It never ceases to amaze me how many time I have seen seasoned yogis injure themselves when practicing yoga. This is independent of the type of yoga they practice and independent of how fit they are as well. So, it scares me to think that if this is the state of expert yogis what might be the state of those who are just beginning this wonderful science.
Well, don’t worry in this article I will provide 2 simple guidelines for yoga practice which will go a long way in helping you avoid unnecessary injuries when doing your practice. After all, you decided to do yoga to get healthy and happy, it is totally unacceptable that such a gentle, healing science should become the source of your injury and pain.
2 Simple Rules to Avoid Yoga Injuries:
Although this is common sense, I have noticed the following special occasions when warm-up is unfortunately skipped and the yogi ends up risking injury. Here are these three occasions when you need to be especially vigilant and avoid getting injured due to insufficient warm-up.
A. You are Late to Class:
Many times I see students who come in late to class jump right in and start doing the exercises and postures that the class is doing at full stream. This is a recipe for disaster. If you are late coming into a class which has already picked up steam, you need to start out very slowly and gently till you feel ready to catch up with the rest of the students.
B. You are Giving a Spot Demonstration:
Often if you are a yoga teacher or even just a regular yoga student, occasions arise where you are asked to, or want to, give a quick demo of a pose or exercise. If you encounter this situation, immediately your injury antenna should go up. This type of spot demonstration is perhaps the most common reason for injury. Don’t try to show off at this time, but instead do the posture or exercise as gently and safely as you can. Trying to all of a sudden demonstrate Plough Pose, is the best way to injure your back, or worse, break your neck.
C. You Don’t Have Enough Time:
Here is another dangerous situation which often leads to skipping a proper warm-up and jumping ahead to a challenging set or routine, when you don’t have enough time to fit in your full practice. In this situation it is very important to make an adjustment to any difficult routine and posture and be conservative with regard to how hard you go at it. Tone it down in such situations and live to practice another day.
2. Don’t Compete:
Yoga is not an Olympic sport. It is not a tournament. It is not a competition. It is amazing how when you put a bunch of people together for the same activity, comparisons and judgments immediately come into the picture. As a yogi, you have to remember the golden rule that yoga is just about you and you. It does not matter how anyone else is doing, it only matters how you are doing. Forget about competing and comparing with others and just do your practice, intelligently, mindfully and most import of all, safely. Comparing often leads to pushing yourself further than you should have, which is perhaps the number one reason for incurring injury.
If you follow these 2 simple rules, of doing your warm-up no matter what and not overdoing it ever, I think you will enjoy a healthy and long-term yoga practice, the benefits of which are immeasurable.