The truth is YES. Yes, you can get hurt doing yoga.
But is it innately more dangerous than any other form of physical exercise or movement? NO. No, it isn’t.
And I am not saying that because I love yoga but as someone who has been practicing for over ten years.
When we do any physical movement, whether it’s dancing, running, or yoga, even if it’s under the watchful eye of an instructor, we have some responsibility in making sure it is safe for ourselves. Our bodies are unique and yoga poses manifest itself differently in every body. What is perfectly safe for one person may not be for someone else.
So I’ll say it once, I’ll say it a thousand times – YOUR BODY IS YOUR BEST TEACHER.
If you aren’t quite sure what that means, below are ways you can avoid getting hurt while doing yoga:
- Listen to the limitations of your body. Don’t ignore it when your body says NO.
- When you feel a sharp pain while holding a pose, slowly and carefully come out of the pose. Injuries can happen coming out of a pose as much as while a person is in the middle of a pose.
- Use props. Not sure which props? Check out a previous blog post on how to use props.
- Let the teacher know if you are injured or recovering from an injury. He or she can keep an eye on you and suggest modifications to a pose.
- Warm up properly.
- Take a break when you need it – whether in the class by taking child’s pose or between taking classes.
- Ignore the person next to you. Their yoga is not your yoga.
- Take a class that is appropriate for your level – as in, don’t take an advanced yoga class if you aren’t quite ready (physically or emotionally).
- Know how to fall. That sounds strange, I know. But, for example, knowing how to fall out of a handstand is a huge part of learning how to do it.
Accidents can happen even to seasoned yogis (see picture of the aftermath of a recent yoga wipe out) but there are many ways we can stay safe in our practice. Stay mindful. Stay present. Be good to your body and it will be good to you.