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6 Prominent Ways To Avoid Serious Yoga Injuries

6 Prominent Ways To Avoid Serious Yoga Injuries

Yoga was first originated in ancient India. It is a group of physical, spiritual and mental disciplines or practices that yogis do to relax, exercise and to relieve muscle, joint and bone-related pain. But if you will not practice it properly, it can tear ligaments, cause muscle strain and other severe injuries. Here, in this article, I’m going to discuss some prominent ways to prevent yoga injuries in 6 areas of your body.

1. Neck Injury

The neck is the most common area, which is at risk of being injured during yoga. You can injure your neck while doing plough, headstand and shoulder stand. This is the time when you’re putting most of your body weight on your neck and it might get injured. Just make the neck safety a priority. You have to be aware of your body limits and don’t choose too difficult poses at the outset. Always go with the ease until your body gets used to it.

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2. Shoulder Injury

Another common injury caused due to incorrect body alignment during yoga practices is the shoulder injury. When you raise the shoulders up towards the ears (also known as shrugging), it applies pressure on the shoulders and eventually injures the muscles. Always remember that, tight shoulders are weak and prone to injury, so avoid headstands and shoulder stands until you strengthen your shoulders and open them up. During stretches, avoid pulling too hard on the shoulders.

3. Wrist Injury

Wrist injury is caused when you put too much of your body weight on your wrists during yoga poses. And tender wrists from texting and keyboard use can worsen this injury. In order to avoid this injury, you will have to learn how to properly bear weight on the correct parts of your hand. You can avoid injury by keeping your wrists lined up with the front edge of your mat and spreading your fingers equally with both your index fingers.

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4. Back Injury

Back injury usually occurs when yogis round the spine in order to go deep into your forward folds. It can also happen when you’re practicing a pose in which you have to round your back while keeping your legs straight.

You can prevent this injury by expanding your spine up and away from your butt to avoid rounding your back while paying attention on breathing into each posture. Don’t fold too deep. Just try to have a straight back and hold your abs in order to keep your core stabilized. Do some knee exercises such as down dog and forward folds to keep your knees soft.

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5. Knee Injury

Knee injury occurs if your hips aren’t flexible enough to carry out hip-opening and deep knee-folding poses. In such cases, your knee might dislocate while doing warrior poses, pigeon poses or half-lotus.

You can prevent the knee injury by doing some exercises for hip flexibility. Always remember that you don’t need to push and strain beyond limits. As per the famous quote, “practice makes the man perfect,” you have to do the same. Keep practicing before moving into the deep poses and don’t forget to use props to support the knee, especially while doing pigeon.

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6. Hamstring Muscle Injury

Hamstring injury occurs when you’re doing poses with your legs straight or going too deep into your forward folds. Your hamstring muscles can be pulled when you carry out quick, jerky movements or when you straighten your legs and back.

You can prevent the hamstring injury by keeping your knees soft. Ask your yoga instructor and perform knee exercises by bending them. Avoid using your hand in order to push yourself deeper when moving into a forward fold. You can instead pull back and breathe into the whole hamstring length to stretch it completely.

Featured photo credit: Pinterest via media.yogajournal.com

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Yasmin Rasidi

Copy Writer at Swotfish

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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