Guest Post: Yoga for Wellness #6

Apr 19, 2014 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Class Act, Paying it Forward

Kirsten

Kirsten Doody is a fortunate young lady with an unfortunate last name. She received her yoga teacher training at Kripalu and is a grad student at the University of Texas at Austin, hook ‘em! She also studied business at McGill University in Montreal, QC. She’s a third culture kid who loves to travel and cuddle with her pup, Mr. Bean.

See what else she’s into here: iconkirsten.tumblr.com

A lot of people use yoga as a form of exercise when they have an injury. Just the other day I was getting to know a lady at the studio where I practice and sure enough, she was ‘trying out’ yoga because she had injured her knee. It was simply a placeholder activity, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there is something wrong with people injuring themselves continually. I get upset when I hear about people injuring themselves during physical activities when they are trying to stay healthy. It’s seems like reverse Karma and there has to be a way to prevent it.

Kirsten_backbendOne of the most frustrating things in life has to be dealing with a physical injury or malady. Not being able to stay active and keep your body healthy when you’re used to it can drive you crazy. A lot of people think yoga is an easy exercise. Just because you’re in a yoga class doesn’t mean you can’t get injured. There are many different types of yoga classes and even the gentlest postures can lead to pulled muscles and torn ligaments if done incorrectly. In fact, a scary number of people are reporting injuries due to their yoga practice. While my previous posts have tried to express how yoga is so much more than a physical practice, not everyone at your studio may feel the same. It can be difficult to turn inside and listen to your body when the energy in the class may feel competitive or pushy.

While I love the physical benefits of yoga, I worry that not enough people are opening up to the mental benefits of it. In a world of high stress, road rage, and tight deadlines, everyone needs more patience. Patience is one of the many gifts a healthy yoga practice can give you, if you’re open to it. You can’t be distracted and worried about how much lower everyone else is sitting in their ‘chair’ pose. It is my opinion that the mental benefits of yoga can come from any physical activity. With team sports, it’s more difficult but most people understand what it’s like to be ‘in the zone’ when playing a sport or exercising. I think anyone doing any kind of activity could benefit by treating it like a yoga class: turning inward, taking a breath, and checking in with your body. Higher awareness of our bodies and how we feel when performing physical activities can only help in limiting the amount of physical injuries we experience and help keep us moving longer.

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1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Thanks, Kirsten! As a yoga newbie, I appreciated this reminder not to think of the class as a competitive experience and not to get stressed or upset when I can’t get into the poses as deeply as others do.

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