Yoga and Injury Prevention

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stretchI am a runner, and like most runners I fear blowing out my knee and suffering an injury that I won’t be able to bounce back from.

 

One of the many reasons I started my yoga practice, was to avoid these injuries that I so deeply fear. There is never a guarantee that you won’t get injured, but there are ways to educate yourself and lower the chances of getting hurt.

 

Playing sports all your life will inevitably lead to some type of injury along the way. I am no exception to this rule, I have had knee problems since high school and I notice the side effects of my injury significantly when I am practicing yoga.

 

The thing about yoga is it reminds you to listen to what your body is telling you. For example, last night in YogaToneRegina had us in Warrior III. My balance is awful in my right leg, which makes it very difficult to do these types of poses. For me, these poses require deep focus and attention, which was never something I practiced until I found yoga. So in Warrior III I focus my attention on one spot and I listen to my shaky knee. If it tells me we need a break, I take a break. If it tells me to straighten up, I do so.

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This consciousness of my body allows me to keep track of all my muscles and joints. Yoga is like a conversation between you and your body, “Hey knee, you doing okay? What about you ankle, you all right today?” Your body wants to be heard; in fact it NEEDS to be heard. These simple steps of just allowing yourself the chance to listen to your body will greatly reduce the odds of being injured.

 

Yoga is a sequence of conscious movements that allows your muscles to stretch and lengthen, which also plays a huge role in preventing injury. Yoga Pod Instructors are trained in the human anatomy; they know what every pose does for the body and why it is beneficial. It’s important to trust the ones giving you instruction, whether that’s your coach, your parent, or your yoga instructor.

 

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Every time I enter a classroom I feel secure knowing that my instructors will take care of me.

 

After my injury I started out easy in PodGentle, and communicated my concerns with my instructor. I was then able to work my way back up to more high energy classes like PodBarre and YogaTone after a couple of weeks. I am so proud to say I am a living-breathing testament of injury prevention in yoga. Since I started practicing everyday, I haven’t felt an ounce of pain in my knee. This is only one of the many gifts yoga offers.

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