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Top 10 Sports-Related Injuries and Yoga Poses to Avoid Them
Posted By Gwen Lawrence On April 12, 2012 @ 12:30 pm In Fitness, Yoga | 1 Comment
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.
Most hip pain is due to a lot of stop-and-go movements, as in soccer; jarring moves, as in tennis; and pounding the ground, as in running . The simplest way to avoid hip injuries is to keep the hips open in all directions , loose and free.
Before you do these poses, lay on your back and relax completely. Release your legs and let them flop apart. Slowly lift your head without changing the positioning of your legs and take note as to the angle your toes are pointing: Do they point in the same direction? Is one hip totally lax, sending the other foot straight up to the sky? Usually the hip of the foot pointed straight up is the tighter one, and the one in need of the most attention.
Yoga poses for hips:
It’s pretty clear that most hamstring pulls result from tight hamstrings! This muscle group — and it is a group, not a single muscle — is a source of pain and frustration for many athletes. The hamstring muscles are so strong and thick that it takes diligence and time to open them up. It won’t happen overnight, but it’s well worth the time it takes!
Yoga poses for hamstrings:
Everyone knows someone who has had knee surgery —maybe even yourself! The best way to avoid ACL, MCL and meniscus trouble is to keep the hips flexible and strong. Think about it: If your hips are stiff and can’t move or rotate to their full potential, the energy will go to the spot of least resistance — which is always the very vulnerable, very complex knee joint .
Yoga poses for knees:
The shoulder is another vulnerable joint, built very much like the hip joint but much more shallow. This characteristic makes it a prime target for misalignments, dislocations and impingement. That makes it doubly important to warm up your shoulders properly before any workout, and then strengthen them as well as stretch them for maximum power .
Yoga poses for shoulders:
The most common reason for pain, stiffness and limited range of motion in the lower back is tight hamstrings. Since the hamstrings originate on the sit bones, if the hamstrings are tight they pull down on the pelvis, tipping it incorrectly and forcing you to constantly compensate in order to stay upright. Another reason for lower back pain is weakness in the abdominals. Here are some yoga poses to strengthen and protect your low back .
Yoga poses for lower back:
Whether it’s carpal tunnel syndrome  or a sprain from a fall, athletes are always susceptible to wrist injuries. Offensive linemen put all their weight behind them, soccer players land on them, and tennis players bank on their strength. It’s important to maintain strong forearms as well. One indication that you are having forearm flexor or extensor problems is to take a good look at your hands in Downward Dog before you fix them: Notice if two fingers are stuck together or if there is nice equal space between each finger.
Yoga poses for wrists:
Ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis  (pain on the bottom of the foot) are the next three most common injuries. I group them together because the power yoga poses to do to avoid these issues are the same. You need to develop strong, flexible ankles; open, flexible toes; and improved balance.
Yoga poses for feet:
The neck  is probably the most at-risk spot on the body. The neck of an athlete especially needs great care. Full rotation means being able to fight off a defender on the basketball court, or turn your head towards a 95-mile-an-hour fastball. A flexible neck will help you roll out of a compromised wrestling position, or absorb the shock of a full tackle.
You should always research a qualified yoga instructor to lead you through the poses, as well as get permission from your doctor before beginning any yoga program, especially if you are practicing with an injury .
Practice yoga with Gwen Lawrence  on GaiamTV.com!
Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com
URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/top-10-sports-related-injuries-and-yoga-poses-to-avoid-them/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Yoga-for-Sports-Injuries.jpg
 few yoga poses for athletes: http://www.gaiamtv.com/tv/fit-body-yoga?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day
 pounding the ground, as in running: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/marathon-problems-yoga-solutions/
 keep the hips open in all directions: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/dont-get-bent-out-of-shape-%E2%80%94-open-your-hips/
 very vulnerable, very complex knee joint: http://life.gaiam.com/article/best-ways-ease-knee-pain-5-tips-physical-therapist
 strengthen them as well as stretch them for maximum power: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/guygaiam-yoga-inspired-shoulder-strengthening-exercises/
 yoga poses to strengthen and protect your low back: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/top-6-yoga-poses-for-back-pain-slideshow/
 carpal tunnel syndrome: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/get-a-grip-3-moves-to-prevent-treat-carpal-tunnel-syndrome/
 plantar fasciitis: http://blog.gaiam.com/blog/plantar-fasciitis-how-to-heal-the-sole/
 neck: http://www.gaiam.com/product/real+ease+relaxation+tool.do?SID=WG127SPRTAPEMACS&extcmp=life_prod
 practicing with an injury: http://life.gaiam.com/article/yoga-therapy-next-wave-yoga
 yoga with Gwen Lawrence: http://www.gaiamtv.com/search/node/gwen lawrence?chan=GaiamLife&utm_source=GaiamLife&utm_medium=Web&utm_campaign=10day
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