Do you need to observe any safety precautions when practicing yoga? Yes, you do. Yoga, like any other sport, has various risks that can easily lead to injury. When precaution is not observed, there are increased chances that you will be visiting a clinic with a yoga related injury.
According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, 5,500 people reported yoga injuries in the year 2007 alone. This figure is similar in magnitude to the number of injuries reported in many other sports. Likewise, all physical activities, both indoor and outdoor carry a certain degree of risk.
Although yoga may be safer than most of the other intense sports, there still needs to be a certain level of precaution during practice. Here are a few precautions you should always bear in mind during a yoga class.
Consult Your Doctor
If you have had a medical history that may be cause for concern, it is wise to consult your doctor before proceeding any further. This could be on past injuries, ongoing medical cases, or other issues like pregnancy.
Women who are menstrating need to be careful not to strain their abdomen either by stretching or contracting too much. Any condition that may be adversely affected by doing exercises should be brought to the doctor’s attention.
Approach Any Training with a Learner’s Mind
Even if you have been involved in other sports such as body building, attend your initial yoga classes with a beginner’s mind. There is always a challenging aspect of anything new that you start with. Starting with beginner classes will help you gain comfort in various aspects of yoga.
Build yourself a good foundation on what is expected of you before trying the harder classes. If a class does not offer a foundational class, it doesn’t hurt to look around.
Train with a Qualified Instructor
With the increased number of yoga trainers in the country and around the world, it is wise to consider the qualifications of any yoga teacher. It is not uncommon for someone to decide to open a yoga class and make some money from this new trend.
However, having certification as a yoga tutor is key to ensuring that every practitioner stays safe during exercise. Insist on knowing the background, qualification, experience, approach, and style of your tutor. Not every style or class will fit every person. A factor like age largely determines who you choose to be your yoga instructor.
Consider Your Body’s Response
The most important thing to consider is how your body responds to the exercises. Ensure that you go only as far as your body can accommodate. Overstraining or stretching yourself too far is a recipe for injury.
That is also why it is wise to not get carried away by what other people are doing. Doing a pose just because everyone else is doing it is taking unnecessary risk. Getting to understand your body and staying in sync with it is a key principle in yoga. Pain, injury, and meditation cannot work together.