TOP 10 "STAYING NEVER BETTER" YOGA HEALTH TIPS
Brought to you by Never Better Yoga (2020)
WHERE YOU PRACTICE MATTERS
It may seem obvious, but I've had countless stories of yogis banging into tables, kicking dogs, and colliding into windows and sills. Take a minute to make sure your area is clear, and after your practice follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning your mat. (Why? They've done some recent studies on yoga mats and you don't want to know what they found!)
YOGIS KNOW - IT HELPS TO BE EARLY
Preparation time is never wasted time. Plan the warm-up into your schedule and arrive 5 minutes prior to class to decompress and shift gears. When that's just not an option, work into your practice slowly and deliberately.
SIGNS OF "DANGER AHEAD"
Be highly "body-aware" and sensitive to signals your body is sending. How do you know if you're maxed out? Pain, light-headiness, shaking, and breathing through your mouth are all clues you are on the edge.
PROTECT YOUR WRISTS AND HANDS
I realize this is a common one, but there are things we can do to safeguard wrists and hands. Spread the palms wide across the entire hand, specifically rooting the index-knuckle and thumb-knuckle. Activate the muscles in your arm to also remove pressure on your wrists. Check to make sure index finger or middle finger is pointed towards the front of the room in proper alignment.
SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND BACK
With the right alignment, core strength and limit setting you can reduce the chance of getting hurt in these injury prone areas. There are certain poses that are more likely to cause problems so proceed with caution and study:
Shoulder - low push up
Knees - pigeon pose
Back - bridge or full wheel
BLOCKS. BLOCKS. BLOCKS.
They are such an under-utilized tool in yoga. For those that need them they can help you get into a pose through extension. Even if you don't need the floor lifted, the blocks allow you to go places you haven't been before. Besides preventing over stretching they can also help maintain proper alignment.
PUSH YOUR MUSCLES, NOT YOUR JOINTS
In so many poses it's easier to put pressure and weight on our joints versus engaging our muscles. Think knees and elbows. Joints should be bent slightly throughout your practice. Your joints will thank you today and tomorrow.
INVERSIONS AND HANDSTANDS ARE "PROGRESSIVE"
Getting upside down provides so many benefits, but potential injuries are real and we recommend you approach this one with care and a guide to help see you through. We can help you with that progression from building core strength to creating a safe environment.
NO NEED TO KEEP UP WITH THE "MAT NEXT DOOR"
When you see your yoga neighbor in a beautiful pose, or arm balance, it can motivate and inspire. It can also provide us with false courage to try things that our bodies aren't prepared for. Fight the temptation. Be inspired, but take control of the situation by working slowly toward your goal. Come as you are and practice like the real YOU.
FINDING YOUR "SWEET SPOT" IN EVERY POSE
Finding just the right balance of strength, stretch, and engagement in every pose, that's the sweet spot. The sweet spot can change with every pose and every practice. That's why listening to your body is the start of staying safe and in the game.