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Hold that stretch: Being safe about yoga

Being safe about yoga

By Jessica Yadegaran

Contra Costa Times

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21 2012 4:00 p.m. MST

Practice with common sense. Move slowly, pay attention and ask for help. Poses can be modified.

Know your body.Don't just listen to it. Know your troubled spots and how to avoid irritating them.

The instructor is not king. You don't have to do everything the teacher says.

Practice at your own pace. Don't try to keep up with the person sitting next to you. There may be postures you are unfamiliar with that require more time and patience. Know your limits.

Yoga is about technique. Just like you learn proper technique before starting a weight-training program, you need to practice proper alignment to avoid a yoga injury.

It's all about the breath. If your teacher doesn't integrate breath work in class, find another instructor.

Pain is not good. Don't push into it. Don't hold your breath. Just get out of the pose.

Repetition increases injury risk. Some yoga disciplines employ a set number of the same postures at every class, such as Bikram. Others, such as Ashtanga, move rapidly from one posture to another and can compromise proper form. Both situations increase the chance of injury.

—Sources include Roger Cole and Tony BriggsHeady goes here

TextYoga tips

Practice with common sense. Move slowly, pay attention and ask for help. Poses can be modified.

Know your body. Don't just listen to it. Know your troubled spots and how to avoid irritating them.

The instructor is not king. You don't have to do everything the teacher says.

Practice at your own pace. Don't try to keep up with the person sitting next to you. There may be postures you are unfamiliar with that require more time and patience. Know your limits.

Yoga is about technique. Just like you learn proper technique before starting a weight-training program, you need to practice proper alignment to avoid a yoga injury.

It's all about the breath. If your teacher doesn't integrate breath work in class, find another instructor.

Pain is not good. Don't push into it. Don't hold your breath. Just get out of the pose.

Repetition increases injury risk. Some yoga disciplines employ a set number of the same postures at every class, such as Bikram. Others, such as Ashtanga, move rapidly from one posture to another and can compromise proper form. Both situations increase the chance of injury.

—Sources include Roger Cole and Tony Briggs

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