When done correctly, yoga provides you with a stronger, flexible body. It relaxes you, increases your athletic performance, sharpens your concentration and promotes better breathing. This is all wonderful but if yoga is done incorrectly, it can result in injuries including pulled muscles, joint pain, hernias or chronic problems leading to chronic problems and permanent disability.
Knowing what is good for you and not good for you will keep you healthy and prevent chronic injuries. Partial poses keeping a strong core and proper body alignment is recommended rather than perform poses that puts added stress into the body. Yoga can be very physically challenging and hard on your joints so knowing your limits will allow you to prevent injuries.
How do Yoga Injuries Occur?
Injuries usually occur when:
- Trying hard poses when your body is not flexible or strong enough
- Not posing correctly
- If you have a physical problem already and you push yourself too hard, you may worsen it by pushing beyond their capabilities
What are some common yoga injuries?
- knee popping or clicking
- Chronic adhesions and scar tissue injuries happening over time because of long-term repetition of poor technique.
Neck: Poses like “plow,” “shoulder stand” and “headstand” if done improperly can put undue pressure on the neck and cause pain or discomfort. Beginners should try these poses only under the close supervision of an experienced teacher.
Wrists: Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome or weak wrists? Then do not perform poses that put excess weight on your wrists.
Knees: Don’t force your knees into Lotus or other vulnerable positions. Without adequate hip-joint flexibility you could tear a meniscus (cartilage) or you could stretch or tear one of the knee ligaments.
Lower Back: Forward and backward bends and twists, if done incorrectly, can result in back damage. Do not over-twist or push your back through a painful bend. Your body is telling you that it is too much!
Inversion Poses: Inversion poses like shoulder stand and headstand put the head lower than the heart and raise blood pressure. If you have cardiovascular problems, hypertension, diabetes or glaucoma please don’t do these poses.
A great rule of thumb…make sure you are supervised if you are beginning so you prevent injuries. If you have been doing yoga for a long-time, periodically have someone look at your posture and poses to make sure you are still doing them correctly.