Yoga is touted as the exercise good for everyone. But too much of a good thing can be, well, a bad thing. And, yes, there are some yoga poses that many of us should never do.
It seems everyone is practicing yoga these days, whether at home or in the studio. It offers flexibility, balance (both physically and mentally), and calming of the mind. But more, in this case, is not necessarily a good idea. There are certain precautions you should take in order to protect your body.
Maybe you’re a yoga beginner or a practiced yogini. Either way, injury, inflexibility, and life happenings all affect your performance on the mat. Remember, yoga is a noncompetitive sport. Just because the person beside you can touch her palms to the floor in Forward Bend, doesn’t mean you have to. Tailor your practice to work for you. Don’t push yourself to get there. If you feel pain, this is your body telling you to stop.
Whether your practice is temporarily sidelined due to injury, or certain poses are best left off the list permanently, there are always modifications or other poses that will work well for you. As you become stronger and develop the best practice for you personally, you will see results not only in your body but your energy and satisfaction too.
Yoga Poses You Should Not Do…
If you have a bad back // Don’t: Cobra, Camel, Wheel (Backbend), standing or sitting forward bend with knees locked. Do: Be sure, no matter what pose you are doing, that you are engaging your core. This will help to protect your back.
If you have weak knees // Don’t: Hero, Warrior, High Lunge, Full Lotus. Do: Strengthen your quadriceps. Weak knees are often the result of under-engaged or weak quads.
If you have weak wrists // Don’t: Plank, Side Plank, Downward Facing Dog. Do: Try going onto elbows and forearms during Plank and Down Dog. Or some people feel that using blocks make these poses easier on their wrists.
If you have a sensitive neck // Don’t: Plow, Shoulder Stand, looking forward while in any forward bending pose. Do: When doing Elbow Plank be sure your shoulders are out of your ears and avoid craning your neck in any position, like Shoulder Plank, or Triangle Pose. Try instead to keep your neck in a natural position.
If you are pregnant // Don’t: Backbend, Camel, Headstand, Shoulder Stand, Boat Pose, Revolved Triangle. Do: Seek out a yoga instructor knowledgable in teaching women during pregnancy. There are several contraindications to consider in each trimester to protect you and your unborn child.
If you are menstruating // You thought we’d suggest avoiding inversions here, right? This used to be the case but now experts believe there is no health risk to these poses at any time in your cycle. So, it is best left to personal choice. Again, take note of how your body feels and ease off if a pose is uncomfortable. You may need a day or two off, or extra meditation, if you are feeling low energy.
Related on EcoSalon