While yoga is often used to soothe and relax your body, even advanced yogis know that some poses and their variations can be very challenging. Whether you’re worried about a pose because of an injury or you’re scared of falling and hurting yourself, you shouldn’t let your fear stifle your practice. Read on for tips to help you overcome your fear of yoga
When considering your fear, try to find the cause of the fear. Are you afraid of injury or are you just worried you won’t succeed when you first attempt the pose? Knowing why you’re afraid will help you assess the problem and find the best solution.
If you have an injury or you’re afraid of getting injured, there are certain yoga poses that are very intimidating. Working on handstands, headstands, and even balancing on one leg can be a problem for many. Learning how to fall is a very valuable solution to this problem. Injuries in yoga often occur when falling out of a pose, but once you’ve dissected the pose, you will discover the best direction to fall and how to minimize injury during the fall.
When working through an injury during practice, you should always inform your instructor of the injury, so they can pay special attention to your form and strength during dangerous poses. Instructors can prevent injuries by correcting you if you’re doing a pose wrong, but they can also show you variations on each pose that will help you build up the strength and stamina to perform at full power. It’s also a good idea to ask a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist for exercises that will help strengthen the injured area.
When you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll be able to complete a pose, the best way to practice is with visualization. In fact, a study conducted at the University of Chicago found that visualization was an effective tool. When a group of basketball players were split into three, one group was told not to practice or even think about basketball, another was told only to visualize playing, and a the third was told to practice every day. The researchers found that the improvement of the two groups that had either visualized or practiced was within 1%, those that only visualized improved by 23%, and those that practiced improved by 24%.
Get Out of Your Head
One of the main obstacles to a successful pose is your nerves. Being nervous or afraid causes your muscles to tighten up, preventing them from following your direction efficiently. Don’t focus on the pose, instead concentrate on an instructor’s voice, the rhythm of the music, or the movement of your muscles. Due to muscle memory, distracting yourself will allow your muscles to perform as you’ve trained them.
Practice with a Friend
As you’re working your way towards a successful pose, practicing with a friend is very useful. They can support you in complex positions, spotting you if you fall, and they can correct your posture and technique when they see errors.
Watching your friend attempt the same pose will also help you to better visualize your own movements.
General Safety Tips
There are certain rules to follow if you fear an injury during yoga. Following these basic guidelines will minimize the risk of injury and help you gain strength as you practice.
A very important rule is working within your own strength. Don’t push the limits of your body without practice and don’t attempt a dangerous, new move without guidance. You should also educate yourself on anatomy to truly understand which muscles are active in each pose. Learning about the role of the muscles can help you both utilize and protect them better.
Asking your instructors for feedback is also an essential part of healthy practice. You cannot fully see what you’re doing as you practice and sometimes, bad habits can develop. Talking to your instructor ensures they watch you during class and helps you improve.
The Power of the Mind
The most important aspect of accomplishing a difficult pose is believing in yourself. The mind is a potent tool that many people forget to use. Thinking negative thoughts can be crippling for practitioners, while visualizing success and strength contributes to improvement. Using aromatherapy as a means to anchor your inner strength outside of practice and soothing body care products, stores like YUNI Beauty cater organic products for an active lifestyle that are designed to help nurture your personal growth. Encourage yourself and believe in yourself during each practice.