yoga exercises safety guidelines

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Use common sense when practicing yoga with weights. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Work at your own level of ability and never push yourself too far. This article presents guidelines for making sure you practice yoga with weights safely. These guidelines can help you determine what’s safe, but practically speaking, it’s up to you to draw your own guidelines. Yoga with weights is a voyage of self-discovery. After you practice the discipline long enough, you understand what your breathing, discomfort level, and pain level mean. The object of the exercises is to come to the edge without stepping off the cliff — to push yourself without pushing too far. As long as you stay in the moment and register the sensations in your body very carefully, your breathing, discomfort level, and pain level can tell you where the edge is and show you how to get the most from the exercises.

Listen to your breathing

Rapid breathing, short and shallow breathing, holding your breath, and gasping are signs of distress. If you can’t take slow, deep, rhythmic breaths as you exercise, you’re overexerting and subjecting yourself to injury. Ease away from what you’re doing just enough to regain control over your breathing, and then continue with the exercise.

Yoga-with-weights exercising isn’t about coming to the edge and falling off; it’s about riding the crest of the wave in all its glory and enjoying the ride in the process.

Be aware of your discomfort level

In yoga with weights, you make a distinction between comfortable discomfort and uncomfortable discomfort. Feeling comfortable discomfort, such as the uneasiness that accompanies breaking new ground in yoga with weights (or any other exercise technique), is fine. If you feel uncomfortable discomfort, however, you’re straining yourself. Abandon the exercise you’re doing and ask yourself whether you’re doing the exercise correctly or pushing yourself too far.

Be aware of any pain you feel

As with other exercise techniques, you sometimes feel pain when you do yoga-with-weights exercises. Pay careful attention to any pain or discomfort you feel. Listen to it. Focus on the part of your body where the pain is located. Burning or stinging pain signals you to be careful, but not necessarily to back away from what you’re doing. Sometimes you can control this kind of pain by breathing. Quivering or sharp pain means you’ve gone too far. You’re pulling muscle off the bone and subjecting yourself to injury.

Practice at a slow but steady pace

When you’re exercising, switching to automatic pilot and going through the motions is easy. When that happens, you increase your chances of injuring yourself, because you’re not focusing on your body. Listen to your body and focus on what you feel as you exercise. This, along with conscious breathing and a steady exercise pace, helps prevent injuries. We carefully designed every exercise in this book to give you a workout but spare you the risk of injury. Timing and proper breathing are the keys to the depth and success of each workout and practice. Try not to speed up to get your workout over with quickly. By the same token, don’t go so slow that you lose your pacing and rhythm and make the workout boring.

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