Trying to ‘win over yoga’ by assuming a posture, taking it to the limit, and crossing it can be harmful. It may cause ‘Yogititis,’ which is body damage due to overdoing. Once the body sends signals of pain or extreme discomfort, it should mean an immediate STOP! I have learned the hard way that pain is not an indicator of gain; on the contrary, it may indicate future impairment.
One of the goals of practicing posture yoga is to maintain body flexibility. Flexibility contributes to our well-being and enables us to activate our bodies effectively. When attempting to enter postures beyond our body allowance forcefully, we may get the opposite result and risk losing flexibility. Getting into an extreme and fancy posture is not a real sign of achievement in yoga. Actually, it’s the gradual and gentle progress that matters, not the display of extraordinary flexibility. It turns out that the simple yoga exercises are the most effective ones.
Some people continue to perceive their body as it was in the past. Getting stuck in our past or wished body performance may have the unpleasant consequences of ‘yogititis.’ Making relatively smooth transitions from one phase of life to the next is essential and depends, among other things, on our awareness of decline. Seeing ourselves as we are today while factoring in our deterioration helps us move smoothly through the changing phases of life.
In any case, using our breath to control and limit the extent of the postures we assume while practicing yoga can reduce the chances of causing ourselves damage.