Injury needn’t be part and parcel of your yoga journey. Pain often arises when the discipline has been performed incorrectly. ‘In India, yoga is a study of self to reach spiritual enlightenment. The physical practice is only one area – it’s also about meditation and selfacceptance (or “santosha”),’ says Sarah Scott, yoga teacher at Grace Belgravia (gracebelgravia.com).
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‘But today, many people feel pressured into forcing the body to do movements before it’s ready. And when you perform poses without awareness, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position that can result in injury.’ The thing is, yoga isn’t about performance. While there are competitive factions (yoga championships, anyone?), the tradition is mostly about feeling centred.
‘Yoga should not be considered a sport,’ adds Agarwalla. ‘If you think of yoga as a “stretch session” or type of gymnastics, the possibility of injury arises. Yoga is a system for achieving a healthy body, positive mind and balanced emotions.’ If you’re concerned about injury, consider an Iyengar class – its attention to alignment and use of props helps rebalance your body.
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