Can practicing yoga injure you?
The number of Americans actively practicing yoga is rising by the day. While yoga has its benefits, the risk of injury exists as well. Remember to always undertake yoga from a well-qualified practitioner who can advise you on the possibilities and limitations that you as an individual need to adhere to.
Common yoga poses prone to injuries
The Shoulder Stand (Salamba Sarvangasana) is performed by propping up the body on the shoulders and legs in the air while the Plow Pose (Halasana) is performed the same way but with legs behind the head. In both cases, the total body puts pressure on the spine and may result in neck pain or even a serious vertebrae or spinal disc problem.
Headstand (Sirsasana) is quite a risky pose and puts a lot of strain to the neck, shoulders or hands. Besides this, there is the danger of falling. Patients with Glaucoma must never attempt this as this pose will send blood rushing to the head/eyes.
Spending too much time on poses such as Vajraasana which involves sitting back on the heels can have a negative impact. This can cut off blood supply to the nerves branching from the sciatic nerve into the heels or feet. Forward bends may result in bulging disks and other low back injuries.
Wrist pain is very common when you start yoga, however if ignored you may land up with serious strains, sprains, or even breaks. This usually happens when the downward dog pose is done improperly. Prevent wrist pain by spreading your fingers wide.
What should you do?
Be cautious when practicing yoga. Make sure you consult a physical therapist or personal trainer first before embarking on any yoga practice and also in case you have existing injuries. Do not sign up for classes where you may not have the capabilities to cope with.