Not so long ago, a popular American magazine published an article describing yoga as one of the most dangerous activities in which one can participate. Considering its popularity in the western world (and the United States in particular), yoga-induced injuries might have been mistaken for the aftermath of a weapon of mass destruction. But the truth is, whenever you pick an exercise regime that doesn’t suit your abilities, it can do you more harm than good. So just like with any other physical activity, the key is to choose the right yoga routine.
If you decide to turn to yoga, be realistic. You might have been the most flexible girl or boy in the 6th form, but as we get older, our bodies get stiffer. Most of us don’t do somersaults or headstands during coffee breaks at work. More so, a great majority of people who start doing yoga do it after not exercising for a long time. So if you look at the Wheel asana and think it’s an easy one, don’t fool yourself.
Consider the following factors and get an ideal yoga routine:
Level of Fitness
If you have been physically active consistently for the last few years, chances are, you’ll move to an advanced level fairly quickly. However, don’t forget that if you have mostly been strength training, your flexibility can still be very limited.
Usually, the younger you are, the easier it is to stretch your ligaments and successfully do different yoga poses.The older you are, however, the slower your pace should be.Naturally, age isn’t everything, but the level of fitness is equally important. Some people aged 40 are capable of more than teenagers simply because they’ve been doing all sorts of exercises for their entire life.
That’s an important factor, but it’s one you should consider only after examining the first two.Although generally yoga is considered a universal tool for dealing with stress and all sorts of ailments, you still need a more focused approach if you have specific goals. There are different types of yoga that cater to different needs: rehabilitation, relaxation, weight loss, prenatal training. So if you wish to shed some extra pounds, just chanting mantras in Lotus position won’t really help you.
If you plan to enroll in a yoga class, you can always discuss your yoga workout with the instructor. But if you wish to do yoga at home using a yoga app, you’ll need to assess your abilities by yourself. Some apps help you choose an appropriate yoga session or even offer professional advice online, so you can consult an expert to help determine the level appropriate for you.Take your time,listen to what experts say and most importantly: listen to your body. Practice these simple steps and you’ll never go wrong when picking a yoga routine.
Written by Katherine Elka
Image courtesy of jntinatree