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Friday, November 3,2017

Yoga and injuries

By Larisa Klein  

The first and only time I seriously injured my back, I did too many reps with weights that were way too heavy. I gave myself two days and since the pain felt somewhat better, I figured I would do some yoga because that would surely make the whole thing go away. I had every intention of being very careful and I, in fact, was very careful. But, the next morning I was unable to move. I spent the entire day lying on my back on the floor. To get off the floor I would have to flip over on my stomach, push up, walk my hands back with a VERY straight back until I was able to come up to standing position with a straight back, all the time keeping my spine rigid as a rod. I was able to do this thanks to my yoga practice.

I spent the next few weeks being unable to do anything but gentle walking. It was months before I was able to start a very gentle Yoga practice. What started out as something that would have been fine in around a week turned into something that lasted much longer. It still says hello sometimes.

An activity that focuses so much on balancing flexibility and power can give a false impression of being somehow above causing injury. After all, yoga is supposed to be good for everything right? Right. However… A herniated disk or any injury is still the same regardless of what caused it. An injury is not somehow immune from aggravation just because you’re doing yoga as opposed to some other type of exercise. An injury needs rest.

When the pain is acute, it’s easy to respect the body’s need to heal. But as the injury starts to show slight improvement, rationalization kicks in: surely enough time has passed, it doesn’t hurt that bad, etc. Special care must be taken to avoid re-injury. Chances are the reason the injury occurred in the first place was either due to inadequate preparation or pushing through warning signs. Making the same mistake twice is considerably worse than only making it once. Not only will it cause even more harm but it also shows an unwillingness to learn and lack of patience.

Even beloved yoga can cause or aggravate in injury. This is especially the case with the spine. A consistent yoga practice can lower risk of spine injury through its heavy emphasis on spine mobility. However, this very same characteristic can also aggravate an existing problem. So while I wish I could say that Yoga is good for everything, my experience is that nothing is good for everything. And as far as injuries go, I certainly have learned that two days is DEFINITELY not enough time for any healing to occur.

Patience IS a virtue.

 


Larisa Klein • Wellness Achieved Studios • 3000 E Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33308 • www.wellnessachieved.com • 954-600-9828 Larisa has been training in Yoga, Pilates, and functional weight training for 20 years since. 1997. She has extensive experience working with cancer survivors, people with various physical special conditions (joint/spinal injuries/operations/replacements/MS/etc.), internal special conditions (schizophrenia, drug/alcohol addictions) as well as triatheletes and Olympians. She is a black belt with full competition experience, a current practitioner of Kung Fu, and has an MA in Mathematics and a second BS in Alternative Medicine.

 

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