At-home yoga is enjoying its best moment during the COVID-19 pandemic. As gyms and workout studios remain shut, many have picked up yoga as a way to stay healthy and fit. However, like all things done without guidance and supervision, yoga too can go terribly wrong and led to minor as well as some significant injuries if not done correctly.
While it is great that you are taking charge of your health and incorporating yogic practices into your schedule, here are few things you should keep in mind while practising yoga to avoid injuries.
Your Yoga Poses May Not Resemble Instagrammers, and That’s Okay
There are so many self-proclaimed yogis on Instagram who can bend their bodies in unimaginable ways that it can be frustrating for us common folks when we try to do the same poses and don’t look at all like them. However, we need to remember that one of the most important aspects of yoga is accepting the current moment, and therefore, there is no need to push yourself to look like someone else and sustain an injury or dislocate something in the process.
We each have different bodies, and they bend in different ways, and your yoga mat doesn’t judge, so do the poses slowly and to the best of your ability, and do not concern yourself too much about how it is ‘suppose to look’.
Be careful of Previous Injuries and Problem Spots
While practising yoga at home, many of us depend on YouTube videos. While it is great to use free online resources for staying fit, instead of emptying your pockets for expensive yoga classes, the thing that you to remember while following those videos is that they are not customised according to you.
So, if you have had a previous injury and think that a specific pose would exert unnecessary pressure on that injury and cause inflammation or muscle pain, the best is to avoid them or do the poses very gently while being mindful of the injury. Sometimes, it isn’t even an injury, we all have pains in specific parts of our bodies – upper back, neck, hamstring, and we should be careful while doing poses, which puts too much pressure on such parts.
Use Your Breath as Your Anchor
You may have seen many people squinching their face and eyes while trying to hold a yoga pose, and in the process, also holding their breaths. That’s perhaps not the best way to practice yoga. All hath yoga and Vinyasa practices are centred around breath flow, so the cardinal rule is to anchor all your poses to your breath. Any posture that makes your breathing difficult or impossible can also cause muscle sprain or other injuries.
Therefore, learn to tie up each and every movement you make in yoga with the flow of your breath.
Learn to Align
Instead of rushing to do the challenging asanas which can cause injury, one should begin by learning easy poses that teach their body to ground firmly and align. If your alignment posture and grounding are powerful, your chances of
suffering an injury are minimal.
Use Supportive Gears
Most people cannot do a Taraksvasana or a Halasana on day one, and trying to force their bodies to do so can lead to severe injuries. It can be the case that the hands don’t reach the right place for some of us, or we cannot get into the pose at all, and that’s absolutely fine.
In such circumstances, what helps are yoga gears like a block, a knee pad or a belt that enables you to reach that pose more easily and conveniently, without suffering any injury. These gears are readily available in the market, but you can also use a cushion instead of a block and a dupatta in place of a belt and get to your desired yoga poses without wasting money.