Wednesday, September 23, 2009




It is important not to push your body beyond its limits when practicing dynamic yoga. If you find that a particular posture creates strain or tension in a part of your body, withdraw from it. A pose done with force can be very injurious, and usually results in undue pressure being applied to another area of the body to compensate.

In many cases in this Dynamic yoga or further conversation on this blog, a specific, less strenuous, alternative is shown. For example, if you cannot reach the floor with your left arm in Parivrtta parsvakonasana, then bend your arms into prayer position as shown in the alternative. If no alternative is shown, there are two modifications of body position that between them can be applied to most postures. The first is simply to bend your legs where the full pose calls for straight legs. The second is to keep your legs straight but to reach less far forward with your arms. You can gradually move your body toward the full pose as you practice.

In addition to modifying the position of your body to avoid straining, you can also use equipment to help you in positions that cause difficulty. For example, blocks can be very useful in helping you to balance in the standing poses if you cannot reach the floor with your hand. Equally, if your hips are tight and restrict you as you fold forward, a rolled towel or blanket placed under the sitting bones will help, and will also mean that you do not harm the lower back. If you cannot reach your toes with your hands, try using a strap to enable you to deepen the stretch.


If you have a specific injury or known weakness, then you must be very careful not to place any strain on that area of the body when practicing yoga. For example, if you have a neck injury, avoid yoga postures that require you to roll onto it, such as Sarvangasana, without the guidance of a qualified teacher. It is equally important to be careful if you have a back injury or strain. It is best to practice with a teacher until you understand the appropriate alternatives for your particular injury. Something as common as tight hips can be helped by using a towel or modifying your position. For tight hamstrings, bend the legs when you cannot straighten them, and pay particular attention to the symmetry and alignment of your legs in each posture. If you are pregnant, it is best not to practice dynamic yoga. There are yoga classes tailored especially for pregnant women; try one of these for this period. You can come back to dynamic yoga after the birth and when your doctor gives you clearance.


It is very important to rest when necessary and not to push you to a state of exhaustion during yoga. If you need to rest between yoga postures, rest in Balasana .At the end of each program rest in Savasana, using this pose to farther your ability to meditate.