Two years ago while practicing various arm balances in yoga class I felt a bit of a twinge in my right wrist. Within seconds my wrist felt very arm and tingly. I didn’t mention it to my teacher right away, since it didn’t seem serious. I was attending many yoga classes for my yoga teacher training and thought it was just overexertion.
After a few more days of rigorous training I informed my teacher of what was now an official wrist injury. The pain had spread into my forearm and elbow and I knew that even attempting Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) would not be a wise choice.
My teacher provided alternatives for any posture that would call for wrist pressure. For downward facing dog she told me to come down to my forearms, which allowed my wrist to fully heal after a week.
When I read the following guest post about practicing yoga with injuries I learned how the body can heal itself with proper therapy and mindfulness in one’s practice. I hope you enjoy the post and please feel free to share your thoughts in comments below. 🙂
Millions of people from all over the world have adapted in their lifestyle the practice of yoga. Yoga is the practice of physical, mental and spiritual relaxation promoting peace and overall health. It is said that yoga brings about plenty of health benefits for the individual. Among these benefits are improved flexibility and strength of inner core, releases the tension of the muscles, reduces stress and anxiety, improve metabolism, heart rate and respiration, and in recent studies, can quite possibly lower blood pressure which is good for hypertensive individuals. However, there are instances when incorrect posture is performed during yoga and this may cause injuries.
Yoga injuries, although common, are mostly not serious and not severe. Through therapy and treatment, simple yoga injuries can be healed quickly without disrupting your yoga routines. Here are common injuries and how to continue with yoga even when having them.
Back injuries are quite common among the injuries in yoga. This is because the back is the most sensitive and less flexible among the many parts of the body that is engaged when you do most yoga poses. Many back injuries from yoga stem from incorrect positioning of the body and too much strain on the back muscles. The best way to prevent this type of yoga injury is to gradually test your back on up to where it can handle when doing yoga poses. Remember that although some may be able to do it, you may take more time and practice to be able to do specific yoga poses. It takes patience and continuous practice, accompanied by being careful to avoid back injuries.
Ankle injuries from yoga are mostly caused by sudden twisting of the ankle or incorrect positioning. It is important to remember that doing yoga should not be causing one pain. This means you can extend the flexibility of your muscles to its highest point, but when it starts to become painful, you will need to stop and take a step back. Be familiar with the prep poses and be well accustomed to these before moving on to poses that may cause injuries. Gradual positioning of the body will also help your muscles and nerves extend to accommodate the pose.
If you have sensitive wrists which are commonly caused by computer or desk work, or if you have carpal tunnel, this is one injury you are most at risk when you do yoga. The alignment of the body is important when doing poses that puts pressure on your wrist. Pressure may not be harmful or a cause of injury as long as it is not much and distributed equally around your muscles. When pressing your hands to the ground, keep your fingers evenly spread out. You can also roll your yoga mat and place your hands there to take some pressure off the hands and wrist.
Although knee injuries from yoga are not as common as the previous ones, it is still possible especially when doing poses such as half lotus or warrior poses. It may not require surgery but it can affect your routine and slow down your yoga routine for some weeks. The best way to prevent this injury is to gradually and religiously do all the prep poses before moving to poses such as warrior or half lotus. This way, the muscles and tissues are warmed up for the pose, therefore preventing knee tears.
Neck injuries are the most frightening types of yoga injury as it will take longer to heal, among other therapies one will need to go through. Most neck injuries occur when too much pressure or weight is put on the neck without equal distribution. To prevent this type of injury, one must do all the prep poses before going into poses that put pressure or weight on the neck. Also, evenly distribute the weight throughout the body to avoid putting too much pressure on the neck.
Yoga has excellent benefits physically and mentally. This is why many people have sorted to yoga for physical activity and mental and spiritual peace. It is found to be an effective way to stay fit and healthy even with less physical activity. With yoga, you can also maintain your mental and spiritual peace. Visit the school of yoga to learn more about the benefits of this practice and how it can personally benefit you.
This is a guest post by Meera Watts of SiddhiYoga.com. Meera is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founderand owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore.
Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).
About Michelle Cruz Rosado
Michelle Cruz Rosado is a professional speaker and bestselling co-author of "Pursuing Your Destiny: How to Overcome Adversity and Achieve Your Dreams." Follow Michelle for inspiring messages and quotes.