Staying safe in yoga is so so important. When I first started practicing yoga at home 5 years ago I totally over did it and ended up with a very painful back. Read about my yoga journey here.
Many people are reluctant about starting yoga because they fear that it is dangerous and they will get injured. That is true if you aren’t practicing MINDFULLY, however if you are fully present when you practice yoga it is completely safe.
I want to share with you 5 tips which are fundamental in keeping your yoga practice SAFE. Whether you are practicing in a class with a teacher or just at home, it is essential you practice these methods to keep your practice healthy. That way you can practice yoga every damn day without any problems.
To stay present and safe in your yoga practice it is essential that you maintain a steady breath. Breath is important because it links your mind to body so grounds you in the present. If you are present when you are practicing yoga you will not get injured because you will be fully aware of how your body feels and you will know if you are going too far, before you get injured.
Having a strong audible breath also sustains you in poses. If you are in a pose and you are struggling to breathe then that is a very good indicator you have gone too far. Try backing off and regaining your breath then go back into the pose. Always remember to breathe in a pose!
When you are practicing advanced yoga poses it is very important to be fully warmed up. If you are warm then your muscles soften and this protects you from injury. ‘You cannot reshape cold glass’ and your body is the same.
Before you try anything difficult or strenuous make sure you are warmed up properly. Practice in a hot room or heat yourself up with your breath. Ujjayi breath is an audible breath and works to generate heat in your body. This heat is called tapas and will protect you from injury, as well as releasing tension and stuck energy.
Heat is also very healing as well. Your sweat will release toxins and excess fluids, letting your kidneys and liver rest. It is spiritual regeneration as well as natural healing.
Having flow in your yoga practice is important because it is the combination of breath and movement. Flow creates heat, momentum, dynamic energy, effortlessness and meditation. It will bring you to the present and keep you from getting injured.
Drishti is your GAZE. Setting your eyes on a fixed point when you are in a pose will help you focus and ground you to the present. When you are present you will not get injured.
In every yoga pose we should activate our uddiyana bandha. This is an upward lifting of the core and stabilises your entire body. When your core is strong and engaged it protects your lower spine from compression and injury. There is no strain in your muscles and joints because your core is supporting everything. So you are less likely to get injured.
YOU ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR CORE.
I have a blog post on the best exercises you can do to strengthen your core and thus protect yourself from injury and keep your practice safe and strong. Check it out here.
Finally I just want to say please please remember to be completely present in your yoga practice. Your body is so clever and will give you the correct signals to keep you safe. You just have to be present so that you receive these signals.
Don’t be afraid of yoga, it is one of the best things you can do. It has changed my life and I am sure it will change yours too.
Have a great practice.
For a lot of this information I used the book Journey into Power by Baron Baptiste. It is really helpful if you are practising at home and want to do it mindfully. You can buy the book here. By using this link you will be supporting me and what I am doing. Thank you.