Yoga, as we all know comes with a myriad of benefits, both for the body and the mind.
The ancient science of life has proved again and again that it is one of the best practices for overall health and well-being. But like any other form of exercise, yoga if done incorrectly, can cause various injuries.
If not done the way it is meant to be, different parts of the body like the neck, wrists, shoulders, back, hamstrings, elbows and knees can sustain injuries from yoga.
Efficacy and safety are of utmost importance if you are delving into the practice of yoga. Only then can you reap the maximum benefits out of this age-old practice.
So here’s for your convenience 6 ways through which you can avoid injuries while performing yoga and bless yourself with its goodness.
Like any other form of physical exercise, yoga also requires you to warm up before you start your practice.
When the muscles of your body are warmed up, chances of injury occurrence lessen to a great extent.
It is important to keep in mind that some people may require more time to warm up (usually with age, the muscles need more time to arm up).
Thus always honor what your body requires and then, start with your yoga practice.
Focus on Your Asana
Focus or concentration holds a lot of importance if you really wish to reap the maximum amount of benefits from your practice.
It is natural for external thoughts to occupy your mind at times while performing yoga but you need to distance yourself from them and focus on the task at hand.
Breathe, feel the energy traversing to every part of the body and focus on your body.
Don’t push yourself too much and always transition from a pose slowly and gradually. This reduces chances of injury and also allows you to perfect the pose.
Listen to Your Body
With daily and dedicated practice of yoga, you’ll slowly start developing body awareness. Sounds confusing?
Well, according to the revered B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga helps to develop intense sensitivity in our body through which we are able to create a sense whether a specific part of our body is in alignment during a certain pose.
In other words, we become more bodily aware.
The idea is to put that sense into action and feel if performing a certain pose is hurting you or making you comfortable.
Though at times you may ignore certain indications that the body is trying to convey but that shouldn’t be something which you should do.
Pay attention to any discomfort or pain and release from that pose or try a variation of it to make it more comforting. This way you can stay away from injuries.
Gain Some Knowledge about Anatomy
If you are training in yoga class chances are that your yoga teacher will guide you on the anatomy of the human body.
It will help you understand how the different poses affect various parts of the body.
But if you practice on your own then study human anatomy to a certain extent so that you are aware of how things work, what may go wrong, etc.
This will allow you to be more conscious of your body. Also, you’ll know how a certain asana works on your different body parts.
Make Use of Props
Accept the fact that every individual is different in their own ways.
It may happen that in a class of 20, you are the one who is not able to complete a certain pose to perfection.
So what, that doesn’t make you any less than those around you practicing.
Take the help of props like belt, blocks, yoga wheels, etc. to complete the pose.
Do not ever fall into the trap of comparison.
That will only leave you feeling inferior to others or superior to others and that’s not the thing you would want in your yoga practice.
Do not feel reluctant to modify a certain pose for your comfort or if needed, even skip a specific pose that’s making you uncomfortable.
Take Advice from Your General Practitioner
If you suffer from any medical condition or have recently undergone surgery, talk to your GP.
Take advice from him whether it is safe to practice yoga or you need to give some time before starting with the practice.
This will be helpful in avoiding unnecessary injuries.
Remember that yoga is for all and even if you have to modify it according to your preferences, it doesn’t make you any less than the millions of people practicing it on a daily basis.
Love yourself and respect what you have.
Author Bio: Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveler in India. He provides Yoga Teacher Training In India. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.