In recent years, yoga news and journalism have largely focused on whether yoga can lead to physical injury. This passionate conversation about yoga safety led to yoga blogging sites that are now inundated with articles with information on how to align and protect your body during asana practice and how to prevent injury. yoga. While there are no promises in yoga or in life, there are additional steps - beyond posture modifications - that you can take to ensure a safe yoga practice.
How to practice yoga safely
Whether you are new to yoga, have a medical condition, or have been practicing for decades, it is important to establish and maintain a good base, pay attention to your body, warm up properly, avoid red flags and modify with props. For beginners and those working with physical limitations, figuring out where to start can be the most difficult step. If you don't know the lingo, it can be difficult to determine which studio, class, and teacher is right for you. You might not find the perfect yoga class or the perfect yoga studio the first time, maybe not even the first time. That's okay - be patient with yourself as you familiarize yourself with yoga poses and terminology. As you pay attention and deepen your practice, you will begin to notice what feels good and what doesn't.
Safety tips for starting yoga or having a health problem
- Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist. If you have a health problem or are pregnant, discuss starting any new exercise program with your doctor or physiotherapist. Some hospitals and health clinics also offer classes, so call them for recommendations.
- Inquire. Visit the Yoga for beginners and Yoga therapy and find out which poses are contraindicated for your situation and which poses might benefit you.
- Start slowly. It's okay to slow down and stick to the basics. Look for gentle, level one, beginner or back care classes. You can also find classes tailored to your specific needs, such as yoga for osteoporosis, depression, hip pain, low back pain, joint pain, and more. Avoid hot yoga classes and other types of yoga classes that use the words hot or vigorous in their descriptions.
- Talk to your yoga teacher. Let your teacher (s) know if you have an injury or health problem. Talk to them before class and remind them from time to time injuries that may be in progress. That said…
- Don't rely on your yoga instructor to take care of you. Even the most fantastic teachers who have studied a lot and offer you modifications during class might not always remember this. It's up to you to listen to your body and do what's best for you. (See "Get More Info" above.)
- Modify with accessories. Accessories can help you learn the proper alignment, develop strength and awareness, and experience the asanas more deeply.
- Don't compare yourself to the person on the yoga mat next to you or to your teacher. Also, don't compare yourself to yourself in past practices or your expectations of yourself. Remember that each moment is completely new, and what your body felt yesterday may be completely different from what your body feels today.
- Do not rush. Where you are is perfect. Pushing yourself into more challenging poses, classes, or styles before you're really ready is an ego-driven recipe for disaster. Always pay attention and pay attention to what your body needs. With that…
- Remember that posing is not the point. If you can't do it in this lifetime, it doesn't matter.
- Listen to your body and avoid the red flags. If that doesn't suit you, don't. If you feel any discomfort, exit the pose safely.
- Breathe. Breathing helps calm the body and mind. There are a variety of breathing styles, but just inhaling and exhaling through your nose can make a big change in your experience.
Safety tips for those with an established yoga practice
- Don't skip the basics. Go over the beginner safety tips above and make sure that your ego doesn't allow you to ignore them because you consider yourself to be "advanced."
- Practice with a beginner's mind. Take a beginner's class if you haven't done it for a while, or take a class in a different style than you usually do.
- Stay open to learning new ways to practice the poses, even if you've been practicing for a while. (See “practice with a beginner's mind” above.)
- Listen to the words of the teacher but Pay attention to your body and what you need. Do what they say, not what you think they mean. If it works for you, stick with it. If not, change it.
- Reassess your foundation. Did you take shortcuts, become sloppy, lazy, or anxious to switch to “hard” poses? Do you find yourself following your ego and pushing too hard - even though you "know better?" Focus on your foundations and build your strength from there.
