A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the importance of keeping safety in mind when heading back to the gym after a long winter. However, I quickly realized that many of my patients nowadays prefer the yoga mat to the weight room.
Most people turn to yoga for a soothing and spiritual experience that can increase strength, flexibility and a sense of well-being. However, it’s important to keep in mind that yoga can sometimes lead to serious injuries to the hands, wrists and elbows when done incorrectly.
If you do practice yoga, the following simple steps can help keep you injury-free in your practice:
1. Listen to your body. Injuries often result from fatigue, compensation for inflexibility, lack of strength, or a loss of balance in a pose. Always stay focused on your practice to prevent a careless injury.
2. Watch your form. Incorrect alignment in simple poses like downward dog can put a lot of undue pressure on the wrists and lead to strained tendons and overstretched ligaments. Make sure to speak with your instructor if you start to feel pain or discomfort in a pose.
3. Remember to stretch your arms, fingers and wrists before beginning your practice. You should stretch your joints in ways that replicate the movements you will be engaging in during the exercise.
I hope you find these tips helpful and please do not hesitate to speak to your instructor or me if you’re experiencing pain during, or after, your practice.