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How to avoid a yoga injury

• Read up on the different types of yoga. Hatha and Vinyasa are the two most common forms for beginners, based on basic yoga postures and breathing exercises.

Ashtanga is a more physically demanding form or 'power yoga', Iyengar focuses more on alignment while Bikram takes place in rooms heated at 95C-100C.

Decide what you want then find a class, and teacher, that suits you.

• Don't be afraid to ask a teacher for their qualifications, proof of insurance and whether they still go to classes themselves. A lot of the better teachers will still make a point of attending classes and workshops.

• Speak up if you have an injury or aren't sure you're doing a posture correctly.

• Breathe. If you can't breathe easily then you're overworking the body and putting stress on it rather than stretching.

• Don't get competitive. Yoga is about listening to your own body and doing what works for you.

Irish Independent