Y is for Yoga Can Be Dangerous – Here’s How to Stay Safe!

Y is for Yoga Can Be Dangerous – Here’s How to Stay Safe!

Yoga is often thought of as a therapeutic and relaxing form of exercise. And for the most part, it is! But with any form of exercise, there is always a potential risk of injury. The risks are much lower than extreme or high impact sports and exercise, but it is important to stay safe in any type of exercise.

A Yoga in America Study conducted by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal in 2016. The study shows the number of U.S. yoga practitioners has increased to over 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012 and this number keeps growing. With more people trying yoga at home or with friends, injuries have the potential to go up for those who are unexperienced.

However, this is no reason not to try yoga. It can be quite an appealing activity as scientific studies show that yoga provides many great benefits such as relaxation, stress relief, increased flexibility, balance strength and a sense of serenity.

Here are some helpful tips that may help you enjoy yoga and avoid injury:

Make sure your yoga instructor is well trained

The amount of training required by the Yoga Alliance is 200 hours, but this may not make a quality instructor. Search out an instructor with at least five years’ experience and has a willingness to help you modify poses to make them safer, during class.

Know your limits

If a certain pose or move feels painful, don’t do it! Instead, do one you’re more comfortable with while class continues. Also, keep in mind any chronic health conditions along with aging can increase your risk of injury. Be mindful of your fitness capabilities.

Choose your type of class wisely

Yoga styles vary greatly from a gentle restorative type of yoga to an intense aerobic style. Some examples of physically demanding practices are Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. They practice synchronized breath with a movement. Which is great for building core strength, toning the body and getting a cardio workout. But it may not be a safe choice for beginners. You may wish to start out with a Hatha yoga class it will give you a basic, gentle introduction and help you with proper yoga postures before you try a more strenuous type of yoga.

Leave your competitive nature at home

Yoga is a “practice,” not a competition, it’s not about perfection. It’s about learning to relax, do your best and feel proud of your practice. Go at your own pace, breathe deeply and pay close attention to your body, know when you are reaching your limit, don’t push beyond this point. Yoga is a lifelong practice that will benefit you at whatever level you choose to practice.

Posture, Posture, Posture

Is immensely important! A certain small error in movement or using incorrect yoga technique may put pressure on areas of your body without your realization, but over time it can lead to injury. Make sure you are using the correct techniques when you practice poses. If the pose is more effort than ease, you need to listen to your body and get out of this pose immediately.

Steer Clear of Risky Positions

If a headstand hurts your neck, it’s not for you!  Doing Chaturanga, a yoga push-up repetitively may wreak havoc on your shoulders. If you feel pain get on your knees or avoid this pose altogether. Adjust deep bends and twists to your level it should feel good, not painful!

So go ahead enjoy your yoga practice. Just continue to be mindful of some of the mistakes. Keep yourself safe and injury-free while you reap all the positive benefits of yoga.

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