Despite the fact that yoga has a solid reputation for promoting physiological and psychological well-being, there are many poses could result in common Yoga injuries.

It is estimated that 30 million people regularly practice yoga throughout the world. Of these, 14 million Americans engage in the activity on a prescription basis.

Common Yoga Injuries in Yoga Class

Common injuries incurred as a result of practicing yoga include popped ribs, strains to the neck, back complications, and muscle sprains. These injuries are not considered rare but do tend to occur with those that are new to the activity and overexert themselves. Let’s take care and learn how to avoid these common yoga injuries.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self…”The Bhagavad Gita


Are Yoga Injuries Really All That Common?

In short, the answer is “yes”. According to research, at least 20% of all practitioners have experienced some type of injury. In another study, a whopping 62% claim at least one injury that resulted in unfavorable symptoms in excess of a month.

A total of 20% of all those evaluated after a yoga injury were successful in making a complete recovery; however, 11% only partially recovered. There have been approximately 1% that feel that they have an injury that will have a lasting effect.

The Prevalence of Yoga Injuries

Pulls, strains, tears, and sprains can happen while practicing yoga. It’s easy for a relatively sedentary adult to turn to yoga as a quick means of optimizing strength and improving flexibility. Unfortunately, this, combined with a yoga instructor that pushes a vigorous regimen may be detrimental for an inactive body.

While this shift has resulted in more yoga-related injuries, it is a known fact that even practitioners may experience pulls, strains, tears, and sprains.

What Types of Injuries Happen with Yoga Practitioners?

Numerous yoga injuries have been evaluated. Of these, about 35% directly impacted the musculoskeletal system. Then, there were 18% that negatively impacted the nervous system. Finally, just 9% detrimentally affected the vision.

Most that experienced the injuries claim that they did not suffer from pre-existing conditions; however, there were cases where yoga seemed to aggravate pre-existing conditions. Additionally, it has been found that women experience yoga injuries double that of men.

While most experience yoga injuries in their 40s, no one is immune to overexertion injuries when practicing the sport.

Man in Risky Yoga Pose

What Yoga Poses Typically Result in the Highest Level of Injuries?

There are many poses that tend to result in injuries; however, the shoulder stand, plow pose, headstand, back bends, and those that tend to pull on the sciatic nerve in the body are those that seem to result in the highest amounts of injuries.

Are There Steps I Can Take to Avoid Yoga Injuries?

There are many steps that can be taken to avoid yoga-related injuries. The following are considered to be the most productive:

  1. First, you should avoid the urge to push yourself too hard. It is critical to stretch areas of the body that are considered to be tight. All stretches should be done in a gentle and slow manner. The hips, the back, the calves, and the hamstring regions are often the tightest. When stretching into poses that use these areas, you should do it slowly. Warm-ups should be done prior to placing yourself into poses that use these areas. You should never push past your personal limit. It is considered to be normal to experience mild or even moderate levels of resistance, but, do not overexert.
  2. If you want to practice yoga, you should work with a physical therapist to engage in resistance training. This helps to strengthen the weaker areas of the body. You should also place an emphasis on cardiovascular exercises. These will aid in developing the overall strength that is needed to perform the yoga poses without injuring yourself.
  3. While yoga looks easy and gives off the vibe that it can be performed easily on your own, you should only practice the sport under the direction of a teacher that is highly qualified. A teacher that genuinely cares for your well-being will never force you to push that which you are physically capable. If they are encouraging you but you feel as if you have reached your physical limits, you may and should stop.
  4. There are different types of yoga. You may not be able to perform all types. You should learn about the types and your susceptibility levels when it comes to cramping of the muscles, heat tolerance, dizziness, and other physical issues. The art of yoga is successfully built upon a solid foundation that caters to your physical capabilities – not the capabilities of those around you. Initiate the process with a basic or beginner course and build upon that and you are sure to avoid injuries.
  5. You should utilize props when engaging in yoga so that you may avoid injuries. There are blocks, straps, and other yoga props that help in reducing the strain on your body. If you need to use them, take no shame in that. The goal is to build and strengthen the body but avoiding injuries – at all costs. If your body is forced to move and stretch in ways that are unnatural to you, you will likely get hurt. Props help in reducing the possibility of that happening.

How Do I Start My Yoga Program?

Now that you know ways to prevent common yoga injuries, you are ready to get started. The first step is to make an appointment with a physical therapist so that you may start preparing your body for the activity. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, you may also require approval from a medical doctor or the physical therapist that you see before commencing the program. To get your body ready for your new and exciting endeavor, contact us today.


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