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Yoga teacher: Knee, wrist injury prevention

Yoga teacher for knee injury – Yoga experience, in all its forms, is an excellent way to exercise the body and clear the mind. Its popularity over the years has grown exponentially in North America with various yoga styles and studios opening in most communities and more people training to become yoga teacher.

Yoga teacher, Knee injury

According to a yoga teacher, students just beginning a yoga experience should be aware of overuse injury. Joints such as knees are more susceptible to injury if proper care in instruction of alignment is overlooked. These basic rules while having yoga experience, whether an experienced practitioner or beginner, will help protect knees.

Understanding Alignment to Prevent Knee Injuries

Yoga experience postures such as Warrior I and Warrior II, Reverse Warrior and Extended Side-Angle pose, if performed correctly, have incredible strengthening properties. However the knee must be placed in proper alignment in order for injury not to occur.

Let’s take Warrior II as an example. The tendency for most is to collapse the front knee towards the inside to try and sink the hips lower into the posture. Instead protect the front knee by coming up out of Warrior II slightly and engaging the inner thigh muscle. When that muscle activates, the front knee correctly aligns directly over the ankle.

Don’t forget about the back leg and knee. Once correct alignment is established with the front knee, the outside edge of the back foot tends to lift off the mat. Careful attention must be placed on the back foot to continue its full placement on the mat, especially the back foot’s outer edge. This, in turn, activates the muscles throughout the back leg and protects the back knee.

The pressure on the knees significantly increase with the over bending of the front knee in Warrior II. With enough repetition, over time, injury will occur.

Avoid this added pressure on knees by correctly aligning the knee directly over the ankle in all lunge-type poses: Warrior I, Warrior II, Reverse Warrior, Extended Side-Angle, Crescent pose, High Lunge and Kneeling Lunge.

When knee pains begin or persist, even with correct alignment, consult a doctor.

Use of Props for Yoga Poses: Extended Side-Angle and High Lunge

Props such as a couple of yoga blocks add support in modifying a yoga postures.

High Lunge, when performed correctly, will have the front knee bent at a 90 degree angle, stacked directly over the front ankle. Simultaneously, the back leg lengthens with the back heel off the mat. Two modifications will help those who are finding the high lunge a bit challenging. The first is to offer two blocks. The blocks placed on either side of the bent front knee will provide support by extending the length of the arms (into the blocks).

The second modification is to bend the back leg so the knee rests on the ground. If available, placing a blanket under the back knee offers proper support to the knee cap.

Extended Side-Angle pose should only be attempted if Warrior II is performed solidly. In the first attempts, a block will add proper support to the posture and protect the knees from collapsing. Take a block and place it directly beside the instep of the front foot in Warrior II. Use it to extend the length of the arm (into the block) as the top arm extend overhead with the side stretch.

The blocks serve as support in yoga poses such as the high lunge and extended side-angle pose. It also allows the yoga practitioner to practice safely without pushing and straining knee joints.

With proper care in performing basic yoga poses, knee injuries can be prevented. It is important to practice yoga as safely as possibly to enable a lifelong practice.

Yoga teacher for wrist injury – Yoga experience, in all its forms, is an excellent way to exercise the body and clear the mind. Its popularity over the years has grown exponentially in North America with various yoga styles and studios opening in most communities and more people training to become yoga instructors.

Yoga wrist injury prevention

Yoga teacher says students just beginning a yoga practice should be aware of overuse injury. Joints such as wrists are more susceptible to injury if proper care in instruction of alignment is overlooked. These basic rules, while practicing yoga, whether an experienced practitioner or beginner, will help protect wrists.

Understanding Alignment to Prevent Wrist Injuries

Yoga postures such as downward dog, upward dog and plank can be repeated several times in one class. Undue pressure on the wrist joints over and over again can create serious damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome and mild wrist aches are common in yoga practitioners.

Let’s take upward dog as an example in illustrating alignment misplaced and its effect on the wrists. Proper alignment requires shoulders directly over the wrists. Incorrect alignment usually occurs when the shoulders continue past the proper point and consequently an angle smaller that 90 degrees is created at both wrists.

The pressure on the wrists significantly increases as the angle becomes smaller and smaller. With enough repetition, over time, injury will occur.

Avoid this added pressure on wrists by correctly aligning the shoulders directly over the wrists in cat, cow, plank, and upward dog.

Some modifications to lessen the pressure on wrists even in proper alignment include raising the wrist above the fingers with a prop-wedge, towel or the end of the mat folded underneath. This reduces the angle presented at the wrist and alleviates pressure. With plank, lowering the knees adds extra support while lowering to the ground. An option other than upward dog is either sphinx or cobra.

When wrist pains begin or persist, even with correct alignment, consult a doctor.

Downward Dog Wrist Placement

Downward dog is another posture, if not correctly aligned, will create some wrists injuries after prolonged misalignment during practice. Some basic tips help in the correct placement of the hands just before going into downward dog.

Place both hands at least shoulder-width apart prior to entering downward dog.
Point the index fingers towards the top of the mat making a 90 degree angle with the edge.
Spread fingers and distribute the weight evenly between all fingers and thumbs.
Observe the wrist creases, parallel to the top of the mat.
Continuing into downward dog, ensure the thumbs and index fingers do not lift off the mat.

With proper care in performing basic yoga poses, wrist injuries can be prevented. It is important to practice yoga as safely as possibly to enable a lifelong practice.

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