Do you love yoga? If so then I don't have to tell you about the benefits of yoga. You are very well aware of them. But what about the other side? Have you ever had a yoga injury? I have and it wasn't pleasant. I tore my hamstring, I've torn a ligament in my knee to name a couple. This post is all about not repeating my mistakes and how to avoid yoga injuries.
The first injury I had was due to a bad adjustment I had by a yoga teacher. If you have been to my classes you will know that I don't give big adjustments and this is the reason why.
I don't believe in pushing people further than what their bodies would naturally allow them to do. A gentle touch as guidance can be really useful but I would never ever push anyone to go further into a forward bend, backbends or twists.
The second injury was in a Bikram Yoga class when my ego took over. I pushed myself to go further and that's when it happened. I twisted my knee in a bad way and tore a ligament.
These are a couple of examples of injury happening when we don't practice mindfully. When we don't listen to our bodies and go beyond our limitations. I have learned from my yoga injuries and want to help you so the same thing doesn't happen to you.
Tips on How to Avoid Yoga Injuries
- If you have any pre-existing conditions before you start yoga make sure you tell your yoga teacher
- Listen to your body - I can't actually say this often enough. Even though a good yoga teacher will point out poses to avoid or adjust he or she cannot know what is going on inside your body. Pain is a signal from the body to back off!
- A good teacher will ask for permission before they adjust you in any pose. Adjustments can be lovely but make sure to tell your teacher if they are taking it to far.
- Do not compare yourself to anyone else in your yoga class. Everyone has different limitations, bodies, body histories. Just because somebody else can fold themselves in two or can stand on their heads it doesn't mean you ever will or you should!
- Be present. Listen to what your yoga teacher says. This might be an obvious one but I know how easy it is to get distracted.
- Practice with intention. If you don't know why you do a pose maybe you shouldn't do it!
- If do you have an injury make sure it's fully healed before you go back to your regular group yoga class. Sometimes the body just needs rest
- If you are ambitious (and I get that) and you really want to learn a pose take it slowly. You will not learn a handstand overnight. You will not be able to do difficult backbends overnight. Yoga is a journey. Honour it and take it slowly. There are so many wonderful things happening on the way that the initial goal will become less important or even obsolete