The experts at Summit Orthopedics provide yoga injury prevention tips in their QUICKGuide to prevent injuries and stay safe during your fitness routine.
Know your limits and modify
Yoga provides an exceptional way of building flexibility, and as you participate in yoga, it is essential that you move within your body’s current range of motion. You want to feel a gentle stretch or tension, not pain. Everyone has a different amount of flexibility, some of which is “hardwired” in how their bodies are naturally. Just because the person next to you can do a certain pose, that doesn’t mean everyone can do that same pose in the same way. Especially in yoga, you need to be listening to your body’s signals constantly, and modifying if you start to experience pain. Don’t try a pose beyond your ability level.
The difficulty level, type of yoga, and instructor all matter
With hundreds of forms of yoga out there, it’s worth your time to do some research to see which type fits your goals and ability levels best. Make sure you are attending classes geared for your ability level. You are not doing yourself any favors trying to tackle an advanced class as a beginner. In fact, doing too much, too soon is a major risk for injury. Also, check the credentials of your instructor; you want to choose a qualified person.
Communicate with your instructor, and your doctor
When you have existing medical conditions or an injury, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Based on your specific situation, it’s possible that some forms of exercise – although great for others – are not a good choice for you. Although your doctor can give you a general okay for yoga, your next step in injury prevention is talking with your instructor, who is more familiar with the varying types of yoga and poses for each. Tell your instructor about any injuries or medical conditions, it will help them alert you when modifications are needed.
These arthritis-safe exercise guidelines will help you confidently maintain an exercise program that won’t cause further damage to your joints.
Curious about yoga? Dr. Skendzel and his team have some suggestions for safely making yoga a part of your exercise program.