During the lifespan of our yoga asana practice, we may get injured but it doesn’t mean that we have to skip our yoga practice. Let’s find out how it is possible to maintain a steady and well-balanced regimen while paying attention to key areas that can commonly be effected:
Forcing your legs straight into any pose – whether you’re standing, sitting, or lying down – can damage your hamstring muscles. This kind of injury often builds up gradually into tendonitis or tears in the muscle fibers. If hamstrings are not your most flexible body part, apply added focus on contracting the front of your body (quads and lower abs) when you fold forward to let your hamstrings feel safe letting go (bending knees as well to accommodate your hamstring and lower back needs). Don’t use your hands to pull your body deeper into forward folds. Those of you with a lot of mobility in your hamstrings need to be cautious and focus on engaging your outer hip muscles, as it’s possible for you to overstretch and cause injury.
Overuse and misalignment, poor body awareness can lead to loads of issues at your scapular-humeral region. Poses like plank, chaturanga, cobra pose, and upward facing are common culprits. I’ve also seen shoulder injuries arise due to students not listening to their bodies’ -- signs of fatigue. Don’t push through chaturanga when your body is screaming for a modification or a rest. Be sure to hug the elbows into the side body as you lower down through chaturanga (safely moving the elbow range of motion) and drop your knees down if this is hard to accomplish. Nail the elbows grazing into the ribs as you lower first – then try to lower down in one line with knees lifted.
Among the most frequent yoga injuries, lower back pain is often caused by rounding your spine in forward folds or downward dog. Rounding and overstretching is a recipe for injury and irritation, as it causes your spine to flex the opposite way it is supposed to. Don’t shy away from bending your knees in forward folds; this allows your back to decompress and relax. Engage your lower belly in most poses – especially chair – as core strength contributes to a strong, healthy back. Keep a small bend in your knees throughout practice and remember to tuck your pelvis under your spine.
Any time you apply pressure to your neck – such as during a headstand – you’re compressing your neck. This can lead to pain in your cervical vertebrae. Your neck is one of the scariest places to harm since it takes so long to heal properly. Never put pressure on your head in any kind of inversion – including when you prepare for full wheel. Don’t force yourself into poses that the rest of your body (shoulders, wrists, abs) isn’t prepared to support you in.
When you have an injury it is an opportunity to deepen your practice on other levels.The truth is, your body knows what it needs to heal. Your job is to create the environment so that you are working in harmony with, rather than against nature: Plant the seeds so health and vitality can blossom.
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