In recent years, yoga news and journalism have focused intensely on whether or not yoga can lead to physical injury. This passionate conversation about the safety of yoga has led to yoga blog pages that are now flooded with articles that provide information on how to align and protect your body during an asana practice, and how to prevent yoga injuries. While there are no promises in yoga or in life, there are additional steps – beyond postural changes – you can take to ensure safe yoga practice.
How to Practice Yoga Safely
Whether you are new to yoga, have a healthy state of health, or have been practicing for decades, it’s important to establish – and maintain – a solid foundation, taking care of your body, warming yourself up properly, avoiding red flags and helping to modify Props. For beginners and those working with physical limitations, figuring out where to start can be the hardest step. If you don’t know the jargon, figuring out which studio, class, and teacher is best for you can be difficult. You may not find the perfect yoga class or studio the first time, maybe not even the first time. That’s fine – be patient with yourself as you familiarize yourself with the yoga poses and terminology. If you pay attention and deepen your practice, you will discover what feels good and what doesn’t.
Safety Tips If you are new to yoga or have a health condition
- Talk to your doctor or physical therapist. If you have any health condition or are pregnant, discuss starting a new exercise program with your doctor or physical therapist. Some hospitals and clinics also offer courses. So, reach out to them for recommendations.
- Educate yourself. Visit the Yoga for Beginners and Yoga Therapy pages to learn which poses are contraindicated for your situation and which poses may be beneficial for you.
- Start slowly. It’s okay to slow down and stick to the basics. Look for gentle courses for beginners or beginners. You may also find courses tailored to your specific needs, such as: B. Yoga for osteoporosis, depression, hip pain, lower back pain, joint pain, etc. Avoid hot yoga classes and other types of yoga classes that use the words warm or vigorously in their descriptions.
- Talk to your yoga teacher. Let your teachers know if you have an injury or any health condition. Talk to them before the class, reminding them of possible injuries from time to time. That said …
- Do not rely on your yoga teacher to take care of you. Even the most fantastic teachers, who have studied extensively and offer you modifications during class, may not always remember this. It is up to you to listen to your body and do what is best for you. (See “Educate Yourself” above.)
- Modify with props. Props can help you learn proper alignment, develop strength and awareness, and experience asanas more deeply.
- Don’t compare yourself to the person on the yoga mat next to you or to your teacher. Also, do not compare yourself to yourself in previous practices or to your expectations of yourself. Remember that every moment is completely new and that your body feels completely different yesterday than it does today.
- Do not hurry. Where you are is perfect. Pushing yourself into tougher poses, classes, or styles before you’re really ready is an ego-driven recipe for disaster. Always be alert and pay attention to what your body needs. In order to…
- Remember, the pose is not the goal. If you don’t get there in this life, it doesn’t matter.
- Listen to your body and avoid red flags. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If you have any discomfort, get off the pose safely.
- To breathe. Breathing calms the body and mind. There are a variety of breathing styles available, but simply inhaling and exhaling through your nose can change your experience greatly.
Safety tips for those who have an established yoga practice
- Don’t skip the basics. Read the beginner safety tips above and make sure your ego does not allow you to skip these as you consider yourself “advanced”.
- Practice with a beginner’s mind. Take a beginner class if you haven’t done it in a while, or take a class in a different style than you usually do.
- Stay open to learning new pose exerciseseven if you’ve practiced for a while. (See “Practicing with a Beginner’s Mind” above.)
- But listen to what the teacher said Take care of your body and what you need. Do what they say, not what you think they mean. If it works for you, stick with it. If not, change it.
- Reevaluate your foundation. Have you taken short cuts, are you sloppy, lazy, or are you afraid to move on to “challenging” poses? Do you find yourself following your ego and applying too much pressure – even though you “know better”? Focus on your foundation and build strength from there.
What to do if you get hurt
Sometimes all good ideas and intentions fail and people get hurt. There is a lot to learn about yourself and your teacher in these circumstances. If you feel that you have hurt yourself, let your instructor know immediately. They won’t hurt their feelings, and even if they don’t know how to help or what happened, it will be good feedback for them and will help them improve their teaching. Examining your actions and thoughts just before the moment of your injury may give you clues as to where you may be weak or how much your ego was involved. After an injury, it is recommended that you take a break from yoga so your body can heal and you can slowly get back into practice.
How do you protect yourself in yoga? What did you learn from the experience when you were injured?