Yoga is a popular form of exercise to keep both mind and body fit. Many people of all ages are taking up this exercise, which is based on a holistic wellness approach to health.
Even though yoga is not a high-impact sport, that doesn’t mean injuries don’t happen. Like any other type of sports, you are likely to sustain bruises, sprains and bumps.
Fortunately, all these injuries are preventable now with the invention of the Yoga Tape.
Physiotherapist Sandeep Saili conceived and developed the Yoga Tape, with the sole intention of preventing and managing yoga injuries, making it the first of its kind in the world.
“This is a first in the world. We have trademarked the name. Yoga practitioners have been using generic sports tape before this, which may not be the most appropriate for their needs. This new tape will be able to address yoga practitioners’ absolute needs,” said the physiotherapist-turned-entrepreneur, Sandeep.
Sandeep, who is the managing director of Sailli Viroha Pte Ltd (Singapore) and Sailli Viroha (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, is also the designer of the comfortable and functional Solace Shoes. These shoes offer medial arch support and anti-pronation technology, as well as scientifically-tested insole for comfort, wellness and health.
This time around, Sandeep is recommending the Yoga Tape to yoga practitioners because most practitioners like to relieve their pain naturally.
“This Yoga Tape doesn’t have any medicine – it reduces pain and swelling by naturally lifting the skin and improving blood circulation. To prevent injuries happening due to yoga, one needs to be supervised and guided.
“Lack of knowledge and guidance may lead to yoga injuries. It is important to have a good yoga teacher who can guide you about proper technique and poses.
“Yoga requires extreme bending and twisting of muscles and joints. If performed incorrectly, this leads to various musculoskeletal injuries. There has been an increase in the number of reported (and unreported) injuries due to improper yoga postures.
“Yoga injuries occur due to overuse of the muscles involved. Many yoga practitioners go to doctors, chiropractors and physiotherapists for relief of pain and swelling.
“In recent years, yoga practitioners have started using generic sports stretch tapes for pain relief and prevention of injuries,” said Sandeep, who took one year to develop the Yoga Tape.
He observed that most yoga lovers will unlikely get a serious injury, but then a knee tear will slow you down nevertheless. And this is where the Yoga Tape comes into the picture. Knee tears can happen if you let the knee twist out of alignment when doing all the different yoga poses.
Yoga Tapes are specially tailor-made for yoga. Even though other sports tapes are useful, they are not specifically made for yoga injuries or yoga injury prevention needs.
“Yoga poses require extreme stretches on soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments and tendons. I felt that there was a need to develop a kinesiology stretch tape specifically to meet the needs of yoga practitioners.
“After extensive research, we developed the tape with adjusted stretchability to match yoga poses. It supports muscles and ligaments without restricting yoga practice, and we named it Yoga Tape,” he said.
Yoga Tape also helps improve blood circulation and alleviates pain and swelling. The tape can also be applied before performing yoga postures to prevent overstretch injuries.
When applied, it becomes part of the body and each application can last between three and four days.
“Since the tape is water resistant, a yoga practitioner can shower without removing it. The Yoga Tape is made with hypoallergenic acrylic glue, which is suitable for people with sensitive skin, and the glue is strong enough to last even in a hot yoga room heated up to 40°C.
“Yoga Tapes are individually packed, and they come with a simple, easy to understand instruction manual on how and why you should apply the tape.
“It also comes with samples of tape application techniques. Many application techniques related to yoga postures are also available on the website www.theyogatape.com”, explained Sandeep.
The Yoga Tape has many benefits, such as relief of pain and swelling. So, if an injury has occurred due to poor yoga technique, the tape is a natural way of reducing the pain and swelling.
It also helps in the prevention of overstretch injuries. “The tape alters muscle recruitment patterns through increased proprioception and central nervous system awareness, and this helps in the prevention of injuries.
“In addition, it helps muscle activation. The Yoga Tape reminds the practitioner which muscle group to focus on and engage to safely execute a pose. It alters the way muscle fibres fire to help correct alignment,” he added.
Sandeep decided to develop Yoga Tapes after he saw his friends develop yoga injuries.
“When I saw so many of my friends and acquaintances getting yoga injuries, I started exploring the whys and hows to prevent such injuries.
“I also researched on types and incidence of injuries while doing yoga. I found that the injury rate is increasing due to two reasons – one because more people are taking up yoga at a later age, and two, because of lack of knowledge and guidance,” he said.
“To increase knowledge and awareness, we are working on two fronts – a mobile app for the Yoga Taping Techniques and the Yoga Taping Certification Programme for yoga teachers and practitioners.
“We are launching a mobile application called Yoga Taping Techniques. This mobile app gives you more information about the application technique, and its available on both the iOS and android platform.
“After downloading this app, a yoga practitioner will be able to choose the posture he/she wants to perform, and subsequently learn how to apply the Yoga Tape to either prevent injury, reduce pain and swelling, or facilitate the movement of certain muscle groups.
“This will make it easier for yoga practitioners to use the tape correctly and effectively. In fact, this is the world’s first Yoga Tape mobile application to help understand and correctly apply tapes for different reasons,” said Sandeep.
Sandeep is also in the midst of preparing a comprehensive Yoga Taping Certification Programme for yoga teachers and practitioners.
He is collaborating with Felicity Kermode, a sports and manipulative physiotherapist and clinical director of Move Well Physiotherapy Practice in Perth, Australia.
The Yoga Instructor Certification Programme provides instructions about the use of the tape for each muscle group involved in different yoga poses. Participants will be able to tape target areas of their body that may be prone to injury or that they feel needs more support while participating in yoga.
“This certification programme will greatly enhance yoga practitioners and teachers’ knowledge of the human body’s structure and function. It will also educate them on the different types of injuries related to yoga practice,” said Sandeep.
Those who have tested the tape have had favourable responses.
Senior physiotherapist and founder of Manual Therapy in Singapore, Michelle Tong, sings her praises of the Yoga Tape. “It is safe and easy to use. Extended stretchability allows greater ease even when achieving high level yoga postures,” said Tong.
Roxanne Goh, teacher and practitioner from Hot Yoga alliance, said the application of the Yoga Tape will ensure that practitioner’s yoga sessions are not interrupted. The tapes are designed to provide support for practitioners’ joints and muscles.
“When the practitioner suffers from a minor injury, the use of such a tape helps to reduce pain and strain while also allowing for free, unrestricted movement. With the stretchy tapes, practitioners can still maintain their full range of motion, which is vital to getting the most benefit out of their yoga classes.
“Through keeping the injured/painful joints and soft tissue supported, the body’s restorative healing powers can properly take effect.
“The practitioners can still take part in yoga sessions during recovery,” said Goh.
Those interested in Yoga Tapes can find out more at the website www.theyogatape.com. It’s also available in retail stores, yoga studios and certain fitness centres.