Yoga has had a long relationship with the Indian culture for 5000 years. This ancient art has helped millions of spiritual seekers connect with the divine. Although yoga is not the same as working out in a gym or other high-impact sport, however yoga injuries are a bitter truth of this sacred art.
If you like practicing yoga, chances are you already know the health benefits this sacred art offers. From loosening up stiff muscles to helping you stay away from anxiety and depression, there is a plethora of benefits this sacred art offers. The majority of injuries that happen during a yoga session are not serious and preventable. Let us find out about some of common yoga injuries that can occur during a practice session.
5 Common Yoga Injuries You Should Know About
Yoga experts have come up with five yoga injuries that are quite common in a yoga session.
1. Lower Back Injuries
Do you know that forward bends can result in a bulging spinal disc and a host of other yoga-related injuries? Yes! This problem occurs when the yoga practitioner keeps their leg a rather too straight and round their backs while going into a yoga asana.
Moreover, putting excessive pressure on your lower back could lead to the hip joint, disc, or hamstring issues. Also, improper movement puts your lower back at a higher risk of injury.
2. Hamstring Injuries
During a yoga asana, if you are focused too much on keeping your lower back and keep on pushing deeply into a further bend, it causes a hamstring injury. The hamstring injury causes your hamstring muscles to be pulled up and near your buttocks.
Inflexible hamstrings and core muscles lead to hamstring issues. It even causes the nerve pull in your hamstrings or a muscle tear. Moreover, one of the most common yoga injuries related to hamstrings is Sciatica nerve pain.
3. Neck Injuries
Your neck is the most delicate and painful place to experience discomfort. For example, going into full wheel pose and resting on the top of your head before going fully into the yoga asana is dangerous as you put all the body weight on your neck.
Similarly, always be cautious when doing the Headstand, Plough or Shoulder Stand pose so that you do not stress the neck too much. The only reason why you might suffer from yoga injuries in the neck is you might put unnecessary pressure on it.
4. Wrist Injuries
Downward dog yoga pose might appear to be simple. Yet it impacts your wrists in ways you can only imagine. For example, if you have tender wrists or carpal tunnel syndrome from typing on computer keyboard, it is a cause for worry.
Not warming up your wrists before practicing yoga also leads to injuries. Moreover, flexing or contracting your wrists too far causes joint pain. In short, any movement that puts intense pressure on your wrist can lead to an injury.
5. Knee Injuries
If you twist the knee out of alignment when doing Pigeon, Warrior, or Half Lotus pose, it can put you out of yoga practice for weeks. You should join a certified yoga school to learn how to avoid yoga injuries from the experts.
One of the most common yoga injuries related to knees is improper feet placement while doing squats. Rotating your knee joints incorrectly can shift the alignment of your knees. Hence, it could lead to injury, pain, or discomfort. Over time, it might turn severe if not taken care of.
There it is! The five most common yoga injuries you might suffer from. Let us now find out how you can keep yourself safe from them.
Also Read: RYT Vs RYS
Tips To Avoid Yoga Injuries
Yoga experts know that even though yoga is about moving your body in a slow and symmetrical way, it still has its share of injuries.
Keeping the above statement in mind, given below are the tips to help you avoid yoga injuries mentioned above.
1. Lower Back Injury
Yoga gurus recommend you should do a micro-bend with your knees during asana practice. Try keeping a straight back and do not engage or fold your abs too deep. It keeps your core stable and safeguards you from an injury.
Also, while bending forward, you should bend from your hips and not from your spine. It might put additional pressure on our hamstrings, however, will ensure you do not suffer from lower back yoga injuries. Further, you should do passive stretching to make your lower back strong.
2. Wrist Injury
The yoga injuries associated with a Downward dog pose is wrist injury. Yoga experts recommend you keep body weight on the right part of your hand. Your fingers should be evenly spread. Moreover, push your index fingers and the heel of your hand into the mat.
For additional support you can also roll up the mat or use a towel to raise your wrists.
3. Neck Injury
When doing yoga inversions, try distributing the body weight equally and put more of it on your arms instead of your neck. In other words, prioritize the safety of your neck rather than other body parts during inversions.
You can also use various yoga props while practicing inversion yoga poses. Also, you must use a soft-padded yoga mat in case you need to balance your body on your neck and upper shoulder muscles. Moreover, you must work on your scapular muscles and shoulder joints to strengthen your neck support.
4. Knee Injury
While doing the Pigeon, Warrior, or Half Lotus pose; yoga experts recommend you move from the hips while keeping your knees bent. This helps you prevent any serious yoga injuries in the long run.
The first step should be to ensure your knees are strong and mobile. For that, do a little warm-up before doing intense yoga practice. Do not let your knee bend inward while doing squats. Also, you should shift your feet in case you feel any discomfort.
5. Hamstring Injury
To safely practice yoga and prevent a serious hamstring injury, pull back the hamstring muscles. You should also breathe into the entire length of the hamstring and the back of your legs.
Practicing the Superman pose is one of the best ways to make your hamstrings and lower back strong. Furthermore, you should stretch your hamstrings daily to ensure they retain their flexibility. With consistent stretching, you stay away from muscle or nerve pull.
Also Read: 12 basic yoga poses for beginners
Yoga is a bit slow and relaxed way to help unlock your true mental and physical potential. However, you should keep in mind that yoga injuries are also a painful truth of this ancient art. Therefore, you must keep in mind the above mentioned tips to stay away from a serious yoga injury.