With approximately 36.7 million people in America alone practicing yoga, there is no denying that yoga has now become the new trend in the fitness world. Regardless of gender and age, it seems as though a widespread amount of people are now trying to become yogi (people who practice yoga). However, as with any type of exercise, injuries are inevitable if caution is not taken.
Researchers at the Center for Injury Sciences discovered yoga-related injuries were more frequent both with increasing age of yogi and with increasing popularity of yoga. They hypothesized that people who hopped on the yoga train and became followers of the trend were probably unaware of the necessary precautions needed to safely practice yoga. With almost 50% of injuries to the trunk and 45% of injuries categorized as sprains or strains, yoga-related injuries are not to be overlooked.
Image Source: Kevin Frayer
Unseemingly, yoga is a demanding and strenuous exercise that requires skill and practice over time to reach mastery. Beginners are recommended to start slowly in small-sized introductory classes with a trained instructor rather than hastily jumping into a higher level class. The reason for this is to create a strong foundation as well as to get more personal interaction with a professional to perfect posture, pose, and breathing techniques. Moreover, taking yoga classes will not only introduce yogi to yoga lingo, but also to fellow enthusiastic yogis. All these reasons will ultimately help yogis build upon their basic skills for a safer experience.
When yoga is done right, it can help improve both psychological and physical health. According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga can help mentally by managing stress levels and, thus, fostering a positive perspective on life. A systematic practice of yoga can facilitate mental clarity, calmness, and concentration. Physical benefits include increased flexibility, muscle strength, and athletic performance. Moreover, metabolism, respiration, and vitality can also be improved through regular yoga sessions.
Researchers at the University of Illinois say one Hatha yoga session lasting only 20 minutes can improve focus and memory and speed up information processing time. Hatha yoga, currently, describes a broad style of yoga; it is a general category that encompasses yoga postures and breathing exercises.
Therefore, if you plan on becoming a future yogi, make sure to do some research beforehand and consider taking a beginner’s class to prevent any injuries. Only when yoga is done right will it bring mental and physical benefits, such as psychological calmness and increased muscle strength.
Featured Image Source: Yoga Master by Nathan Rupert