As with any other physical exercise, yoga has some risks associated with it. You might get hurt – yes there is a small chance of this happening. The same way you can hurt yourself while jogging or exercising at the gym.
Let’s have a look at some tips to make sure you practice save yoga every time you get on the mat.
Before beginning any new exercise practice, you will need to consult your GP. If you have a serious condition, I advise you to consult with your specialist, too. E.g. if you have high blood pressure or any cardiovascular disease, please talk to your doctor about beginning a yoga practice. Most probably he/she will encourage you to begin this gentle physical activity but it is always best practice to ask. Never begin an exercise routine without getting an OK first if you have a serious illness!
Take a few private classes before joining a group class. It is so valuable to have one on one support while you are learning new poses. At the same time, you will be able to discuss necessary adjustments, too. If you have bad knees for example, you need to work around this condition through using props and posture modifications.
Take small group classes. Especially at the beginning of your yoga practice it makes sense to prefer smaller studios. When you have only 10 people and not 25-30 yogis per class, you have a much better chance that your teacher will be able to help you during class and give you the special attention you might need.
Never fight for an unachievable goal. Yes, some yogis will be able to do advanced poses, show extreme flexibility or keep poses for a long time. The achievement of yoga classmates is totally irrelevant to your own success. There is only one important thing: how does your body and soul feels during your practice.
Do you feel uncomfortable during a certain pose? Stop, take a breather and ask your instructor for help. Yoga practice is definitely not a competition. We like to say that yogis compete only against themselves. But in reality I want you to be extra nice to yourself. Show compassion, be patient and enjoy small steps and improvements. You don’t have a deadline to become an awesome yogi, do you?
Concentrate during yoga class and when you practice at home. You need to focus on what you do. Pay attention to your movements. If you feel pain, stop and examine the pain, where does it come from, what quality it has, when does it exactly show up.
Pay attention, too if you begin to feel weak. You know you can stop any time. Take a breather if you need to or simply stop to understand what causes your discomfort. Depending on how long you practice, you might be able to see the problem and even solve it for yourself. If this is getting to be a challenge, please talk up and ask your yoga instructor during the class or even after the class. Your teacher must know if you feel uncomfortable otherwise she/he is not able to offer you a modification.
Ask questions. Our teachers are happy to answer and find the best solutions for you, let it be a special modification or a short sequence for home practice.
Stop by our Clayton Yoga Studio any time – we would love to meet you!