By Sangeetha Saran and Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
What can Yoga schools do to prevent injuries? In reality, the decision to teach others comes with the highest level of responsibility. Albeit, the field of Yoga is changing so rapidly, that many teacher certification programs need to modify their curriculums. In order to prevent injuries in classes, many courses have been overhauled. Therefore, how to prevent injuries in Yoga sessions is one of the hottest topics in the practice right now. As the number of students continues to rise, it is imperative for all of us to know more. Nevertheless, teacher training facilities need to raise the bar in their approach to teaching Yoga safety, anatomy, and kinesiology.
Where to Start
Prospective teachers may wonder how facilitators will be able to add any new information to an already packed program. Most courses devote a reasonable chunk of time to anatomy and physiology, as well as a teaching methodology. It would be simple to work injury prevention into these time slots or alternatively create an additional mandatory workshop into the program. Possible topics to consider when addressing injury prevention could include the following subjects.
Physical and Verbal Adjustments
Yoga schools should offer more verbal adjustments to students with pre-existing injuries. One of the most common injuries in Yoga is a back injury because there are many poses that can force the body into a bent position. Some people also experience shoulder and joint pain due to Yoga poses. Schools should offer gentle classes where students can be supervised for safety and receive adjustments when necessary Gentle adjustments are essential for students to understand their unique limits of flexibility and strength.
Learning to encourage communication from students is important. Before class begins, teachers should know to ask if any student has an injury or a problem area. In addition, addressing techniques for making students comfortable about speaking up are useful. Granted, many yoga schools don’t have a documented risk management plan in place. Sometimes, students practice unsafe techniques as they are still learning. At the same time, Yoga teachers should communicate the importance of safety to their students. Likewise, we should teach students not to push themselves too hard and fast so they don’t end up injured. With this in mind, students should learn to work in small increments that build self-confidence. For example, beginners can practice 10 minutes of Yoga poses with 5 minutes of rest between.
Spotting Injury Prone Students
Warning signs for injury-prone students range from a physical condition, posture, and balance to even over-zealous personalities. Yoga schools and teachers can take steps to prevent students from being injured. First, they should consider who their most injury-prone students are. These students may need more time to adapt to classes and require changes in their routines to prevent injuries. When a student has already been injured, they may also need physical therapy to recover. Therefore, students need their doctor or therapist’s approval to participate in practicing Yoga poses. While this might delay a student’s progress, it’s well worth avoiding more serious injuries that could end one’s practice altogether.
Dangers and Precautions of High Heat Yoga
Sometimes, extreme heat and hot Yoga can be dangerous for students. It is important to understand the signs of dehydration before teaching these types of classes. It is very important for students who are already on water pills to avoid hot classes. The high heat also makes an elevating heart rate problematic for people with pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease. The most important measure is making sure no student is dehydrated before they start the class. Dehydration can make students susceptible to heat-related issues like cramps and kidney problems.
Guidelines for Older Students
As the older population moves toward yoga, some awareness about the limitations and even the objectives of this age group is necessary. This age group may not want to push themselves as hard as others do, and the use of props is very helpful.
Right to Know
Students, teachers, and studio owners benefit by understanding the formats of health survey forms. One of the most effective methods to prevent injuries is for students to be informed. Sometimes, students are shocked by the idea of being injured in a low-impact activity. In fact, anyone can be injured during any activity. Whether the body is still, or in motion, there is a chance of injury.
Health Release Forms
Of course, most facilities hand out informed consent materials to their students. Information and education prevent student injuries. Additionally, these forms include information on who to contact in the event that a student needs medical assistance. Students provide contact information and finish the form by signing it. Schools should attach this form to their registration packets.
Teaching with Compassion
Compassion will enable you to understand not pushing people beyond their limits, thus creating less incidence of injury. What can Yoga schools do to prevent injuries? We must have systems in place to keep students safe at all times. Also, management should reward teachers with a track record of safety.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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