Yoga is a discipline that combines physical exercise with the practice of meditation. Although there are different modalities, in general, the practice of yoga requires flexibility and muscle tone that is difficult to have in the first sessions. It is important to know how to prevent common yoga injuries so that you can safely enjoy all the benefits it can bring you.
Especially if you start in this ancient method to achieve well-being, you should take into account some tips to avoid the most frequent injuries in yoga. Doing the different postures (asana) and movements that are carried out in each session, requires a certain flexibility that, sometimes, demands extra work from our muscles and joints.
Pain in the neck, in the lower back (lumbar), or in the shoulders and knees are common in the first yoga classes, but some basic rules can help you to ensure that the small normal discomforts after exercise do not give way to yoga-related injuries.
What should you do to avoid injuring yourself in your yoga sessions?
Mind and body work equally in a yoga class and especially in the former it is important to keep in mind the physical condition from which you start, so as not to demand more from your body than it can give.
Enjoy the discovery of yoga and follow these basic guidelines so that something that can provide you so much well-being does not turn into a problem in the form of physical discomfort or easily avoidable injuries.
1. Heat properly
On a physical level, yoga is not as “soft” as it might seem at first glance. You are not in a gym but, even so, your body needs a previous preparation to carry out the activity. You can’t expect to do the joint movements and twists that yoga involves without doing a good warm-up beforehand. As a preventive measure, stretching is essential to avoid injury in yoga.
2. Know your body
It is one of the dogmas of this discipline that always begins with the self-discovery of one’s own body. You are the one who best should know your degree of flexibility and your level of resistance and, if you do not know it, go little by little, so that at no time you demand more than you should.
3. Yoga doesn’t hurt
Be sure. If when working in a yoga posture, controlling your breathing and the position of each muscle, you notice intense pain, something is not right. You must stop doing that particular movement until you correct your posture. This is a basic measure to prevent any injury in the practice of yoga.
4. Progress slowly
The yoga can help you improve your athletic performance, yes, but the haste and eagerness to see immediate results are inconsistent with this discipline. Trying to move too fast, before your body is ready to climb a new step in yoga, is, in many cases, the cause of avoidable physical problems.
5. It is not a competition
A yoga session should only challenge yourself. Comparing yourself with other people who also practice it is a mistake that can lead you to force postures that, at the moment, you are not prepared to do. In a class, your teacher is the only guide to follow.
6. Strengthen your weak points
Many athletes find yoga the perfect complement to their workouts, but the opposite can also happen, that is, if you do yoga, a workout in the gym, with appropriate exercises, can help you prevent injuries in yoga. Exercises whose objective is to strengthen the core and increase the flexibility of your basic joints, such as those of the knee, wrists and elbows, can be your best allies when it comes to enjoying yoga while avoiding common injuries.
In short, the practice of yoga can cause hyperextension in certain areas of the body. Knowing your body and strengthening, with preventive exercises, those muscles and joints that need it most, will help you avoid any injury derived from this practice so beneficial for the body and the soul.