I wanted to take a little bit of time to discuss injury with Yoga. Yoga can be an extremely beneficial way to heal from injuries since it strengthens your body while stretching it, gaining flexibility and easing stress. I know people who used yoga to recover from some serious surgeries, but what happens when you get injured while you are practicing Yoga?
I had my very first yoga injury last month. Despite all my training and knowledge of the pose I got a little lazy. I was teaching an evening class and was feeling pretty tired. I went around to make some adjustments with my students for Warrior 1. When I hopped back onto my mat and into Warrior 1 I tweaked my knee and knew right then and there I had rushed myself into the pose and not taken the time I needed to get into it.
This small tweak caused me to hobble around in a lot of pain for about 3 days and the whole time I was so disappointed in myself. I’m a yoga teacher I should know better, I know Warrior 1 can cause some discomfort in my knee so why wasn’t I more careful? This injury was a good reminder to me that just because I am a yoga teacher does not mean I am above mistakes and also that I need to listen to my body and pay close attention in my practice.
Injury in yoga commonly happens when you are not listening to your body/ not paying attention, whether that is trying to get into a pose you are not strong enough for or flexible enough for, rushing into something without setting up properly, or not listening to a teacher’s instructions or corrections. Alignment is huge and so simple; if you are not aligning you will probably injure yourself. So through the process of my first yoga injury I had to remind myself how important it is to take the time to set up into different postures no matter how many times you have done it before. I also had to take the time to heal properly. I did very little yoga for about 5 days after my knee injury and was rubbing it with essential oils like CRAZY trying to get it to relax and heal!
When you are injured take care of your body, rest, ice, and listen. If it still hurts back off, it’s not worth making an injury worse! Healing is a process and it can take a serious amount of time sometimes to recover from a small “tweak”. Yoga is such a great practice for your body and can really help heal it but really be aware that injury in yoga is actually very common, especially for those who are newer and aren't sure about alignment! So keep on flowing and rememeber to bring awareness and respect for your body onto the mat!
Photography by Laurel Cornwell with thirteen eight photography