I have seen a lot written about whether the practise of yoga at home is safe or not and that a lot of people have suffered injuries when at home. However the debate should not really be about whether yoga is safe but on teaching people how to practise yoga safely. So what do you need to do to make sure your practise is safe?
1. Always Listen to Your Body. This is absolutely vital and something that I cannot stress enough, even as an experienced yogi I still need to remind myself of this on a regular basis. If you feel any sharp pain at all the stop.
2. Respect The Process. Unless you are very lucky there is a good chance many of the poses will be out of reach for you when you start practising. It is vital to understand this and to respect where you are. Do not use force to get into a position and use your breath to move you. This will allow you to deepen a pose as far as you can go but no further.
3. Keep Hydrated. You may think yoga is a light exercise and you do not need water on hand. This is not the case, just holding the poses can put the body under stress and so keeping hydrated will make this process easier and allow you to flow through your practise.
4. Look After Your Back. Many people are concerned about hurting their backs during yoga but you just need to take a few steps to protect it. When doing forward bends keep a slight bend in the knee which will take pressure off it. If you are doing a back bend then you should always do the supported version until you have built up strength. It is also important throughout your whole practise to tilt your pelvis forward and tuck your tailbone under as well as keeping your abs tight. All of this will help protect your back
5. Get a Beginners Class. There are so many DVDs and online classes you can get right now and it is important to get one that suits your level and explains things in detail step by step. If you do this then take your time over it. If you need to pause the DVD to checkout the body alignment and to make sure you match then you can, no one else is watching.
6. Enjoy Yourself. This seems like a strange tip for keeping you safe but yoga is not a form of exercise where you will hear the phrase “No pain, No Gain”. In fact it is quite the opposite and is supposed to support the mind and the spirit as much as the body. So if you are having fun and enjoying yourself then you will be in tune with all parts of you.
The above tips should help you to have a safe practise but if you want help getting started you could consider attending a class to learn the basics and then away you go.