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Yoga: Overdoing Your Asana Practice?

If some asana practice is good, more must be better, right? Well, that all depends on how you practice. If you always practice carefully, taking time to listen to your body, gently extending your boundaries but backing off when you need to, then you can practice asanas 5 or 6 days a week, even every day, without any danger of overdoing it.

If, however, you constantly push yourself to the point of fatigue, or go to fast-paced vinyasa classes several days a week, it’s especially important to watch out for signals that might mean you’re doing too much. Some examples would be a sore lower back or pain in any of your joints. While vinyasa classes give you a good aerobic workout, because some of them are quite fast-paced, it can be hard to listen to your body as you move through the sequences. This is especially true when you’re new to this type of practice. It can be challenging to move from one pose to another with the care you need to avoid injury. Overuse injuries are also becoming more common among asana practitioners. Doing Summit Pose and its variations ten or more times in a single session along with multiple Planks, might, over time, strain your wrists. Even a simple Standing Forward Bend can begin to cause discomfort in your lower back if you do it repeatedly in one session, and then again several times during the week.

So yes, it is possible to overdo it. Remember, at the end of an asana practice you should feel relaxed, refreshed, and invigorated, but not exhausted. Too many asanas done too fast may actually be depleting your body of energy rather than renewing it. Much depends on your age and fitness level. So please take that into account when deciding how often to practice asanas and what kinds of classes to take. Make sure you’re able to practice with care and awareness, especially if you’re not very fit or are over 50. You’re the only one who can really judge if you’re doing too much, so if you’re getting a sneaky feeling that you might be, you should probably pay attention.