Yoga is growing in popularity in recent decades especially among youth as it offers twin advantage of mind and body fitness. Covid pandemic has made the ancient practice even more relevant considering its benefits in managing long Covid symptoms like breathing issues, fatigue and cardiac issues. The journey for many is life-changing but considering people need quick results, a lot of them end up with injuries that usually happen due to overstretching of the joints, muscle and tendon. It is not only important to adopt the right posture, but learn the correct alignment and pace in order to reap benefits of a specific yogasana. There are stretches that prepare your muscles and joints before going for asanas that are more intense. At times, people consider Yoga to be just an exercise routine while it is actually a comprehensive lifestyle that includes diet, some niyams, abstinences, pranayama, dhyana among many other aspects. (Also read: Yoga expert on 3 simple exercises to improve eyesight)
"Yoga asanas, meditation, and breathing exercises can all be used to help you discover your inner quiet. Yoga helps you become ready for many types of physical activity, such as sports, dance, and running. Yoga increases strength and flexibility by emphasising proper body alignment and coordinated breathing. Stretches that are both vigorous and passive are combined in yoga. Stretches are classified as either passive or active depending on how long you hold a position for. Passive stretches are performed when you keep a posture for more than a minute. Your risk of injury increases when your muscles are tight; yoga asanas prepare your body by making it strong and flexible. This aids in both injury prevention and hastening the healing process," says Akshar, Akshar Yoga Institutions, Himalaya Yoga Ashrama, World Yoga Organisation.
Akshar also suggests tips for Yoga practitioners to prevent injuries:
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1. Develop a mind body connection
Regular yoga practise helps you develop a connection to your body and breath. This makes it possible to comprehend how particular muscle groups are engaged by various postures. When you become an expert at performing dynamic motions, injuries can be avoided. Yoga has been shown to boost endurance, which lessens muscle fatigue, as well as balance. Yoga's primary objective is to foster a mind-body connection, and it is this element that is crucial in preventing injuries.
2. Take care of alignment and breath
Know the proper alignment for each position prior to practising. This helps to prevent injuries and ensures that you can benefit the most from your practice. Be careful and avoid certain poses if you already have an injury. Additionally, the breath rate must be coordinated. Learn and understand the proper breathing technique for each asana by taking your time.
3. Start off slowly
There is never a dull moment during a yoga practise. Every day offers a chance to learn something new and a brand-new beginning. You should generally be open to learning, but you should also practise restraint until you get the feel of it. If you have never exercised or participated in any physical activity before, yoga might be physically taxing and daunting. Take care to develop your foundational positions by starting off slowly.
4. Asanas that can prevent injuries
Dandasana, Malsana, and Santolansana are three asanas that can help the body become more stable. You can perform specific asanas depending on the type of your injury. Samasthithi, Vrikshasana, and Ekapadasana are examples of standing poses that help safeguard your back and stop injuries. Yoga should be practised to successfully avoid injuries as well as treat them. Since hamstring injuries are among the most frequent sorts of exercise accidents, you should increase your hamstring flexibility with asanas like Prasarita Padottanasana and Padahasthasana. Naukasana will help you strengthen your core for greater balance and safety.
5. Proceed cautiously
If you don't practise slowly, you run the risk of pushing yourself too far and harming yourself. When using yoga techniques like physical postures, pranayama, or meditation, moving gently is the greatest way to achieve your goals. Don't haste and lose patience.
6. Set realistic goals
Goals are important, and yoga is the best practise for helping you internalise this idea. Yoga offers you the stamina to persevere any time you try an asana and find it challenging. As a result, finishing that asana becomes your goal, which inspires you to keep attempting the pose until you succeed in it. But it's important to go gently and to treat yourself nicely. Yoga is a science of the body that teaches us how to make the most of the incredible breathing and living systems that God has given us. You can develop a strong bond with your body by becoming aware of it.
7. Do not practice after eating
Do not start your practise right after eating. Try to avoid eating or practising for at least two hours. It's also a good idea to wait to take a bath soon after practise. A minimum of 30 minutes should pass between your meal and your practice. Your body's and health's current status are determined by the food you consume. Enrich the food you eat if you wish to grow personally.