The most common reason for sports-related injuries — whether you’re a recreational athlete or a pro, from ages 10-80 — is overuse and abuse. In my experience, most injuries arise when athletes disconnect from their bodies. Their eyes are on perfection, or the competition.
It follows that the best prevention is to become acutely aware of your body — its shape, its symmetry, how it feels, the range in the joints. Many sports can create asymmetries in the body because they are one-side dominant (think of swinging a baseball bat or golf club or tennis racket). It’s your job to recognize these imbalances before they become injuries. To help you, I’ve identified the top 10 most common sports-related injuries and given you a few yoga poses for athletes to to help correct the imbalances and asymmetries that cause them.
On January 5th, the New York Times website ran an article entitled “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” that included excerpts from William J. Broad’s forthcoming book, The Science of Yoga: The Myths & Rewards. Within minutes of it going live, extreme controversy ensued…
We all know that the key ingredients to weight loss and maintenance are exercise, healthy nutrition and proper rest. But what happens when you feel like you’re no longer getting results with your exercise routine? Does this mean that exercise doesn’t work anymore? Not a chance! It could just mean that you need to break out of your current workout rut — variety is the spice of life, after all!
Here are four signals that your routine might need a tune-up:
1. Your workout bores you.
You used to enjoy walking outside, so why do you dread your walk workout each day? It’s easy to get bored if you stick with the same routine for too long. Sometimes it helps to add variety to your walks. For example, try listening to music when you walk, adding speed or hill intervals, or bringing a family member or friend along with you. I’m sure your family pooch would welcome a stroll around the neighborhood! If all of that isn’t enough, then maybe it’s time to try a new activity. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try biking or are interested in taking a dance class? Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you something to look forward to.
A few months ago I wrote a blog on the perils of overstretching that seemed to strike a chord with many of my students and readers. But for every overstretched yogi or yogini out there, there are four times as many folks who are bound up and moving like the tin man! Most folks I meet want to know how they can become more flexible, not less flexible. So I dedicate this blog to all of you who wish to become more supple and mobile. Let the bending begin!
We are still early into 2011, so talking about recharging our batteries and taking a rest might sound crazy. However, it’s important to remember that sufficient rest and recovery periods are necessary to avoid burnout and injuries, as well as to get the best results possible from our exercise routines.
Check out this list of signs to see if you may need a little recharging:
Pain, numbness, tingling? Do any of these describe the feelings you have when you come out of an asana? Please heed these warnings! Not all yoga poses are safe for all people. Just follow expert yoga teacher Patricia Sullivan’s story in the October 2010 issue of Yoga Journal. She painfully details a journey of denial in which her headstand caused (yes, caused) crippling nerve pain that eventually culminated in her falling asleep at the wheel and driving off the road into a lagoon.
The most overlooked and arguably the most important word in health is “balance.” Why? Because this one word says it all! We spend our entire lives trying to keep things in balance, whether it’s our checkbook, our diet or our time management. Then as we age, we need to literally improve our physical balance to keep on doing the things we like to do.
In only 10 minutes in downtown Santa Monica, I counted 54 people talking on their cell phones while walking down the street. Only three chatters were using headsets. While headsets are now required by law in most states when driving, you won’t get a ticket for walking and talking with your cell phone jammed against your ear. But your neck and shoulders might eventually issue a warning of pain, and then a citation of spasm. Cell phone stress is a plague that, over time, can lead to serious debilitating pain. But I discovered a yoga ball remedy when I was healing from a rotator cuff injury that kept getting aggravated by my cell phone use. Now I am hooked on this low-cost quick-fix solution.
- Natarajasana, accomplished while healing a hamstring injury
We all know that yoga practice is not always bliss. Sometimes it seems to turn on us, triggering issues that cause us to approach our practice with reticence. Over the years of teaching Yoga Tune Up®, I’ve heard many concerns that get in the way of one’s practice, but there are three that tend to be biggest. Below is Part 1 in a 3-part series suggesting a few strategies to use when these roadblocks arise.