I’ve heard more times then I can count… I can’t do yoga – I’m not flexible. I can’t touch my toes. I’m too big to do yoga. Well, I’m here to call BS on that. Yoga is pretty damn simple to breakdown. If you have a body – YOU can do yoga.
When I first started practicing yoga, I only came to yoga because I was dealing with injuries from running. I had horrible flexibility, tight hamstrings, shin splints and couldn’t balance to save my life.
Fast-forward 20 years… I definitely have way more strength in my practice then flexibility, but it doesn’t even matter. The fact that I move my body daily and stretch is what’s important. It keeps my body happy and healthy.
I’m going to share with you FOUR simple ways you can avoid injuries in your yoga practice.
1) Do your research first.
New to Yoga? Just coming back to your mat after some time? Are you dealing with an injury? Students need to do their research, not only on whether or not the teacher is properly qualified, but whether the style of yoga they are in search of is a good match for them. Just because your friend says it’s amazing – doesn’t mean it will work for you. Students should ask the teacher about their background. Ask questions about the teacher’s continuing education, about their most recent trainings, and how long have they been teaching.
2) Choose smaller classes in the beginning.
Vinyasa, which is perhaps one of the most popular styles of yoga, is an energetic, challenging, and strength based practice. This practice might not be the best for you to start off with. Be aware of what your needs are. The repetitive movement – flexion and extension – of the body in the vinyasa system can easily lead to injury if done incorrectly and repetitively.
3) Start where you are…PERIOD.
I’m going to keep this real simple. If you’re a beginner, begin at the introductory level. Period! Or, even start off with some Private Yoga Sessions. Breaking down the basics is an awesome way to get familiar with the yoga postures. Whether you stay with beginner, gentle, or restorative classes – it doesn’t even matter. Just be sure you feel comfortable moving into something more advanced. Yoga is never a competition. It’s progress. NEVER perfection. And… It’s fun to challenge ourselves. We just need to be safe about it. That’s all!
4) Practice with respect for your body and the practice itself.
Yoga increases strength and flexibility in the body obviously, but more importantly the mind. Remember, we all come to our mat for different reasons. Be mindful of this. Practice with kindness, compassion, and integrity.
Most importantly – FEEL YOUR WAY through your practice & NEVER FORCE.
Your body will thank you for it.
I hope this helps. Any questions about yoga?