Practicing Yoga Safely

When we all first started practicing yoga, we tried our best in making those difficult poses. Bruises and lumps have indeed become our best friends during our quest in perfecting our yoga poses. It is theoretically impossible to force your body to adjust to the pose within one day. Instead of forcing our body to adjust to the pose, we should adjust your pose according to your body’s capability to avoid injuries.

 I learned it the hard way in my quest of perfecting my yoga poses. However, experience is the best teacher as I learned few important lessons through mistakes which I made during my early days. Though, my tips may sound simple, those are the basics that people may often overlook. Here are a few tips which I would like to share with those people who just started practicing yoga:

– Follow your body capacity

You are the one who own your body and you are the one who know the exact capacity of your body. There are times for practitioner to push their limit in an attempt to master the yoga poses as soon as possible. Especially when they know that their fellow practitioners have advanced further than themselves. However it is very important to remember that there is always a limit to the body capacity and pushing it beyond the limit will do nothing good nor fasten the learning curve.

 – Put safety first

Certain poses in Ashtanga yoga may be too difficult for first timers. Therefore, it is not advisable for newbies to push the boundaries as it may inflict injuries ranging from bruises to lumps. For certain risky poses, it is advisable for newbies to put cushion in front of them when they are trying to make difficult poses like kakasana, bakasana and bhuja pidasana. Newbies could also go near the wall when they practice challenging poses like sirsasana, vrksasana and pincha mayurasana. It would be best if there is someone to stand by near you in order to assist you when something wrong happens. Those with permanent injuries should consult their doctor or yoga master prior to practicing yoga. 

 – Consistency and discipline

There are times when you are stuck during your practice. It is always easy to make excuses which support you to stop practicing yoga. You have to understand that there is always a first time to everything and you will not be able to master everything in a very short period of time without any perseverance. When you are unable to make a yoga pose that does not mean that you will never be able to do it. Right techniques and perseverance are the keys into mastering certain yoga poses. Sometimes you are unable to make the pose due to fatigues, inability to focus or using incorrect techniques. If you cannot make it at the first time, try it again the next time you practice yoga. 

– No pain no gain

It is not merely a quote that you gain when you have endured certain level of pain. The tips which I shared with you are intended to reduce the pain which may occur on newbies. But that does not mean that you can practice yoga without any pain. However, in order for your body to be able to make certain poses, it is necessary to train your muscles and joints to adapt. Failure to do so will prevent you from mastering the yoga poses. But again when your body has reached its limit you should not push it beyond the boundary which may cause permanent injuries to your body. Time will heal the pain and you should give your body the time to heal itself.

 In conclusion yoga is intended to increase your well being instead of harming your body. The main principle of yoga is Ahimsa which means non-harming in which you should not harm your body when you practice yoga. There is no point of pushing your body beyond the limit and sustaining injuries since it will not bring you any closer into perfection. However, patience, perseverance, & right techniques are the keys into mastering yoga. With a continuous practice you will be able to cultivate the maximum benefits of practicing yoga.

 

Teresa Rinda
200hr TTC (Weekday – Nov 2013)

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