What Can You Do To Avoid Yoga-Induced Harm?

Yoga is meant to heal you – and the Australian research confirms that this is the case for the majority of its participants. In fact, 74 per cent of the yogis studied reported that existing pain levels fell after doing yoga.

So, what can you do to avoid yoga-induced harm?

Master the poses and gain the expertise to perform them in a way that’s right for you. ‘Yoga practised without care or with incorrect alignment can cause harm,’ admits Pernetta. ‘If you walk into a yoga class with flat feet which are affecting your knees, hips and spine, or with a spine that’s never twisted or bent backwards, or with tight and constricted hips, hamstrings and shoulders, and then do a pose incorrectly, it’s the years of not doing yoga that’s the problem.’

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The instruction you have matters, especially if you’re turning to yoga to help heal or ward off a niggling injury. ‘If you have an existing condition, you need to work with a teacher who provides guidance,’ adds Pernetta. ‘As teachers of the Fierce Grace system, we work with many sports people who have overuse or underuse injuries.

At the beginning of each class, all good teachers will ask who is working with an injury and then advise on alternative poses as the class progresses. We even have a specialist class – Stiff, Old or Broken – designed for those working with injuries.’ Still unsure? Follow Pernetta’s seven-step guide to avoid pain on the mat…

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