In the past several years, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of yoga as a practice for better health and wellness. Men and women across the country are flocking to their nearest studio to gain greater inner-peace while also toning and tightening their muscles. Before you throw down your mat and give this practice your best, remember that it is important to listen to what you body is telling you, versus what a teacher may be saying. From what we hear, most yoga teachers also suggest this mindful technique to their students; yet there are some who promote “pushing through,” which could cause injury.
Yoga can be an excellent form of exercise, even for people who are recovering from a physical injury! However, a few common concerns have been noted. By considering them, you become empowered to avoid them during your practice.
- Hamstring injuries such as pulls or tears may occur if you move too quickly from one pose to another, or by forcing legs straight if they are not yet ready to do so. This type of injury can be avoided by knowing your limitations. Not all of us were born to stretch into a full forward bend with our palms on the floor. Your practice can be enhanced by focusing on your breath rather than the “success” of your pose. Inhale, lengthen; exhale, rest. Respect your limitations. Never pull yourself into a straight-legged forward bend.
- Wrist pain is a common yoga injury simply because they are already aggravated from all of that typing and texting, and then we place a good portion of our body weight on them during yoga poses. Alignment is key in preventing wrist injury, and your teacher can demonstrate this for you so there are no questions.
- Lower back pain. All the up and down and forward folds to standing position can do a number on the low back. Ouch! Forward folds can be challenging even if you are in a seated position. To alleviate pressure on the low back, sit on a blanket or a block. When rising from a standing forward fold, engage the glutes to lift the torso so the back muscles don’t have to work so hard.
Your body is your internal intelligence agent during yoga or any other form of exercise you enjoy! If you experience severe pain or pain that does not subside, give us a call (210) 696-9000 so we can help you get back to your normal activities.