Yoga is a great low impact form of exercise that is great for people of all ages. It’s also a good alternative for those with conditions that prevent them from engaging in intense activity. But with yoga’s recent rise in popularity, an increasing number of Americans every year are now reporting yoga related injuries. However, these injuries can often be avoided by taking the proper precautions and going in with the right attitude and preparation. Here are a few tips to keep your yoga practice as safe as possible.
Don’t Go Beyond Your Limits
Some people may be eager to progress and move on to more challenging poses, but trying to advance too fast without listening and respecting your body’s limits is a sure fire recipe for an injury.
Others may have a tendency to compare themselves with the people around them and might even have a sense of competition. But that goes against the core principles of yoga, and going in with this type of attitude will strip it of all of its meditative and stress-relieving properties. Remember, there will always be yogis out there that are more advanced than you and others that will be behind, so don’t push yourself too hard and focus on your personal progress first and foremost.
Consider Combining the Benefits of Yoga with Massage Therapy
Going for a massage session before or after yoga could have many benefits. You could book a massage therapy session before yoga so your body will be prepared for more challenging poses. A pre-workout massage will increase blood flow in your body and enhance muscle elasticity, which will reduce the chances for strains.
A post yoga massage session could supercharge your recovery by reducing the amount of lactic acid in your muscles. You could work with a massage therapist who’s knowledgeable about yoga poses so they’ll be able to give you the right type of massage depending on which poses you’re practicing at the moment.
Work with a Teacher Who Doesn’t Push You Too Hard
You have to find an instructor that will be conciliant and respect you no matter how advanced you are. While some teachers will try to challenge you, others will outright push you with no respect for your limits. You should be able to see during your first session which type of teacher you’re dealing with. If the teacher is too strict and pushy, then do the poses you feel comfortable with this time and start looking for somebody else once you’re done.
Speak with a Specialist First
If you had any injuries in the past, suffer from a condition, or had any kind of surgery, then it’s important that you speak with a doctor or physical therapist first. Once you have an idea of what is safe and what isn’t, you could work with a highly trained yoga teacher or a yoga therapist. They’ll be able to show you how to modify certain poses to reduce risks.
Yoga should be a fun and relaxing experience. Make sure that you always put your safety and wellbeing first and remember to listen to your body’s warning signs to make sure that you don’t push yourself to the point of injury.