Yoga Injuries – How to Prevent Them?
Yoga can be practiced by people of all age groups and its benefits are many. A lot of yoga enthusiasts start practicing yoga in order to benefit from it. But in most cases, there is no supervision or proper guidance. This can lead to yoga injuries. These injuries can be sustained when people start practicing yoga based on what they have heard or seen. Some techniques are simple and safe but others are complex and need expert guidance.
According to experts, there are three major factors attributed to the steady rise of yoga injuries. They are:
- Increasing popularity of yoga and greater participation
- Inexperienced or poorly trained instructors teaching yoga
- People overdoing yoga and over-exerting themselves
Tips to Prevent Yoga Injuries
1. Find an Experienced and Qualified Instructor: This is one of the most important tips. Before joining a class or yoga session, you should verify the credentials of the yoga instructor. Check for registration certificates. Most of the experienced and trained yoga instructors are registered with an organization or yoga school.
Yoga is completely safe and easy to practice. But you should only start practicing it under experienced and qualified instructors.
2. Progress slowly: You should start from the basics and master each technique or pose. Some people rush into it in order to master as many techniques as possible in a short span of time. Don’t push yourself too much. Trained instructors would be able to understand and judge your progress.
3. Don’t compete: When you join a yoga class, it is normal to keep up with the rest of the participants. If you are a slow learner, it might be difficult for you to keep up with the rest. Unintentionally, you would start pushing yourself to keep up with the rest and this could give rise to yoga injuries. Do not compete with the others. Instead, focus on your breathing.
4. Set Personal Goals: You should set goals for yourself. Every person is different and so are their bodies. Depending on your rate of progress and ease, set small and specific goals. Once you achieve them, move on to the next level. Remember that you have chosen to enroll in the yoga class for your health and fitness. So do it for yourself and not for others.
5. Listen to Yourself and Your Body: Whenever you feel pain, it means that your body is sending out a signal saying something is wrong. Listen to it and don’t overwork yourself. Most people ignore it and this leads to injuries while practicing yoga. Once you start practicing, you would be comfortable doing the different poses and techniques over a period of time.
6. Don’t Feel Shy to Ask Questions: If you are confused or hesitant about performing a particular yoga pose, tell your instructor about it. If you have any questions about it, ask and discuss about it. If you are suffering from back ache or any other problem, don’t feel shy to share it with your instructor. You wouldn’t be left out of the class by doing so. Instead, you would be asked to do another set of suitable poses.
More Tips to Prevent Yoga Injuries
Following are some more tips that can help you avoid yoga injuries:
- Start with Warm Up: Experts suggest that you may want to start yoga with less strenuous poses for each of your body parts. Warm-up can prepare your body for deeper yoga poses by promoting blood circulation to the muscles and by lubricating your joints. This can help in reducing muscle and joint stiffness.
- Avoid Taking Risk:If you have any particular injury or disease, you may want to inform your yoga instructor about it. For example, if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, you may want to avoid putting stress on your wrists. Your instructor may recommend poses keeping your problem in mind.
- Correct Body Alignment: Correct body alignment can help in minimizing tension from the ligaments and muscles so that they are strengthened equally on both sides. This may help in maintaining the right balance.
- Right Focus: It is suggested that while practising any yoga pose, you may want to focus your attention on your breathing and body. You can listen for any subtle changes in your body and can ask your instructor to modify the pose to suit you.
- Use of Props: Use of yoga props such as blankets, straps, blocks, etc may help in correcting spinal alignment, reducing joint stress, etc.
Now that you know about yoga injuries and ways to prevent them, stay safe and ensure that you take classes from a trained and qualified yoga instructor.