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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

The Responsible Yoga Student

Sep 03, 2012 07:05PM ● By Jude Forsyth

Yoga teachers often remind new and experienced yogis to be responsible for the way they practice. Nancy LaNasa, owner of Abhaya Yoga Center, in Pensacola, explains, “As yoga students, we must be responsible for ourselves. We must remember that no matter the credentials, the training, the experience, the biography, a teacher is also a human being, subject to foibles and faults. Students should make choices on when to rest, when to work hard, when to meditate. It is important to know when to change your personal practice to meet your own needs.”

The desire to move forward during a practice session, especially when practicing with more experienced yogis, can lead to decisions that make injury more possible.

“In Yoga, it is important to remember to honor your body, especially after an injury. New and experienced yogis learn to drop the “no pain, no gain” mentality and relate to themselves in a new way—one that fosters growth and respects the body’s limitations, always practicing with the spirit of compassion and acceptance,” says Felicia McQuaid, owner of Evolve Yoga and Reiki Services and Integrative Care Bodywork, in Fort Walton Beach.

Laura Tyree, owner of Dragonfly Yoga, in Fort Walton Beach, agrees. “If you do have an injury, give your body plenty of time to rest. Be sure to talk with your yoga instructor about what classes to take when you start back again. It is a good idea to work at a gentle level and slowly move back into a more challenging practice.”

Tyree suggests that injured students increase their practice in stages. She explains, “Begin at 40 percent of your effort, then slowly increase to 75 percent. Stay at that level for a while, so your body has time to work through scar tissue and healing in the muscular and nervous systems.”

Students that reinjure themselves by trying to come back too soon or join a class that is too difficult may contribute to lengthening the recovery period.

Local resources: Nancy LaNasa, Abhaya Yoga Center, Pensacola—AbhayaYogaCenter.com; Felicia McQuaid, Evolve Yoga and Reiki Services and Integrative Care Bodywork, Fort Walton Beach—EvolveYoga-Reiki.com; Laura Tyree, Dragonfly Yoga, Fort Walton Beach—DragonflyYogaFWB.com.

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