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When you’ve got an injury, it can feel intimidating to practice yoga. Every injury is different and requires individual assessment from a health professional as to whether doing yoga is appropriate. Below you can find some tips on what to consider before doing yoga with an injury, and how to approach your yoga practice with an injury.

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Yoga can be helpful to recover from injuries, but make sure you check with your doctor first that yoga is recommended with your injury

Yoga is recognized as a useful tool for creating health of the body and mind, by yoga practitioners and health care professionals alike. Yoga is often recommended as alternative therapy by doctors and physiotherapists to help patients recover from injuries, find balance in the body, and cope with stress. It’s very common when you have an injury to worry about how to do yoga safely, in a way that doesn’t aggravate your injury, and hopefully even aids recovery.

Before starting a yoga practice with an existing injury, it’s important to check with your doctor that this is recommended. As a general rule, give your body sufficient time to rest after you get an injury, before starting to move the injured area. The amount of time needed to rest will depend on the nature and severity of the injury. Although yoga teachers can give you advice on how to modify poses for your injury, it is only you that can feel what is going on in your body.

Learn how to tune into your body

Especially when you have an injury, it is necessary to be tuned in with how your body feels when you make certain movements. This will help you to determine whether certain movements are appropriate for you at a given time. You need to learn to be able to tell the difference between general bodily sensations and pain. It is likely during yoga that you feel sensations and muscle ache in the body related to stretching or strengthening. This is different to sharp or consistent pain that you might experience as a warning from your body to avoid a particular movement. Remember each day will be different and just because you felt pain while making a specific movement one day, it doesn’t mean that you will feel the same pain a few weeks later.

If you join a yoga class, always tell the teacher about an injury that you have, so they can support you and avoid adjusting the injured area. Take care especially if you are new to yoga and starting to practice at home on your own with an injury. Make sure you are informed as to what movements should be avoided, and that you don’t push yourself beyond what feels comfortable. Remember that some pains might not occur until after you are finished with practicing yoga, so make sure you observe what is happening not only during practice, but also afterwards.

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