In the new year people often make changes to improve their life both mentally and physically. Exercise and wellness classes such as yoga and Pilates have become popular with Yoga studios popping up all over the country in the last 10 years. However with the rise in interest has also come a steady increase in yoga related injuries. While the benefits of Yoga are plenty, there can be negative consequences if precautions are not taken.
The most common yoga related injuries treated by our Physiotherapists are caused by repetitive strain or overstretching and arise in the neck, hamstring, along the spine, and in the hips and knees.
Avoiding these Injuries
The first thing you should do is a background check on the instructor. There are some inexperienced and poorly qualified instructors out there so ensure that your teacher has sufficient experience and understands if they are pushing you too far before you are ready.
You must realize that you are not competing with anybody else. Not with the instructor. Not with the other students. Not with yourself. Everybody has different limitations and these limitations can vary from one day to the next – so you might be able to achieve one pose one day and find it difficult the next time. You have to listen to your body and only do what you are comfortable with. Pain is your body giving out so pay attention to any aches or pains you are feeling.
Most injuries come from people attempting to do too much too soon; you can’t expect to ‘pretzel’ yourself on the first day and you can’t expect to perform to the poses to the same standard as others in the class. You must be patient and progress slowly – yoga is about getting to know your body and performing the right poses for you.
Be more careful if you participating in Bikram yoga or hot room yoga that you don’t over exert yourself. These can lure you in to a false sense of your own ability as the environment facilitates flexibility and you can perform stretches or poses that you couldn’t before. This can lead to injury and strain if you go beyond your limitations and safe ranges of motion. After partaking in hot room yoga it is ill advised to perform any high impact sports such as weight lifting or running as this could result in injury.