“Often, injury that results from any physical activity — be it yoga poses, dancing or weightlifting — comes from a combination of your body’s own imbalances and the modality in question. The key is addressing and correcting those imbalances and increasing your proprioception, which is simply your body’s ability to sense itself from inside-out. We are equipped with specialized nerve cells that provide our brains with information about pressure, temperature, position, vibration and, yes, pain.” – Jill Miller (exert from the EQ Blog).
As my yoga guru Ganga White says, “always is always wrong and never is never right…” Yoga is a very personal practice and our edges are constantly changing. What happened yesterday may or may not determine where we are at today. As an athlete, dancer, practitioner and teacher I’m in tune with my body and extremely conscious of my abilities and needs; I know when to play around and when I need to pull back.
It’s a recipe for disaster when the nature of a class promotes a flashy egotistical practice out of students (like in many West Hollywood studios), encouraging environments may push students to work well beyond their means. This is especially true for less experienced practitioners or people whom are unknowingly dis-connected between their own mind and body, they are less likely to be as conscious of their edges, which means they may be pushing far beyond their means. Yoga injuries incur when inexperience meets incorrect form and/or alignment is done improperly especially in a fast paced vinyasa flow class.
Yoga isn’t a sport, nor is it about how far you can stretch or how long you can flow, it’s about doing what feels right for your body today. When practicing as a group be conscious of the energy you’re projecting, try to lift the group up by projecting positive energy regardless of whatever kind of day you’ve just had. Somedays you will need to lifted and some days you’ll be the lifter, the breath is the body of the practice, listen to yours and then work to breath simultaneously with your neighbors.