Do you come out of a Yoga practice, sore and cramped and not able to return to your mat for weeks? Let’s take a look at five main reasons why and how to avoid these unpleasant situations (Yoga Injuries).
1. Everything changes; every second
You might have been having an active lifestyle a few months ago and you might be returning to a fitness routine via Yoga after a break; or you might even have had that 5km jog just yesterday.
But you might not have the same fitness and strength level today. We as Yogis should understand the principals of nature. Nothing is permanent. Everything changes. Be gentle on yourself as you come to the mat every single day. Come to the mat with a beginner’s mind every time.
2. Yoga is to feel good
If you don’t feel good, you are not doing yoga. The effect of practicing Yoga should be able to make you feel connected with your inner self, bring more universal awareness and personal refinement in mind & body. When you sit on the mat and close your eyes to take the first deep breath before you start your practice, promise yourself that you are going to enjoy & feel good for the next 60 or 90 minutes.
3. We all have unique body proportions
Attempting to follow general instructions of someone you haven’t met on YouTube might not really help. Imagine having a physical and a clinical inability to come to a specific asana due to bone structure, muscle stiffness or simply cos you are ‘not ready yet’. It’s always good to personalize your practice with a certified Yoga instructor and discuss your strengths and weaknesses and establish short- and long-term goals before you set off to practicing anything physical including Yoga to avoid injury.
4. In the true spirit of Yoga, Practice Ahimsa on yourself
As Yoga is not only about physical Asana but also about 7 more components including ‘Yama’ where practitioners seek Yogic principals in their existence in this lifetime, just as much as being compassionate to others; be the same to yourself. There is no obligation to outdo yourself or anyone else in the Yoga studio. People have different strength and flexibility levels. Do not feel left out if you cannot come to an asana. There will be some Asanas you will master and there will be some you will not perform. But then Yoga is not a show.
5. Do not underestimate Yoga
Give your body time and practice to adapt. Yoga Asana cannot be achieved in days. Behind all those internet Yogis who come up with perfect asanas are years of consistent practice and patience on their physical bodies and observed focus on their minds. So do not expect miracles to take place overnight. Your muscles take time to memorize a specific formation. Your spine takes time to give in to your demands and your mind will take time to be disciplined enough to understand that Asana is only a stepping stone to train your mind to achieve more than you bargained for when you walked in through the doors of the studio.
And after all this is said, still If you get bruised or sore during an intense practice and you can still be proud of it and feel good about it, congrats you are a true yogi.
Practice safe. Practice with patience.