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AVOIDING YOGA-INDUCED INJURIES

Doesn’t it always seem that just as you’re getting really comfortable and strong in your yoga practice, an injury comes along that knocks you off your feet and requires you to slow down? Whether it’s a strained muscle or a broken bone, the lesson is simple: time to rest and heal.

Thankfully, yoga is a form of exercise that thrives off of alterations, changes, and meeting you where you are each time you step on your mat. It offers plenty of variations for those needing to ease up, and it actually can help you prevent or recover from injuries.

When You’ve Gone Too Far

As a general rule, you should never feel pain in your joints. If you do feel pinching sensations, it’s an indication to stop and relearn your technical approach.

Muscles are a different story. Muscular soreness is an unavoidable sensation caused by any physical activity: running, biking, weight lifting, dancing. This kind of soreness is natural. But if you start feeling pain in your joints – such as in the vertebrae or shoulder joints – while attempting complex movements, it’s time to modify.

Wave your yoga instructor down and ask for a few pointers. At Yoga Fever, we do our best to help students right during class, but if we can’t answer all your questions, please grab us before or after class!

Conquering the Ego

If you are experiencing an injury, one of the hardest things to face is your own ego. You’ll begin to cringe when you have to back out of a pose or rest in child’s pose rather than following the sequence you used to easily flow through. I’ve got some blunt honesty for you: let the ego bleed itself to death. This is exactly what you’ll need to free yourself from the whiny voice in your head that thinks your value is tied to your success.

Then, you’ll be able to reframe your mind. Injury demands you to ask what your priority in yoga really is. When you can no longer do the “cool” poses, you must identify whether your motivation is finding inner peace or simply mastering advanced poses.

Injury Prevention

1. Sudden or Acute Pain– Do you know the difference between stretching within your limits and pushing beyond them? Often, we slip into the latter and our body gives a shout of pain.

What to Do: Speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right when your instructor makes an adjustment. Give yourself some compassion when you have the desire to force or contort yourself into a posture that’s just not happening today!

2. Connective Tissue Tears– Occasionally, your joint may take on too heavy of a load, such as your knees in Chair Pose or your elbows and wrists in arm balances.

What to Do: Stop what you were doing immediately before making the injury worse. You may want to take a few days off, but when you do return to your mat, remember to focus on stability rather than stretching; this way you’ll stay within your limits.

3. Repetitive Stress Injuries– Dedicated yogis occasionally experience stress injuries – like tendonitis – from repeatedly doing the same movements.

What to Do: Though you may have a favorite style of yoga, mixing things up and trying not only different yoga classes but also other forms of exercise, is a great way to shift the frequency away from overused body parts.

Last piece of advice today: give yin yoga a try. This is a new class to Yoga Fever, being held Sunday evenings from 7:30-8:30pm. From healing injured shoulders to little toes, yin yoga is the answer. It focuses on long, passive holds, stretching and nourishing your connective tissue. This is where the action is and where injuries are healed. Give it a try!

Why You Need Yin Yoga in Your Life

I am so excited to introduce a new style of yoga to our Yoga Fever schedule: Yin Yoga! Coming to you on Sunday nights, starting March 25, this new class will break down everything you know about yoga – and you’re going to seriously love it!

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin yoga is based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang: the opposite and complementary principles in nature. While most of our yoga classes focus on yang – the changing and moving aspect – yin focuses on the stable, unmoving aspect. In a yin class, you’ll experience passive floor poses that mainly work the lower portion of your body, including hips, pelvis, inner thighs, and lower spine.

Who is Yin Yoga Designed For?

This practice is well-suited for anyone who has an active lifestyle and is looking to add more calmness and quiet to their lives. It’s also great for anyone who struggles with anxiety or depression and is seeking recovery or healing.

Friends with hip or knee replacements: our restorative, gentle yoga classes may be better suited for you.

Why Practice Yin Yoga?

1. Increased Flexibility and Strength – You will actively stretch your body’s connective tissue, simultaneously striving to quiet your mind and settle into the pose. Yin yoga is where poses are held from 30 seconds up to five minutes, allowing time, breath, and gravity relax your body and deepen the pose. When you gently stretch connective tissue by holding it this long, your body will respond by making it a little longer and a little stronger, which is exactly the goal of exercise.

2. Increased Awareness and Self-Intimacy – We live in a world where we are overstimulated with technology, social activities, and other responsibilities, that we often end up never switching off at all. Any kind of dynamic yoga caters to this aspect of keeping ourselves busy. That’s why it’s a good idea to balance your vinyasa yoga with a vastly different form like yin.

Finding stillness for several minutes in a pose creates gaps where the mind is free to wander. Many of us try to stay far away from meditative gaps like this because they often bring up anxiety, boredom, or anything else we suppress during the busyness of life. As with any good form of meditation, yin yoga provides the space needed to address those emotions head on.

3. A Portable Practice – You can practice yin yoga almost anywhere! You don’t always need a mat. In fact, most poses can be held while sitting at your desk, watching TV, reading, or lying in bed.

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I strongly encourage each of you to attend one of our new, regularly-scheduled yin yoga classes led by new instructor, Gretchen. Join us on Sunday nights from 7:30pm to 8:30pm to learn how to relinquish control and become more comfortable with both your body and mind.

“I frequently hear my students say when leaving class that it feels like they just experienced a full body massage.”

“Many students tell me they leave class without the stress they were carrying when they came in.” 

“One of my students told me he got his personal best running time after he started practicing yin!” – Gretchen