Yoga is a discipline that seeks to achieve physical and mental well-being through a series of positions and movements that reinforce both strength and flexibility and breathing exercises, meditation, and mental concentration.
Numerous scientific studies report the benefits of the regular practice of Yoga in certain conditions. They are indeed studies of diverse quality, many of them without great statistical value. Still, even selecting only the most rigorous, there is sufficient evidence to recommend the practice of Yoga in many situations.
Yoga is a discipline that can be practiced by both healthy people and those suffering from various pathologies. Still, it is not, at all, a form of therapy, nor will its practice by itself eradicate physical or mental illnesses.
In principle, the risk of severe neurological diseases and cardiovascular problems is not greater with Yoga than with other forms of exercise, except for Bikram yoga (with humidity and high temperature).
Almost anyone can practice Yoga. But, not all movements and postures are suitable for everyone. For example, patients with cervical disc problems and glaucoma should avoid inverted poses such as plowing or sailing.
Yoga for Pregnant Women
As for pregnancy, Yoga is considered relatively safe, but ideally, pregnant women attend classes with variations in specific postures and movements adapted to their condition. Prenatal yoga classes start to take place.
If you are pregnant, have some injury or illness, or have just had an operation, it is worth consulting your doctor first.
10 tips for doing Yoga safely
If it is the first time you will do Yoga, go to a center where trained teachers can guide you and get you started in practice. Trying to do it with a video can expose you to injury without anyone to correct you if you do not have the correct posture.
Choose your style. There are different styles of Yoga: some focus more on the physical aspect, others on the spiritual or psychological, others combine both; there are classes geared towards children or adults; there are centers that have slower or faster sessions, with different levels of difficulty. Take into account your preferences, available time, budget, health, and physical condition.
Advance gradually, comfortably, and safely. The postures and movements can be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful.
Respect your body, your capabilities. Don’t try to do the most challenging poses on the first day. Try it when you are sure you can do it. And in the meantime, ask your yoga teacher. Your teacher can suggest modifications or variations to most of the postures.
Pain is a warning that you should not force so much or that you should not continue. And if the pain gets worse, it is time to stop the activity. Consult your doctor if you notice paresthesia or other neurological or musculoskeletal disorders.
Maintain proper hydration during the yoga session, primarily when you practice it at high temperatures. Try to drink some water before, during, and after your yoga class.
Wear light, comfortable and breathable clothing. Many people wear waterproof clothing that prevents sweat on the grounds of losing weight. Weight is lost, but exclusively from water, thereby increasing the risk of dehydration. In addition, fatigue will come much earlier.
Avoid eating just before doing the activity. If you’ve eaten a large meal, allow at least an hour or two before going to yoga class.
Use a suitable mat. It mustn’t slip to avoid falls. Ensure that the mat does not sink to facilitate the balancing postures, but it should offer a cushion in the pressure points.
Practice and enjoy it. As with any physical activity, the more you practice Yoga, as long as it is safe, the lower the risk of injury or discomfort.
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