It is really essential to prevent yoga injuries. Yoga trainers should take the responsibility of creating a safe environment where everyone can practice.  But a yoga trainers’ job is complicated due to the different levels of expertise that the participants may have.

Yoga injuries are usually caused when a student is performing at a level outside of their ability, especially if they have a current or previous injury.  Their instructor may not be aware of any limitations of the students and it can be easy to push oneself too far without being fully prepared for the depth of stretching.

how to prevent yoga injuries

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Knee injuries are among the most common in yoga. You must be careful when practicing positions that comprise extreme bending or rotation, particularly when these postures are combined. The knee is made up of two bones on top of each other, which is perfect for mobility, although not good for strength or stability. Postures that integrate half or entire cross-legged posture or whereby the knee is bent and rotated are mostly hard on the knees.

Back and wrist injuries are also common during yoga. Postures that completely extend the back, for example, the ‘full upward bow’, may result in disc problems. The wrist may be prone to injury in weight-bearing positions, such as in the poses ‘the downward dog’ and ‘plank’.

In the extreme, the main warning sign is a failure to feel any part of your body. If you begin to feel  “pins and needles” in any area of your body, there is nerve tension or you must be preventing circulation from the muscles.

Tips on how to prevent yoga injuries

1. Find a Competent Teacher

Until recently, Yoga trainers were taught for so many years by a yoga guru. So as to regulate qualifications, the Yoga Alliance set guidelines for 200 hour to 500 hour yoga trainer education program. Ensure the trainer you choose has attained at least minimum amount of training and this will really reduce the possibility of getting injuries during training.

2. Have Practical Expectations

If you are not a dancer or a gymnast, putting your leg behind your head following a few yoga classes may not be possible. Complex yoga postures require vigor, flexibility, balance and a long period of yoga training. Most yoga injuries occur after trying to make postures that your body is not prepared to perform.

3. Select Alignment-Oriented Practices

This is one of the best practices to prevent yoga injuries. Some yoga positions, especially fast-paced ones, have a tendency to dismiss alignment. Having great alignment is crucial to preventing yoga injury. In case you desire a flowing ‘vinyasa position’ that is also alignment-oriented, attempt ‘Anusara’. ‘Viniyoga’ is a great choice too since it emphasis on creating an individualized practice.

4. Warm ups

Ensure that you warm up thoroughly before yoga classes, cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are prone to injury. Warming up increases blood circulation to the muscles, lubricates body joints and prepares the body to move deeply into yoga postures. Perform gentle backbends common to ‘warrior 1’, and ‘cobra’ prior to pressing backbends such as the ‘camel’ or ‘wheel’.

Other tips include;

  • Wear proper clothing that enables right movement
  • Drink plenty of water, particularly when practicing Bikram or “hot” yoga
  • Learn to listen to your body. In case you feel pain or exhaustion when participating in yoga, take a break. If pain continues, consult your doctor

In conclusion, ensure that you treat any injury. Even with great care, you can accidentally hurt yourself. In case of an accident, treat your injury seriously. Ensure that you see your physician and go back for training after you recover fully. Ensure that you inform your trainer about a recent in jury so that they can give you special care and show you adaptations on postures that may worsen your condition.

If you are undergoing chiropractic care, be sure not to strain yourself and discuss the program you are undertaking with your chiropractor.