A common question I get as a Yoga Therapist is “I’ve injured [something], can I still practice Yoga?” or its variation “I’ve injured [something], will Yoga help?”
As always, the answer is “maybe”.
The two things going through my mind in these circumstances are “Would Yoga make this worse? If so, how to guard against that?” and “How may Yoga actively help?”.
Initially, after an injury, we may have inflammation, bruising and shock – depending on the severity and circumstances of the injury you may need to rest. There is, of course, a difference between, say, an injury from overdoing it in the garden or gym, verses being caught up in an accident – the latter brings added psychological stresses. If you attend a Yoga class regularly then your first port of call regarding Yoga is your Yoga Teacher – they can let you know if it’s appropriate to come along, or whether it’s best to take a break. If you practice Yoga by yourself, or from online sources, then you will need to feel your own way with caution.
Generally, as a Yoga Therapist, my advice would be caution, although in most cases some gentle mobilisation of an area when it can be tolerated is helpful, and in the meantime Yoga relaxation practices can be beneficial.
So, what about longer-term recovery from an Injury? Well, here Yoga can nearly always help, whether it’s physically bringing strength or release to an injured area and its surrounding tissues; using Yoga practices to help us tolerate pain; or helping us deal with shock and anxiety if we have been in a traumatic situation. Working with an experienced Yoga Therapist or Yoga Teacher is vital here, to choose the right practices and give you the support you need.
Yoga Therapy is not a substitute for emergency healthcare, so if you have urgent issues, please speak to your GP, NHS 111, or other Health Professional.
You can learn more about my practice as a Yoga Therapist, and in particular how I work with Injury and Rehabilitation, and book appointments, at https://www.yinspire.co.uk/yoga-therapy/
Jessica – Minded Yoga Therapist