga is one of the fastest growing fitness routines throughout the U.S., and its benefits include reduced anxiety, stress, and muscle tension, as well as improved flexibility, strength and confidence. You also know research has proved the positive benefits yoga has on involuntary body cycles including an improvement in heart rate, respiration and metabolism, and has been seen to help reduce pain. Your practice is filled with possibilities for a growth in inner peace and better health, but it is important to recognize the proper techniques involved in order avoid yoga injuries.
How does one avoid yoga injuries?
Here is a list of 5 tips to help you avoid injury and continue reaping the positive benefits of practicing yoga.
1. Understand the Angles
Yoga poses are made up of specific alignments and angles. It is important to recognize these angles and be aware of when your body is not aligned properly. If a pose is attempted at the wrong angle, stress will be placed in the incorrect area leading to possible injury. The more you focus on finding the proper alignment of your body, the more you will be able to avoid strain and injury.
2. Listen to Your Body
You know your body better than anyone else. Listen to it. There is no reason to push your body if it is screaming ‘No!’ Yoga is a process of improvement. Do not be afraid to modify the poses to best fit your state of strength and flexibility. As your body improves, the easier the transition into the full pose will be.
You should also remember that every day is different in yoga. No matter how advanced you are, your body will respond to your yoga practice differently every day. Again, listen to your body! You’re the only one who can prevent yoga injuries in yourself.
3. Ask Questions – Do Not Assume
If you are unsure about a pose or if it doesn’t feel quite right, do not assume you are doing it correctly and continue practicing it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That is what your instructor is there for. It will benefit you immensely to find out the proper way to perform the pose. Our private lessons are geared toward teaching proper techniques and angles before practicing them on your own.
4. Avoid Competition
Competition is a natural human response. If you’re practicing in a group session, focus on what you are doing and not on the fellow students. Every body is different. Comparing yourself to the person next to you is an easy way to push your body too far and cause an injury.
While focusing internally, pay attention to the voice in your head. Sometimes it is hard to recognize when you are being competitive with yourself. Encourage yourself and remember that yoga is about peace and is a different process for everyone.
5. Use Yoga Props
Do not be afraid to use yoga props. There are blocks, half-moon rollers, towels, etc. available for your benefit. These are tools to help you find the proper position without compromising. Our instructors will come to each session with these tools and will help you learn how to each properly.
Can the rising popularity of yoga be a cause for yoga injuries?
Here at Yogis On The Go, we love that yoga is becoming a mainstream way to exercise, but we also believe that the rising popularity of yoga can be a reason for yoga injuries. You can’t scroll through your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts without seeing several people in difficult yoga poses. You must take these tips to avoid yoga injuries seriously. Everyone’s practice is different, and just because one person posted a photo of themselves in an inverted yoga pose, does not mean they are doing the pose correctly.
All of our yogis are experienced and have a 200-hour (or higher) certification through Yoga Alliance, as well as devoted to teaching quality yoga. Whether you’re a newbie or a practiced yogi, we are here to help you walk through your yoga journey and avoid yoga injuries. Please contact us today about a personalized yoga session, or connect with us on Facebook.