How To Safely Practice Yoga With These 5 Common Injuries
Even when you’re being careful, chances are you still might get injured as an adult. Everything from sleeping funny to tripping and falling can come with an injury that might take some time to recover from. The good news is that you can still take part in a yoga practice that gets your body moving and helps you connect in a mindful way. If you’re contemplating how to safely practice yoga with an injury, here’s a rundown of some common injuries you might experience and what yoga poses you can do while you recover.
Can you do yoga with an injury?
As frustrating as it can be to suffer from an injury, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to completely change your routine or cut out exercise. In fact, doing yoga poses can actually help you become more in tune with what your body needs.
Does yoga help heal injuries? It can definitely put you in a much better position to recover more quickly. Yoga can also help relax muscle tension, which can be especially helpful if you’re suffering from something like a pulled muscle or strained back.
How can I practice yoga with an injury?
If you’re wondering “How can I practice yoga safely?”, the answer is to always listen to your body. If you’re experiencing any kind of pain, it’s important that you stop and evaluate what your body is telling you. Injuries can be made worse if you push yourself too far.
Remember to take things slowly with your yoga practice so that you aren’t rushing through poses. Going too fast can end up disguising which poses are causing pain, which can then lead to you ignoring what your body is trying to communicate to you. Going through your yoga routine slowly and with intention can help create an environment that’s more conducive to healing injuries.
Let’s take a look at some common injuries and what yoga poses you should do when you’re experiencing them. If you’re unfamiliar with the poses, a quick Google search can help give you instructions on how to properly practice them.
1. Ankle sprain
Ankles are super easy to sprain and are one of the most common injuries adults experience. Luckily, there are plenty of yoga poses you can do while sitting or lying down. There are even entire yoga sequences that can be done sitting in a chair.
Super gentle and restorative yoga can be helpful to practice while you let your ankle heal. You don’t have to miss out on yoga while you recuperate – even poses as simple as child’s pose or a seated forward bend can help you stretch out your muscles without moving around too much.
2. Injured back
Whether your injured back is a chronic issue or a temporary muscle strain, there are lots of yoga poses that can be useful. It can be helpful to stretch out your back muscles (especially if you suffer from frequent pain), so child’s pose, cat/cow pose, downward facing dog, locust pose, upward facing dog, and floor bow can all be great ways to strengthen your back muscles and help improve your posture at the same time.
3. Knee injury
Wondering “Can I do yoga with a knee injury?” The answer is yes! There are tons of poses that can help with knee injuries (including things like sprains, ACL issues, tendonitis, etc.). Try out ones like triangle pose, mountain pose, supported half-moon pose, supported bridge pose, chair pose, child’s pose, and seated forward bend pose. These can strengthen your knee muscles and can sometimes help to alleviate knee pain.
4. Pulled muscles
Pulled muscles can be extremely painful. Depending on how bad the strain is, your best bet is to practice gentle yoga that is slower and more calming than fast-paced routines. You’ll want to get a good stretch on the muscles that are pulled so that the area is able to recover. Skip any poses that bring about more pain or discomfort.
5. Hamstring injuries
You might need some props like yoga blocks or bolsters to help with a hamstring injury. Try bound bridge pose, partial locust pose, supported partial reclining big toe pose, and locust pose to help recover from hamstring injuries. Make sure you’re not pushing yourself too hard – you can definitely make a hamstring injury worse by over-exercising.
Whether you have a broken bone, muscle injury, or are recovering from surgery or childbirth, yoga can be a really helpful tool to assist in your recovery. Whichever type of injury you have, it’s crucial that you listen to your body.
It can also be helpful to ask for support from your yoga instructor. Before class begins, inform your teacher of any injuries you’re suffering from. They can keep this in mind when they’re teaching and let you know of any poses you should avoid, or make suggestions for adaptations or variations that might suit you better. If you’re still struggling to discover what kind of practice might be suitable for your particular injury, ask your teacher if they have suggestions for poses you can try at home that might speed up your recovery. It never hurts to ask for help!
Please note that you should consult a doctor about your injury before you take on any physical activity (including yoga), so that you don’t run the risk of worsening your injury or creating further issues. Once you’ve got the all-clear from a medical professional, you can take on your yoga practice with zero problems!