Every form of physical exercise is beneficial in some way or the other. Yoga is no different, in fact, yoga is better than many other ways of subjecting your body to exercise. Yoga boasts of many different and exclusive poses for the betterment of the functioning of almost all body parts-internal and external. However, one cannot negate the fact that not doing yoga correctly can put your body at great risk. Instead of becoming source of benefit, if not done properly, yoga may end up becoming a reason for your injury. Some of the many risks of practising yoga incorrectly are as follows:
Shoulder stands, i.e. Salamba Sarvangasana, is when one raises their body perpendicular to ground-level with only the shoulders resting on the ground. It is one of the most excruciating poses of yoga, and needs high expertise to be performed. It is done for strengthening the back and neck, and the shoulders. Laymen can easily go wrong with this one, and put the spine at risk. It can not only strain your neck, but can also injure your shoulder and entire back. Be sure to do it with proper help, and only under professional guidance.
These are, by far, the most difficult among all yoga poses. Headstands, or Sirsasana, come with plenty of benefits like improved blood circulation and a stronger neck. Having said that, there are plenty of risks associated with headstands too. This pose is meant only for people who have trained themselves to correctly execute this posture. Beginners might not be able to pull it off easily and correctly, and may end up injuring themselves. Headstands carry the most possibilities of people straining their necks, shoulders and backs.
Back bends usually involve sitting down on your knees, raising your legs behind your back, and holding your feet with your hands behind your back. As difficult as it may seem, it is even more difficult to perform. Go for it slowly, especially when you are trying it out for the first time. This pose is clearly not meant for people with chronic back aches and neck pains. Take care to not stretch your muscles too far. Look out for signs from your body, if it gets too overwhelming, one should stop right away. You can even have somebody helping you out before you learn to do it independently. You can always use props to minimise the risk of any possible injury.
How can you reduce these risks?
Doing yoga correctly is an art. You must learn to listen to your body when setting out to perform yoga. A strange and unexpected reaction like a sudden shot of pain, or breathlessness must never be ignored. Do not go against your will in order to complete the pose just because you have to, especially if your body is telling you otherwise. Consult your doctor regarding your medical condition before you decide to take up any such exercise that may bring more trouble to your current health situation.
- Start with the most basic and the easiest of poses when you are a beginner, and then gradually raise your bar.
- Warm up before your regular yoga sessions so that your body gets accustomed to the movements.
- With stretching exercises, take your time and go slowly.
- Be careful not to give sudden jerks and quick movements to your body, especially when performing difficult poses.
- Try to increase your stamina and strength in the parts where you lack it. For example, some people have a strong torso, but comparatively weaker legs. Hence, they should try calf and thigh exercises to improve that condition.
- Hire a personal trainer or join a professional yoga course in order to minimise any risks and any damage which can be done due to unawareness.
- Do not stress your body more that it can handle. Practise daily so that you do not lose practice of your yoga postures.
Summing it up:
Nothing can be a better form of physical exercise for your body than yoga. It has been proved that Yoga improves blood circulation and functioning of internal organs, and you can easily perform the basic forms of Yoga at home. But, when it comes to complex exercises or poses that are exclusively meant for certain conditions, it is best to approach professional trainer to guide you through the dos and don’ts of it. Having a trainer by your side will make matters much easier and a lot safer.