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Asana Practice After Injury

No one likes to get injured. Injuries not only hurt, but they can also prevent you from doing what you love to do for days, weeks, or even months. If practicing yoga asanas is one of those things, having to give up some of your favorite poses can be a real challenge. Don’t despair! Yoga is so versatile that there are still several poses and techniques you may be able to do while injured.

First thing, of course, is to see a doctor and follow his or her instructions. Some injuries, many back injuries, for example, require complete rest of the whole body. With others, you may be able to do some asanas as long as they don’t aggravate the part of the body that’s injured.  

If you have hurt your foot, for example, you will likely need to avoid standing poses for a while, but you may be able to do seated or supine poses. With a shoulder injury, you may need to avoid bearing weight on your hands or shoulders or even raising or moving the injured arm, but you should still be able to do many poses that target the feet, legs, and hips.

Think of it as an opportunity to practice yoga’s more gentle poses—perhaps wrist and ankle stretches or restorative poses like Waterfall (lying with legs up the wall). A gentle twist like Bent Knee Twist may be suitable, depending on where the injury is.

Even when you can’t do much else, yoga’s Eye Exercises are very beneficial. Explore yoga breathing. Use the opportunity to spend more time practicing Yoga Sound Meditation. In the process of discovering the inner peace and happiness yoga offers, Yoga Sound Meditation will also help you develop the acceptance and patience required to get you through the healing.

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