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Yoga for Injury and Tips to Embrace Intuitive Movement

Learn to Give Your Body What It Wants

Intuitive movement is the practice of honouring what you feel and listening to your body’s needs. 

Avoiding pain and seeking pleasure are inherent. To prevent pain in the body, we instinctively breathe, move, and perform activities to lessen tension and aggravation. Refining how we listen and respond to the body’s demands is an important aspect of wellness. Similar to how we react to thirst and hunger, intuitive movement is essential to the body’s physical health.

Intuitive movement is moving with the body’s natural rhythms; it responds to the body’s needs by listening and responding to its sensations. It’s a way of connecting to the body to address how we feel. Standing up when we feel stiff, neck rolls to release tension, and stretching the arms overhead upon waking up are all forms of intuitive movement. 

Unlike exercise, intuitive movement isn’t concerned with burning calories, building strength, or enhancing flexibility. The benefit of intuitive training is that we get better at listening to our body’s needs to prevent injury and burnout. 

Your body wants to move, and it will let you know if you’re listening and receptive!

The caveat of intuitive movement is if we’re unaware of our bodies and push the feel-good sensations too far. The sister science of yoga, Ayurveda, works with the idea that like attracts like, and the opposite heals.

In yoga, we work with two types of students: those hypermobile who need to strengthen and those strong who need to lengthen. 
It’s important to remember that what feels good isn’t always the best for us, such as certain foods and substances that make us feel good at the moment but terrible later on.

Enjoy a slow flow yoga class.

These classes are slower-paced and feature lots of breath and flowing transitions.
This style of yoga allows you to connect to how your body feels and learn the foundational poses in a vinyasa yoga practice.

Tips to Embrace Intuitive Movement:

  • Do what feels right in your body.

Work with the sensation you experience instead of focusing on how the pose looks. Explore what stretch is being offered and create the shape that provides the sensation without strain.

For example, in pigeon pose, if the purpose is to stretch the outer hips, you may also take 90/90 legs or reclined pigeon. Such modifications are helpful especially if you experience pain at the knee or low back in pigeon pose. 

  • Move with breath.

Maintain a long, deep breath as you move through your practice and hold the postures. Your breath will let you know if you’ve gone too far by becoming restricted and short. Your breath should move into all four parts of the lungs throughout your practice; the front, back, and either side of the rib cage should expand with each inhale.

For example, if you have trouble breathing or find that you’re breath is constricted, come out of the pose or slow down so you can breathe deeper. 

  • Take days to rest and recover.

Allow the body to rest between bouts of exercise and excursion. This creates space for the muscles to relax and heal from strain. Savasana is the most important posture in practice as it’s where we rest to receive and integrate the benefits of the practice in the mind, body, and nervous system.

  • Switch things up.

Do different forms of exercise to target all parts of the body. This will enhance your ability to move, breathe, and intuit what your body needs as your mind, muscles, and nervous system respond to change. 

  • Create a ritual.

Make movement a part of your daily routine. The more we integrate mindfulness practices and exercise into our day-to-day, the better able we become at responding to stress. We experience stress in many forms; at work, in relationships, and during a yoga class when we stress our muscles. As we develop a more mindful response to stress that isn’t rooted in emotion, we create space to listen to our body’s needs and our intuition. 

Developing a sense of body awareness is essential to the body’s longevity and health. It’s advisable to work with a trainer as you develop an understanding of your body and what you specifically need.

Even advanced yoga practitioners and the best athletes have injured themselves from not listening to their bodies. It’s why the Ayurvedic practice of like attracts like, and opposite heals is so reassuring. Sometimes, we should do the opposite of what we crave to create balance. A hyper-flexible person may desire more lengthening, but they need strengthening to balance the two forces in their bodies.

Class of the Day Features:

  • Vinyasa classes based on Lila Flow Yoga.
  • Peak poses with backbends, twists, hip openers, arm balances, and inversions. 
  • Subtle body practices such as pranayamas, kriyas, and mantras. 
  • Various styles of yoga including Hatha, restorative/yin, slow flow, and meditation.

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Yoga for injury with modifications to maintain your practice

The classes in the How-To Guides to Align in Your Practice are meant to assist you with injury, sensitivities, strain, recovery, and offer tutorials on how to move through basic asanas. 

How to use props (and make your own), how to perform basic pranayamas/breathwork and postures, and how to modify for injury tutorials are featured in this playlist. 

In this short tutorial, you’ll see how to modify for a wrist injury and sensitivity in a vinyasa yoga class, plus some great wrist stretches to warm up your hands and forearms for arm balancing practices!

 

Protecting and preserving the spine is one reason we practice yoga; this tutorial features the modifications for low back injury and sensitivity in common poses offered in a vinyasa yoga practice. 

If you have low back pain, even mild low back pain, or aches, be conscious of forward folding and any poses where the spine is rounded. Be sure to bend the knees in your standing forward folds to relieve compression at the low back. 

In this short tutorial, learn the various modifications for knee sensitivity or knee injury in a vinyasa yoga practice. 

If the knee goes past the ankle into deep flexion, it is very unstable for the knee and may cause instability and further injury.

One thing to think about if you’re recovering from a knee injury is how to engage the muscles surrounding the knees to provide more support to the area. Engaging the hamstrings, quadriceps, and inner thighs helps create more stability around the knee join

It’s always helpful to ask, “what can I do,” instead of “what can’t I do,” when you observe what’s being asked of you during a class.

 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

Yoga at Home

Reaffirm your commitment to a home yoga practice!

Read our post on how to set up a home yoga studio and the benefits of joining the Class of the Day.
 

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

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✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.