We all have a unique body with a wide range of difference. Not just in terms of appearance but also in terms of capacity, sensitivity, stamina, level of energy etc. Some of us are most vulnerable to fall sick each time the weather changes. It might take you a week to recover from illness whereas someone else may take just 3 days. Some people are very health conscious but still struggle with something or another every now and then. While some are completely carefree towards health and seems to enjoy life more. Unfair! isn’t it?
Unfortunately, it is completely out of our control. But is it really? No matter how strong or fragile body you have, is it not your responsibility to keep it healthy? Our lifestyle, diet and thoughts play a significant role in determining the quality of our life. Practicing yoga teaches us to lead a healthy living. But everything comes with its pros and cons. Though that’s not the case with yoga. Yoga is perfect for its devotees but at times may raise some questions. That’s what we are focusing on today.
7 causes and prevention of yoga injuries
Yoga Injuries! Everyone who practices yoga must have heard or read about people getting injuries from yoga practice. Even though yoga is beyond just physical movements still it is a major part of it. And any activity that involves physical movements comes with the chances of injury. Pick up any sport, exercise or activity in which people never come across injury. So it is quite usual to get an injury from yoga as well. But! you would definitely not want to experience it ever. Nobody would. So let’s move towards the things one should keep in mind in order to never experience a yoga injury. Also including reasons that make injury happen at the first place.
Yogic warm up
The probability of an injury increases when you start right away. Practitioners of Astanga yoga practice advance form of Suryanamaskar as a warm-up. After reaching a specific level of yoga, you may begin your practice with Suryanamaskar. Everyone can easily practice it depending on their own level of strength and capacity. Even elderly people find it comfortable to practice Suryanamaskar. But if you find it confusing, you may begin with other yogic warm up as well. Yoga offers warm-up exercises for each part of the body for a safe practice.
Listen to your body
Enthusiasm is the major culprit behind the cause of yoga injury. Especially for beginners who wish to learn everything very fast. Sure advance poses inspire us to work hard with consistency. But most often people think they are giving their best without even knowing that they are overexerting. If you feel tired or sleepy after a yoga practice it is a clear indication that you are overdoing it. Yoga is supposed to make you feel energetic, not tired. So just simply listen to your body and it will let you know.
Alignment is important
Second most common reason behind injuries is the incorrect alignment in a pose. That’s why it is essential to learn yoga in the guidance of an instructor. It reduces the risk of yoga injury to a great extent. Once you learn you can simply continue at home. If you start at home you might never know your misalignment till you end up developing an injury. Sometimes the wrong alignment put the practice at a long pause due to the severity of the injury. Or may even scare you to never try again. The simple solution is to find a good instructor. That’s all!
Practice with care
Just knowing the right alignment is not enough. Moving to the set of more challenging yoga asana requires great care. Proper care has to be taken when learning inverted yoga posture. It takes years to gain flexibility, strength and especially balance in such poses. You will receive guidance from your teacher on how to handle your body if you fall. It is usual to fall when learning inverted yoga poses. Yoga masters often support the body of their students to help them learn and to prevent any injury.
Know when to stop
Whenever you feel even slight discomfort in a posture, simply return. Some poses might make you feel too stressed or weak in your body. It doesn’t mean you will not get to learn them rather it indicates that you have too stiff or weak body. Indulging in such practice may simply give you an injury. Talk to your teacher about more simple or preparatory poses. There is a wide range of preparatory poses that works very well for such people. It may take longer but your practice will be safe and satisfying.
You need to be completely calm and composed while you practice yoga. That’s what allows you to work at your natural pace. Being patient is the key to get the best when it comes to yoga. Never practice yoga in a hurry or beyond your capacity. Strength and flexibility take time to develop depending on your body. Some people learn fast while others don’t. You don’t need to stress about it. Yoga is no competition where you need to do better than others. Just go with the flow, that’s how you grow in yoga.
Learn to Relax Often
My first yoga teacher said that “every yoga practice is incomplete without relaxation“. Yoga emphasizes a lot on relaxation. After each pose, we are instructed to relax for a few breaths before moving to the next one. It allows the mind, body and breath to calm down and to regain strength. Practicing poses back to back is exhausting. And may as well put you at the risk of getting an injury. So give importance to relaxation at the end of each pose and yoga session to reap out optimum benefits.
Sravanthi Thumati, an internationally acclaimed yoga champion, and trainer, yoga coach, and a certified yoga therapist. Please follow her social profiles to get latest updates in yoga, health, fitness and lifestyle.