International Yoga Day: be careful while doing asanas

While Yoga offers several health benefits and is beneficial in maintaining a fit body and mind, experts say asans should be performed under the supervision of a specialist to avoid injuries.

Yoga is immensely beneficial for those who want a fit body and mind; however, there’s a word of caution to avoid unnecessary injuries for yoga enthusiasts on the occasion of International Yoga Day that’s being celebrated today— June 21.

Warm-ups are a must as amateurs and pros need to listen to their bodies and stop at the first signs of trouble.

“Even for performing basic yoga asanas, proper training is a must. And one must never perform advanced Yoga asanas without being supervised by a well-trained guide. Being careless and performing asanas without proper knowledge can do more harm than good in the long run,” says PC Kapoor, director, south Delhi’s Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre.

Yoga is a person-specific form, so experts say a set of asanas that works for a particular person may not suit another.

“Each body has its own limitations and it can lead to injuries if one tries to compete with another. Neck, lower back, shoulder injuries are commonly seen among people trying to push themselves too hard,” says Kapoor.

How-to books, youtube, CDs and television lessons may make yoga look easy, but this gentle form of meditation and exercise can hurt if you push yourself too much before mastering the basic postures.

Most injuries are limited to mild strains and sprains, but if you find bones and joints hurting then you must know it is a sign of trouble.

For the beginners, experts say till the time your muscles are aching, it is fine but knee or back ache means there is trouble brewing. The key is to listen to your body and take precautions.

Yoga is very effective but it is not meant for everybody. Till 35, it is still alright but if you are starting Yoga after that then you should get a thorough physical examination done as there may be underlying problems that get worse,” says Dr Pushpinder Bajaj, Delhi-based sports medicine expert.

“Those who have been leading a sedentary life for years if suddenly decide to begin performing Yoga, it can create problems like pulling sciatic nerve etc. Always start with an instructor, preferably one-on-one sessions,” he said.

Common injuries associated with yoga if not performed with care

*Neck injury

*Shoulder injury

*Lower back ache

* Muscle sprain/Hamstring injury

*Pulled nerve

*Aggravated arthritis symptoms

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