What to do if you hurt yourself
Sometimes all good ideas and intentions fail, and people get hurt. You can learn a lot about yourself and your teacher under these circumstances. If you feel injured, notify your instructor immediately. You won't hurt their feelings, and even if they don't know how to help them or what has happened, it is good feedback for them and will help them improve their teaching. Examining your actions and thoughts just prior to the time you were hurt can offer clues as to where you might be weak or your ego's involvement. After an injury, it is recommended that you take a break from yoga to allow your body to heal and slowly facilitate your return to practice.
How do you protect yourself during yoga? If you were injured, what did you learn from the experience?
Everyone seems to be a yogi these days, from your BFF to your co-worker to your aunt—heck, even dogs and goats are getting their zen on. But if you have yet to attempt Warrior II or Mountain Pose, taking your first yoga class can be a little intimidating. What if your hands sweat and you fall off the mat ? What if you hate it ? What if you can’t do a single. damn. pose ?
Okay, rewind a second—there’s a reason so many people have hopped on a mat over the past few years. ' Yoga is a non-judgmental practice, ' says Claire Ewing, certified yoga instructor and studio marketing manager for CorePower Yoga. It’s is a totally accessible way to unwind and break a sweat, so there’s nothing to worry about before checking out a chic.
But to help you feel a little more comfortable before you say your first ' om ' or ' namaste, ' Ewing has some yoga tips to answer all those questions floating around your head.
When in doubt, Ewing says opt for a vinyasa flow class, ' where you have the opportunity to explore the postures and fundamental principles of yoga. ' These are the genres of classes most of your friends probably do, and it’s a great form of yoga for beginners. But oui, it never hurts to check out a couple different variétés of classes to see what feels best to you.
' Definitely go for something breathable and easy to move in, ' says Ewing. ' You will work up a sweat, so consider wearing something with moisture-wicking abilities. ' Oh and FYI : Yoga is a no-shoes kind of workout, so don’t worry about sporting your best sneakers to chic.
Like with any workout, it’s totally a personal preference how much you mazout pre-yoga. But Ewing points out that yoga is a pretty intense workout, and fueling your body properly will help you get the most out of your practice. Keep it light, though, ' I usually start with a protein shake or bar knowing that the classes can physically take you in dynamic directions, ' says Ewing. ( A. k. a. don’t down that massive avo toast right before class. ) If you’re just having a small pre-workout snack, you can probably do that about 30 minutes beforehand; but wait a full one to two hours before working out after a meal.
She adds that hydrating beforehand is also key, especially if you ever do attempt a heated flow. ' Drink a full glass of water about two hours before class—that way you have something to sweat out and you will feel better during class. '
' Absolutely ! ' says Ewing. ' A regular yoga practice increases flexibility and strength in your zones musculaires. It has you work your full range of motion in every joint of your body and build strong and long groupes de muscles. ' ( In fact, vinyasa yoga even made this list of the top calorie-burning workouts. )
This depends on the type of yoga chic you take—for example, a slow flow or hatha chic may require you to hold a pose for an extended period of time. But in vinyasa, ' it comes down to the volonté of how the positionnement was designed, ' says Ewing. ' For example, balancing poses are held longer to benefit concentration and focus, while transition postures build strength while teaching fluidity in movement. '
For the most part, though, poses are held for three to five breaths during the first round to help them sink into your memory. Then they’re held for a solo breath when you repeat the pose, to help amp up the cardio component of yoga.
Don’t stress ! No one expects you to master every pose your first go-round ( or really, ever—it’s a constant learning process ). Your yoga instructor should offer possibilités for pose modifications, especially for the more challenging ones. ' Your breath is key in yoga, if you are losing sight of this, you may want to consider modifying or completely backing off, ' says Ewing. And don’t be afraid to ask your instructor for assistance.
Also, try to avoid comparing yourself to the other yogis in the room—all bodies are unique, and have varied strengths and challenges. Plus, every time you step on the mat, it’s going to feel a little different, ' for both your body and your mind, ' says Ewing. ' If there is one thing you can take away from the classroom, it is learning how to modify and create a practice that is fit for you. '