Yoga is one of the best exercises for people trying to strengthen or stretch their bodies. It even does a great job of calming one’s mind. But like all forms of exercise, there is a risk of injury. It can be frustrating to have to stay off the mat, so here are the 5 most yoga injuries and how you can avoid getting them.
Lower Back Issues
Yoga is great for lower back pain, but it can also cause back issues if you don’t do the poses correctly. Forward bends done incorrectly can lead to bulging disks or other lower back injuries. This usually happens because people keep their legs too straight or round their backs going into a pose.
How To Avoid: Keep a small bend in your knees, while keeping your spine straight. Don’t fold too deeply and keep your core engaged so your body stays stabilized. Use props if your yoga instructor offers them and stop if you feel pain!
Most knee tears from yoga aren’t severe enough to require surgery, but they can slow you down for a few weeks. Knee tears tend to happen when people let the knee twist out of alignment. It’s common during pigeon pose, warrior poses, or half lotus.
How To Avoid: Avoid knee tears by moving from the hip while keeping the knee bend. This is the best way to avoid this type of injury. Make sure to do all prep poses before moving into these poses or use props to support the knee.
Hamstring injuries are pretty common in yoga. It tends to happen when people push too hard too fast. It usually happens when people go too deep in forward bends. Improper stretching can also increase the risk of hamstring issues.
How To Avoid: Simply don’t go as deep into forward folds. Make sure you breathe as you lengthen the hamstring too. This will help stretch it all out avoiding unwanted sharp pulls.
A lot of yoga poses can put strain on your wrists, like downward dog. This is especially a problem for people with carpal tunnel or who have tender wrists from computer work. The key is bearing the weight on the proper part of the hand so the wrists don’t take all of it.
How To Avoid: Spread your fingers evenly and press your index finger and heels of your hand into the mat. This will take the pressure off the wrists.
Neck injuries can be some of the most serious yoga injuries. They’re also some of the scariest. It can happen when people rest on the top of their heads when doing a full wheel or handstand. This results in the one’s body weight being put on the neck. People can also get neck injuries from flinging their heads back too forcefully in camel or upward dog poses.
How To Avoid: Avoid putting pressure on your neck and if you do try to distribute the weight by using your arms more. Neck safety should come before goals or mastering yoga poses. That will come with time; don’t risk your safety.
The good news is that yoga is one of the safest exercises there is. The key to avoiding injuries is to listen to your body, keep breathing and stretching and don’t try anything too quickly. Ask for help easing into poses if you need it. Be sure to check out our schedule and sign up for a class today. Namaste!