Safety Issues for Yoga with Weights

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein, Sherri Baptiste, Doug Swenson, Stephan Bodian, LaReine Chabut, Therese Iknoian

Use common sense when practicing Yoga with Weights. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Work at your own level of ability and never push yourself too far. Here are guidelines for making sure you practice Yoga with Weights safely. These guidelines can help you determine what’s safe, but practically speaking, it’s up to you to draw your own guidelines.

As long as you stay in the moment and register the sensations in your body very carefully, your breathing, discomfort level, and pain level can tell you where the edge is and show you how to get the most from the exercises.

Listen to your breathing

Rapid breathing, short and shallow breathing, holding your breath, and gasping are signs of distress. If you can’t take slow, deep, rhythmic breaths as you exercise, you’re overexerting and subjecting yourself to injury. Ease away from what you’re doing just enough to regain control over your breathing, and then continue with the exercise.

Be aware of your discomfort level

In Yoga with Weights, you make a distinction between comfortable discomfort and uncomfortable discomfort. Feeling comfortable discomfort, such as the uneasiness that accompanies breaking new ground in Yoga with Weights (or any other exercise technique), is fine. If you feel uncomfortable discomfort, however, you’re straining yourself. Abandon the exercise you’re doing and ask yourself whether you’re doing the exercise correctly or pushing yourself too far.

Be aware of any pain you feel

As with other exercise techniques, you sometimes feel pain when you do Yoga with Weights exercises. Pay careful attention to any pain or discomfort you feel. Listen to it. Focus on the part of your body where the pain is located.

Burning or stinging pain signals you to be careful, but not necessarily to back away from what you’re doing. Sometimes you can control this kind of pain by breathing. Quivering or sharp pain means you’ve gone too far. You’re pulling muscle off the bone and subjecting yourself to injury.

Practice at a slow but steady pace

When you’re exercising, switching to automatic pilot and going through the motions is easy. When that happens, you increase your chances of injuring yourself, because you’re not focusing on your body.

Listen to your body and focus on what you feel as you exercise. This, along with conscious breathing and a steady exercise pace, helps prevent injuries. Timing and proper breathing are the keys to the depth and success of each workout and practice. Try not to speed up to get your workout over with quickly. At the same time, don’t go so slowly that you lose your pacing and rhythm and make the workout boring.

Staying hydrated

All exercisers must pay attention to fluid intake, because as you lose water when you exercise, you run the risk of being dehydrated. Some yoga exercises squeeze and soak your kidneys, which releases toxins in your body. You need to drink water to help flush out those toxins. So make sure you have water on hand whenever you do Yoga with Weights exercises.

Many people make the mistake of drinking a lot of water right before they exercise. What they don’t know is that the water they drink right before a workout or during a workout doesn’t hydrate their bodies. The water you drink three to four hours before your workout quenches your body’s thirst.

Drinking slowly over the course of the day makes for better hydration and absorption of water by your body. Guzzling, on the other hand, doesn’t give your body enough time to absorb the water. So get a 1.5-liter or 1-quart container of drinking water and sip from it throughout the day.