Hi there, welcome to TOKYO VEG LIFE! It’s been a while since I uploaded my Wednesday video but so next month I’ll be doing a yoga workshop and reading messages related to the workshop, I realized that a lot of people have experienced injury or pain while practicing yoga so today, I want to talk about yoga and injury Seeing posts by yogis and yoga instructors on social media there are many who share stories about their injuries and also recently, I met someone who used to practice 2-3 times a week but had injury then she could no longer do poses that she could before and got frustrated and quit yoga I myself, during the 3 years of my intensive yoga practice where I practiced yoga almost daily have suffered several injuries starting with my knees, then wrist, hip and finally my back So I’ve injured most of the parts where people commonly injure themselves Looking back, honestly, there were injuries I could have prevented or times when I made my injuries worse or impeded the recovery process Today, I want to share the lessons I learned from such experience on how to prevent yoga related injury and how to construct yoga practice post-injury It’s not just yoga, but there are things that could related to other forms of exercises like gym training, running, aerobics and dance so I hope you find this video helpful In my opinion, there are 2 main reasons for injuries First, the lack of muscle or strength puts excessive burden on specific parts of the body When you hear yoga, you think about increasing flexibility or stretching, like extending muscles But whether you are extending or opening up a certain part of the body in order to do it safely, you need muscle to support that If you don’t have muscle to support the movement, certain parts can sustain damage or when you are opening or extending certain parts, you could overdo it and injure yourself Particularly, it’s important to have strong lower body or thigh muscles In Japan, everybody was obsessed with horizontal splits some time ago but to do something like that, opening hips or extending your knees, you need to support the movement with your thigh muscles to prevent over extension or pulling of muscle and injury It’s not just yoga, but also people who run a lot often lack muscle in their legs or they have muscle but they are not using the muscle effectively and just moving the legs forward and back to run As a result, knees get excessive weight and they end up with injured knees In everyday life also, a lot of people suffer from back pain If you don’t have strong lower body you can’t support the upper body and you start to have round back and put excessive weight on your back So in order the build the muscle and learn to use it it’s important to do poses like chair pose and warrior poses that allows you to build lower body strength They are tough poses but when you do them it’s important not to do them lazily and instead really focus on working the muscles and building strength The other main reason for yoga injury is excessive practice In my case, I wanted to do this pose where you put the leg behind the head and practiced hip opening repeatedly and ended up having this constant pain in my hip I also wanted to do handstand and practiced multiple times and hurt my wrist You go to a yoga class and other people may be doing amazing poses that may make you want to do the same Or just looking at SNS, there are so many yogis posting their amazing practice so you may get this desire to be able to do a pose and practice over and over again But the truth is, there are poses that you will able to achieve through daily practice and there are poses that you will never be able to do in your life time So the important thing is NOT becoming able to do a pose or achieving a certain level but it’s the process leading up to it That’s the important thing So the best way to prevent injuries is no to rush and take it real slow. For me also, of course, it would be nice if I become able to do these amazing poses in the future but I value the process, the daily conversation with my body a lot more and I want to cherish the growth that happens within So what to do if you actually suffer injury? In my case, my recent injury happened in the beginning of this year Well actually, it started in the fall last year I was feeling pain in my back but I ignored my doubts and kept practicing then in the beginning of this year finally when I was practicing, I felt a really sharp pain in my back I couldn’t even move so I stopped right there and I went to my class on my bicycle but I couldn’t ride my bicycle so I had to push it and walk home After that, it was painful just doing everyday things so I had to stop my yoga practice and for like 2 weeks I didn’t do any exercise at all and just rested then slowly my back pain started to ease so well a lot of people who suffer yoga injury stop yoga after that but for me, I got this injury from yoga so I really wanted to heal this injury through yoga But it’s not like I did poses that are supposed to be good for the back I was doing the same exact practice that I used to do but in like super slow motion so I took everything real slow and also focused on deep breathing to slowly stretch out the muscles and if I felt even a slightest of discomfort, I stopped And started the same thing again the next day, very slowly With such experience, now, like I talked about earlier I now focus on building strength and using strength effectively and practice slowly at my own pace I no longer have pain and I’ve recovered to the level where I can practice challenging poses like before So if you injure yourself, it’s important to know the different kinds of pain If it’s like soreness in your muscle, it’s probably not that serious, and you can rest for a day or two and see how you feel I f you still feel discomfort, you can skip certain poses If you get sharp, stabbing pain you need to stop right away, whether you are in the middle of a class or what and take a break for one week, two weeks or more and not practice until you feel no pain at all Generally speaking, if you feel pain in your body it’s a sign that your body is needing recovery so it’s important not to ignore and have the courage to take a break Also, if you’re going to a class, it’s important to tell the teacher your concerns and poses you can’t do clearly beforehand so you won’t be doing everything as told by the teacher and you’re controlling your own practice rather than being a passive participant So today, I shared the lessons I learned from my experience about yoga injury prevention and healing practice I hope this video is helpful for not just yogis but also people who want to enjoy exercise without getting injury and who have had injury doing exercise I upload videos on yoga, mindful living, vegan cooking etc. every Saturday and sometimes on Wednesday If you like this video and haven’t subscribed to my channel please consider subscribing! See you next time!