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How to Practice Yoga Safely!

By Sara Butler

Yoga is a great way to stay healthy, but it’s not without risks. Every year the number of yoga-related injuries goes up, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. The truth of the matter is that there is a risk when it comes to any physical activity, which is why it’s important to understand how to practice your chosen activity safely. When it comes to yoga, there are a few practical safety tips that can help keep you from becoming a part of the injury statistics.

You’re a Beginner

If you’re new to yoga, then it’s important to admit it to yourself. You wouldn’t walk into an advanced kickboxing class and expect to do everything perfectly. You must work your way through the basics first. While yoga may look less intensive than some other activities, it’s not. Go to a class that is right for your skill level and take the time to learn the basics before you move on to more challenging things.

Listen

In a yoga class, listening to the instructor is important -- but so is listening to your body. After all, it’s going to be your guide to learn what is best for you. Honor the signals your body is trying to send you to keep yourself safe. If something just doesn’t feel right, then ease out of what you’re doing. If something feels strained or it like you’re pushing too hard, listen. Relax and take a break.

Focus on Yourself

Yoga is not a competition, so don’t compare what you’re doing with your neighbors. If the person next to you can touch their nose to their shins but you can’t, that’s OK. Yoga is, at its center, about being in tune with your own body. The only way you need to practice a pose is in a way that honors your body, so don’t force it.

Choose the Right Approach

Not all yoga teachers or studios are the same, so make sure you find one that speaks to you. Find a teacher with the approach, style, and training that you want. If you’re inexperienced and not very flexible, you may want to pay for individual teaching sessions in the beginning. If you have any physical limitations or injuries you need to make sure to let your teacher know before you go. Don’t be shy!

Yoga is great for you, but you have to practice it safely! 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Albuquerque, N.M.

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