It’s a bit ironic, isn’t it, when we hear stories of people getting injured while practicing yoga. I mean, they hit the mat specifically to feel better about themselves, both physically and spiritually.
Why, then, do yogis get injured while engaging in asana?
Well, to be fair, when compared to other physical activities, incidents of yoga-related injuries are quite low, and the quality of the teacher tends to be an enormous predictor of injury.
For example, renowned yogi practitioner BKS Iyengar has publicly suggested that placing the full weight of the body on one’s head in headstand is a great idea.
True, it can be – but not to those who have had no formal training to help them ease into the pose.
That’s why it’s extremely important to find the right yoga instructor to help you along your own, personal journey.
But what does the “right yoga instructor” look like?
For starters, we’re all drawn to those Instagram images of yogis getting in and out of seemingly impossible poses without breaking a sweat or straining their face.
You might think at the onset, that the folks who can do these poses make the ideal teacher for you. It makes sense, right? You want to do those poses one day, so who better to guide you than someone who’s proven their worth online?
However, it’s key to remember that practitioners don’t always make the best teachers. In fact, the physical ability of a teacher should not formulate your decision on his or her worth.
What’s far more important than what your instructor can do on the mat is knowing what he or she can do to help you find balance on your mat.
That’s why a good rule of thumb is to attend several different classes before settling on a studio that you’ll call home. Teaching styles, studio ambiance, and the makeup of the classes will all help dictate the type of journey you’ll be a part of.
While you may one day want to go in and out of yoga poses with the greatest of ease, it’s far more important to be in the present – where balance between mind, body and soul reside.
While the poses we do in yoga are designed to elongate our bodies and push us to new horizons, they shouldn’t hurt to the point of injury.
That’s not yoga. That’s just silly.