Yoga and Injury Prevention
Yoga Should Not Hurt! How to Avoid Pain in your Asana
Yoga is for every body, but how do we keep everybody safe while practicing yoga? As with any physical activity, practicing yoga asana or poses comes with the possibility of injury. The most common injuries seen in yoga involve the wrist, shoulder, knee, hamstrings, and low back. My background in Physical Therapy allows me to teach yoga classes that are grounded in good and safe bio-mechanics.
By following these basic principles, it’s possible to prevent some common injuries:
1) Work with an engaged core. Do this by lifting through the pelvic floor and drawing the very low and deep abdominal muscles toward the spine. It should feel like a hollowing of the low belly. This provides stability.
2) To protect the wrists when bearing weight, spread fingers wide and press the fingertips into the mat and take more weight on the thumb side of the wrist. To avoid wrist hyperextension in plank poses, don’t let the shoulder go forward of the wrist.
3) Protect the shoulders by, pulling the elbows toward the ribs to help spread the collar bones, and never allow the shoulder to dip beneath the elbows as you lower down in yoga push-ups. While building enough strength to do this, modify this pose by lowering knees to the mat and then lowering the torso.
4) Protect the knees by making sure the knee of the front leg is directly over the heel and in line with the center of the foot in standing Warrior poses. Avoid the knee rolling in toward the big toe.
5) To avoid stressing the lumbar spine and/or causing micro tears of the hamstring attachments, try bending your knees in forward folds and Downward Dog to avoid the pull of tight hamstrings. Tight hamstrings create a downward pull on the pelvis and the lumbar spine.
When practicing yoga it is vitally important to be fully aware of your body. The yoga instructors at acac are trained to safely guide you through your practice, but it is up to you to listen to your body and feel free to modify the poses so you may practice without pain. If you have questions about how to modify a pose because of an injury or pain, please speak with your instructor before or after class. Yoga IS for every body!
If you’re new to yoga and would like to learn more, visit one of our locations below to view our various mind body facilities, designed especially for you and your practice.