Guest post written by Joniel Suezo
Yoga practitioners are able to reap a number of significant benefits from their practice. Evidence abounds showing that yoga can improve both our physical and mental health and many people are turning to it as an adjunct to other physical or psychological therapies.
However, because yoga can be quite physically demanding, depending on the style of yoga, even a relatively minor injury can make it impractical or impossible to run through your usual yoga practice. If you are recovering from an injury but can’t wait to get back on the mat, here’s what you need to know to do so safely.
Don’t Let Your Injury Dominate Your Life
When your body is healing from an injury, it can sometimes affect your entire life in ways that you aren’t prepared for, especially if you’re a daily practitioner. Even the smallest of injuries, whether yoga related or not, can make the most mundane activities difficult.
If your injury means that you have to take some time away from your yoga practice, it can sometimes have an impact on your emotional health. After all, many of us take up yoga as a way of improving our mental health and generally reducing stress in our lives. It’s normal to want to get back to the mat ASAP but you need to let yourself heal sufficiently. While you are healing, find something to replace yoga so that you aren’t always thinking about your injury.
Make Sure You Feel Safe
If you do suffer a serious injury while doing yoga, you might be nervous about getting back into it. Similarly, if you sustained your injury off the mat, you might be worried about whether your body is still up to yoga.
If you are are concerned about your ability to respond to an injury whether on or off the mat, you may consider a medical alert device. Should you become injured and are immobilized, your medical alert device can summon help for you. If you are looking for a medical alert device, you might compare Life Alert to Bay Alarm Medical and decide which of these reliable systems is best for you.
Consult a Doctor or Physical Therapist
When an injury is keeping you from doing the thing that you’re most passionate about in life, it is only natural to want to get over it and get back to your old routine as soon as possible. However, even if you think you are fine if your doctor or physical therapist has advised you to avoid straining the injured area, follow their advice.
You may well feel like everything is fine, but lots of us have made the mistake of working out with an injury that was so close to being healed that we assumed it wouldn’t matter. Big mistake! If there is any doubt at all in your mind as to whether your injury is fully healed or not, err on the side of caution.
Work on Areas That are Unaffected
Depending on the nature of your injury, you may still be able to do some yoga while you are healing, but you may need to be sensitive to the injured areas. You may also consider choosing a style of yoga that is more gentle like Restore yoga or Yoga Nidra. Some people find that they feel depressed and suffer from anxiety when they aren’t able to practice yoga. Others have this kind of reaction to any unexpected and unwanted change in their daily routine. Doing a some yoga might help with this but make sure you’re listening to your body and avoid any sort of strain or pain, especially when recovering from an injury. Also, if you’re practicing at a studio, alert your teacher of your injuries so hey can help to provide support and modifications for your practice.
Injuries are tough. Please remember that it you go back to the mat too soon you could exacerbate your injury and end up having to spend even more time recuperating. Don’t rush into things and make sure to always listen to your body.