about safety in yoga classes

By Faye Martins

Quality yoga classes are designed to unite the body and mind in spiritual harmony. Instructors who are leading sessions for beginners, however, will want to make sure that the sessions themselves are as safe as possible. When students are given the proper tools, they can gently move through the target poses without becoming injured or discouraged. Here are four superb ways that classes can be made safe for students of varying skill levels.

1) Monitor the Breathing of the Students

Instructors will be well on their way to running safe yoga classes when they attentively listen to the breathing of their students. Slow, rhythmic patterns will indicate that the body is in exactly the right place. When multiple students are breathing too rapidly, however, instructors will likely need to choose different poses. Yoga sessions, in fact, can be considered hour-long breathing exercises. They are designed to bring various components of the body together. Students should feel exhilarated instead of exhausted when the class is over.

2) Watch for Technically Correct Poses

As students move through the poses, instructors should look for slow and steady movements. If individuals are collapsing out of poses or having trouble holding a pose for the required time, they will have a higher chance of injuring themselves. This is especially true for beginners who may not be as flexible as their veteran counterparts. Poses for beginners might include the tree, triangle, low warrior, high lunge, plank, cow and modified cobra.

3) Use the Right Language

Quality instructors will usually avoid flowery language and instead be as clear as possible. When students are attempting an especially difficult pose for the first time, they will need supervision. The camel and the inclined plane, for example, will require students to carefully contort their bodies into unique positions. The goal is to gently guide students through new poses so that they might even practice them on their own time. Concise language will help students stretch out their muscles without falling prey to unnecessary strains or sprains.

4) Use Accessory Items Correctly

At the beginning of class, fairly bright lighting should be used. Once students have completed their warm up stretching and the instructor is satisfied that each individual is capable of performing the poses correctly, atmospheric lighting can be used. Likewise, all students should have soft mats, which will allow them to complete the session without injuring their backs or necks. When teachers have ensured that all of the safety mechanisms are in place, yoga classes can proceed without any problems.

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