You might think yoga is a particular practice and that there's no way you can get hurt, and unfortunately, the opposite is true. Without proper care and prevention, yoga injuries can be pretty common, and you can protect yourself by learning a few expert pointers.
#1 Listen to Your Body
Depending on your personality, yoga instructor, and classmates, it can be easy to get a bit competitive. Pushing your body too far on any day can quickly result in a painful injury.
Some days may be better than others. Your sleep, diet, and focus can affect your performance. If it's a day to push yourself, then great. If it's a day to hold back, then hold back.
#2 Choose a Skilled Yoga Instructor
Yoga is trendy, and 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 pretty skilled, and 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 demeanour. How do they handle beginner students? Additionally, review their credentials. How long have they been teaching, and where did they get their certification?
#3 Go Easy
Everyone starts yoga at the same place as a beginner. Allow yourself to be a beginner and ease into the practice. Finding the right instructor and yoga type for your needs and personality can take some time. 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 category and out of it, you're giving your body time to adapt and do what you request. That also means going into postures slowly and coming out of them slowly.
Finally, don't try to go to a yoga class once a week or once a month. Yoga Journal can help you keep track of your yoga process and check your weekly/monthly progress. The more time you give your body to learn the movements and become flexible and robust, the better your classes will be. And most importantly, you'll reduce your risk of injury. Yoga is terrific for your body, mind, and spirit. Take it easy on yourself and prevent injuries to enjoy your practice year-round.
Frequently asked questions
What are the health benefits of yoga?
Yoga is an age-old tradition that has been shown to have many health benefits. It increases physical activity, strengthens the body, and helps to improve balance and flexibility. Yoga may also help with high blood pressure, heart disease, back pain, depression, and stress.
Can I do yoga if I'm overweight?
You may have to modify the poses to suit your current fitness level and size, but that's fine. Almost every new yoga student has to make some modifications to the poses. Don't let your weight hold you back.
Do I have to be fit to do yoga?
No, with easy-to-follow instructions and modifications for all fitness levels, you'll be able to improve your flexibility and range of motion, making performing everyday activities easier. And because yoga is a spiritual practice as well as a physical one, you'll also find inner peace and calmness that comes from connecting with your body.
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