Here are a few common yoga injuries to watch out for as you hit the mat (and how to avoid them):
- Pulled hamstrings: the hamstring muscle located at the back of the thighbone (or femur) can stretch or tear if you force yourself too far forward, and too quickly, in a pose with straight or locked legs.
Prevention tip: don't use your hands to pull or walk yourself deeper into a fold or pose, and relax your legs/release the tension every few seconds while in a straight-legged pose
- Wrist pain: wrists are usually overworked in general from daily tasks like typing, writing, and driving... so using them to support your whole body weight in a yoga pose causes additional strain.
Prevention tip: with downward dog, plank pose, or arm balances, concentrate on alignment, and line your wrists up with the front edge of your mat, get a good spread of your fingers, and center your body weight evenly over your wrists
- Low back pain: pressure put on your back from rounding the spine too deeply into forward folds can cause irritation
Prevention tip: lengthen your spine as much as possible in forward folds and if seated folds are too difficult, sit on a block or blanket for extra support
If you experience any pain that is severe or persistent as a result of yoga, make an appointment with your doctor.
(Adapted from Shape)
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