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Nearly all physicians and health experts would agree that yoga is undoubtedly good for you. Yoga has many health benefits when practiced correctly. Furthermore, it comes in many different forms and difficulty levels, and can be practiced from the comfort of your own home with very little equipment. But can you ever do too much yoga?
There’s the saying that you can always have too much of a good thing. And physical activity is no exception. Any exercise regimen—old or new—comes with some amount of risk, including yoga. From poor form to overexertion, practicing yoga improperly or too often can lead to injury, burnout, and has the potential to be harmful to the body.
Why do yoga daily?
Yoga is one of the most beneficial exercise regimens you can practice. Yoga has been shown to increase flexibility, decrease stress, improve muscle tone, and help with weight management, among many other benefits. It’s also accessible to all body types and skill levels and is a great way for beginners to start a daily exercise routine that is tailored specifically to their skill level and fitness goals.
Focus On Form
When starting any type of exercise, good form is key to avoiding injury. Whether you’re in a class or following a video online, make sure you pay extra attention to prompts about body placement. Improper alignment of knees and elbows, cupped hands, and a rounded spine during certain exercises are all common form mistakes that can easily lead to injury.
Failing to pay attention to form during each and every session can be harmful to your body. Muscle strains, too much pressure on joints, and even spinal compression can all result from poor form or alignment. Like any practice, before you get too complex, make sure you’ve mastered the basics first.
Change It Up
Doing the same routine day after day can lead to overuse of muscles or joints. Repetitive strain on the body can lead to something called RSI, or repetitive strain injury. RSI occurs when repetitive motions put frequent strain or tension on the same set of muscles or joints. Symptoms of RSI include pain at the affected site, a tingling sensation, or even a loss of strength or sensation.
Avoiding developing RSI from your daily yoga practice is easy. Simply switch up your yoga routine every few days, and refrain from practicing very challenging or stressful moves more than a few times a week.
Take It Slow
If you’re thinking about beginning a daily yoga practice, it’s easy to want to jump right to the poses you’ve seen from Instagram yogi’s, or talented instructors. However, it takes years of training and development to reach the very high skill levels that are used to execute some of those incredible poses.
The best thing you can do for your body when starting any new exercise is to take it slow. Never jump into the most intense sections of exercise, and make sure you are fully confident in your ability before trying something new.
Warm Up, Cool Down
To avoid injury in daily yoga practice, make sure to always warm-up and cool down. Beginning intensive exercise with cold, stiff muscles can lead to injury and discomfort. Warming up enhances blood flow throughout your body, loosens up muscles, and gets your joints ready for movement. Try a short jog, high knees, or a brisk walk to get your body ready for your yoga routine.
Afterward, make sure you end your session with some slow, deep stretching to cool your body down. Many yoga instructors will include this at the end of the workout. If you’re pursuing yoga on your own, or from home, make sure you include a cool down at the end of your daily practice.
Listen to Your Body
One of the most important things you can do to safely practice yoga, or any form of exercise daily, is to listen to your body. Never force moves or stretches that feel painful. Never practice on injuries, or ignore recurring pain, during exercise or otherwise. Know your limits, and accept them. Yoga can be a lifelong pursuit, and everyone starts somewhere. The journey to improvement should be part of what makes yoga exciting and keeps it fresh and interesting.
So, can you do yoga every day?
Sure! If you’re safe, know your limitations, and stay aware of good form, yoga can be a highly beneficial part of nearly anyone’s everyday routine. Can you get hurt doing yoga every day? Also yes. But following the aforementioned tips will highly decrease the likelihood of injury. This being said, go ahead and pull out your mat and start stretching. Your body will be glad you did.