The term alignment is used in yoga to describe the precise or 'ideal' way of doing any pose to minimize the risk of injuries and maximize its benefits. The fact that yogis are told to listen to their body and prioritize what it tells them may make some feel like the paradoxical concept of alignment is also judgmental.
We understand that, but alignment isn't here to weed those out who don't fit into the 'ideal' or put everyone else into a little box to make things work. The concept of alignment in yoga refers to a flexible structure that offers diverse options for practitioners of all shapes, sizes, and levels.
By encouraging modifications and using yoga props and accessories, the concept focuses on making the practice safe and most beneficial for every person to experience each pose fully. Almost any yoga pose can work for you when you understand alignment and have the right tools.
The Importance of Proper Alignment
Our body movements are the net sum of several body parts working in tandem with each other. Yogis mistakenly stretch or move the more flexible body parts, leaving the static and rigid muscles idle. This leads to pain due to improper posture.
Alignment intends to create a stable foundation for a safer practice. It allows your body to open in new ways while reducing the risk of injuries. You might not feel a sharp, sudden pain from being out of alignment when doing a pose.
However, when yoga injuries accumulate over time, the repetitive movements can cause wear and tear, forcing them to stop their practice completely. Therefore, you must adjust your poses to establish optimal alignment that suits your body. Let's look at a few more reasons why correct alignment matters in yoga.
1- Reduced Injury Risk
Alignment is all about following universal principles geared toward preventing injuries. You can avoid common yoga injuries like locked joints, sprained ankles or wrists, and scrunching of the shoulders to the ears during inversions.
You’ll benefit from increased body strength that helps activate all muscles evenly coordinated with proper alignment. It allows you to enjoy improved stability without exerting too much pressure on particular joints or muscles.
The correct alignment also reduces the stress placed on ligaments holding your spine in place and decreases the wear and tear of other joints in the body.
2- Bio-mechanical Efficiency
Properly aligned joints and muscles optimize your available strength from a biochemical perspective. You'll be able to achieve optimum results in a shorter period without straining. Correct alignment makes breathing easier and stacks your joints in a way that allows you to use your strength more efficiently.
3- Reduced Fatigue
Some yoga poses can be quite challenging, especially if you're a newbie. The primary reason for this is the fatigue that comes with extensive training. When you perform the poses correctly, it can help reduce the fatigue level considerably.
The alignment will also boost the blood flow, which helps you use the muscles more efficiently without requiring more energy. Hence, alignment is the key to helping you feel less fatigued and more refreshed after each practice.
4- Improved Overall Practice
Alignment creates a channel to allow energy to flow more fluidly throughout the body during different postures. Energy flow isn't only vital for physical health and positively impacts a person's spiritual and mental well being.
The optimized energy flow helps you be more aware of everyday postures, allowing you to maintain a good physical appearance and posture by putting energy where the body needs it the most.
Shop Yoga Props to Modify Your Practice
Slowly rebuild your yoga practice with plenty of modifications. Many Yoga accessories and blocks are available today to help reduce injury chances and increase the ease we feel in yoga. Using wooden yoga wedges by Feelio Blocks allows you to hit every note of every pose in the safest ways.
Yoga wrist support blocks help elongate the spine, aiding proper alignment, preventing muscle straining, and deepening stretches during yoga sessions. They provide the ultimate support, acting as the perfect tools that aid strength building and balance, from beginner to more advanced poses. Gradually, they will help improve your range of motion and mobility too.
Check out Feelio Block's YouTube channel to understand how to use yoga wedges for maximum comfort.
You can also shop for yoga accessories, including Push-up stand parallettes, yoga block wedges, Grip Blocks, and more from our online store. Feel free to reach out to us if you have creative movement prop ideas you'd like to share with us! We love helping people improve their yoga practice's safety, comfort, and alignment.