Preventing injuries during Yoga

There is always a risk of injury involved in sports or any other recreation activity and it is the same with Yoga, especially when one does not pay heed to instructions or guidelines. It is thus crucial for absolute beginners to first practice under an expert’s guidance. It is also important to gradually increase the difficulty level of poses instead of diving into advanced balancing asanas after just a few weeks of practice.

You will also come across many experienced Yoga instructors who have their own list of injuries such as muscle tear or joint pain that have either aggravated or developed because of their practice. This happens when you are not listening to your body and are unable to understand the difference between trying and trying too hard or between doing one’s best or exceeding one’s limit. Injuries also occur when the asana is out of alignment and repeating the posture with incorrect alignment can trigger chronic pain,or muscle spasm leading to soreness or stiffness. Wrist injuries (carpal tunnel), tendon tear or rupture, lower back pain, knee tears, hamstring pulls, sprains, neck injuries, etc are few of the most common injuries that occur when one is not mindful of their practice.

Having said this, it is important to understand that the benefits of Yoga certainly outweigh the risks and it is one of the safest form of exercises. The practice of Yoga has both physiological as well as psychological benefits and helps us build awareness of ourselves and our surroundings. When on your Yoga mat, it helps to remember the goal of Yoga, which is - to attain union with breath, body and mind. With proper alignment and guidance from a teacher, with the awareness of one’s body and willingness to accept one’s limitation, and with the understanding that Yoga is not a competition but a tool for self-improvement, you can enjoy an injury-free Yoga practice and heal your body, mind and soul.