Are you more prone to injuries in a home practice?

The likelihood that you practice yoga at home is pretty high. And the possibility of a yoga-related injury is pretty low. However, accidents do happen, and in order to prevent injuries, it’s important to understand how and where they occur. Below, we dissect why a home yoga practice may make you slightly more susceptible to injury.

The Data

In a recent DOYOU study, we heard from more than ten thousand people and found that 85% of yogis practice at home. Four out of five home-practicing yoga practitioners use streaming services, television, or the Internet.

While it’s convenient and cheaper (the two main reasons people practice yoga at their homes), using virtual tools to practice yoga may miss key aspects of yoga that put your body in danger. Is it worth the potential risk of injury to trade off privacy, convenience, and low cost?

It is good to know that a staggering 80% of our sampled yogis have never been injured by yoga. This number does show that injuries do happen, even though they are rare. The shoulder was the most common injury reported by people who had a yoga injury. It’s not surprising that shoulder injuries are common, given the fact that it is the most mobile joint and the least stable in the body.

It just so happens that shoulders are heavily used in yoga. Can you imagine doing a Sun Salutation with your shoulders removed?

Compromised Alignment

A home practice can lead to an increased risk of injury for several reasons. It is important to ensure correct body alignment in order to prevent injuries. However, it can be challenging for you to correct your posture. Most yoga instructors will agree that doing yoga at home removes the personalized instructions given to students in a studio setting.

As an instructor cannot see the student, it is impossible to give specific alignment cues. This makes poses less safe.

Utilize Your Resources

Injuries can also be caused by factors like the health of the yogi and their approach to yoga. Everyone has a history of injuries, regardless of where they practice yoga.

A certified and present instructor who can assess your physical condition before you practice will prevent injuries that recur. Virtual classes do not offer personalized instruction, so it is impossible to recommend modifications and props that are suitable for specific conditions.

Respect and understand your limits

A live instructor can also help you avoid injury by guiding your practice. We strive to achieve a balance in yoga between effort and ease. Sometimes, we push beyond these limits.

A yoga instructor in person can recognize when you are stretching too much or trying that hand balance that you were not quite ready for. They will often coax you back and help you to relax. It can help prevent muscle injury or joint pain, which could cause you to be impatient to get back to your mat.

Anyone can get injured while practicing yoga, but the health benefits outweigh the risks. It is possible to enjoy a home yoga practice, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t have the right foundation, attitude, and approach.

Remember that yoga isn’t about the pose. The pose can be alluring, and the ego of all of us may want to leap into the picturesque posture. Focus on the unique satisfaction of the process. It requires us to work hard towards something… and often offers and teaches something within along the way. Be mindful of your body, practice safely and at your own pace.

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