Is Yoga Working Against You or For Your Benefit?  

July 10, 2017
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Too many people come into yoga-centric gyms like YogaWorks without an inkling of yoga as a principle and as a practice. This will understandably increase the risk of injury, especially when the individual performs yoga without the proper guidance at first. Let’s just say that yoga will not work to an individual’s benefit with a near-ignorant mindset.

Injuries Are Working Against You

Unfortunately, the number of yoga-related injuries in the United States is on the rise, especially among older adults who likely have the least flexibility. This was from data analysis made by researchers of University of Alabama in Birmingham’s Center for Injury Sciences. The researchers examined 2001-2014 data from emergency rooms to establish the risk of injury in yoga participation.

Just imagine the number of people who didn’t go to the emergency rooms but instead went to their doctors or went the self-treatment route! No matter the number, the more important thing to consider is that yoga has its rewards but it has its risks, too.

When you become injured during a yoga session, you’re letting it work against your benefit. Even simple strains and sprains can adversely affect your daily life, even reduce your productivity at home, in the office, and in the gym.

There are many factors that affect your risk of injury so that you have to carefully consider which ones will have a greater impact on your own risk. These factors include:

  • Your age, physical condition, and fitness level so be sure to assess where you are now and where you want to go, yoga-wise.
  • Your own mindset toward yoga. You should respect its demands on your mind and body and, thus, practice it within your current limits.

The bottom line: Minimize your risk of injury so that you can maximize the rewards.

Safety Works to Your Benefit

With that in mind, here are safety tips that will make yoga actually work to your benefit:

  • Be a beginner in every level. Keep in mind that yoga isn’t too simple that every Tom, Dick and Harry can practice it with a swagger, so to speak. Always star with the basics and build a solid foundation before advancing to the next level.
  • Listen to your body at all times. Your teacher is there as your guide in the safe practice of yoga but your body is your best guide in determining what’s best for you. You should ease out of your present pose if it doesn’t feel right, for example, and take a break when necessary.  
  • Challenge your mind and body but stay within your body’s comfort zone. Your best approach is a gradual one so that your body isn’t pushed beyond its limit.

Most important, you have to choose the right approach and teacher. Your success will partly depend on it, too.

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