Yoga is a great exercise to help prevent injury and strengthen and stretch your muscles, but what happens if yoga causes injury? Luckily, there are some ways you can avoid this plight.
Some of the most frequent injuries in yoga include the neck, the lower back, and the hamstrings. You can prevent injury by ensuring you have the correct form, breathing through the exercises, and modifying poses when necessary. It is possible to overstretch your muscles as well.
Beginners in yoga should be taught by a certified yoga instructor who can help them practice yoga safely. If you want to know the three most common injuries in yoga and how to avoid them, this is the article for you.
Is it Possible to Get Injured in Yoga?
Even though yoga is considered a low-impact activity, you can still be injured while practicing, just like in any other sport. You can easily be injured if you do not perform the poses correctly. However, with yoga, these injuries tend to develop over time instead of occurring instantly. Some of the common areas of the body where you can be injured:
- Lower back
Many yogi’s who are injured practicing the discipline do not even know how they became injured. It is more challenging to determine sometimes how the injury occurred, but there are simple explanations for what may have been done incorrectly.
What Should I Do if I Get an Injury Doing My Yoga Practice?
If you feel pain while doing yoga, you should stop practicing immediately. Listen to your body and what it is telling you. If you feel a sharp pain in your body, it may be an indication that the pain is coming from a specific area of the body, which means that it is likely you injured yourself performing a particular pose. Some of the most common reasons for injury:
- Not breathing through exercises
- Doing exercises too fast
- Trying to force poses
- Not stretching enough
- Poor posture
If you have a habit of doing any of the above, you could also try doing a modified version of the poses, which means doing them in such a way that it makes it less difficult for you. You could also use a cushion or a yoga block to practice. It allows you to protect your body while practicing and adapting to the pose. There may be some poses you need to skip altogether if they are too taxing or stressful on the body.
The 3 Most Common Injuries in Yoga and How to Avoid Them
Yoga injuries are more common than you may think, as they are often the result of incorrect forms. Beginners should aim to practice yoga with the help of an experienced teacher who knows how to perform the poses and modify them if need be. There are some techniques you can employ to help you with your yoga practice. The following includes the most common yoga injuries and how to avoid them:
Due to this world of smartphones and working with computers, we often carry tension in our necks. When you go to do yoga, the tension can still be held in the neck. Your form may be incorrect when holding a pose, which can negatively affect the body. For example, you could be doing a Warrior pose and tilting your head in the air, which can strain the muscles in the neck.
Instead of making this mistake, try holding your head in a neutral position facing forward. You should also keep your chin tucked down and aligned when practicing certain poses. Picture drawing your chin towards your neck but remember to keep your breath in rhythm with the movement. Keep in mind that when your breathing is controlled, you have better control over the fluidity of your movement.
Focusing on your core and your breath is the way to avoid a serious neck injury, allowing you to get the maximum benefit out of your yoga session. Another common mistake is to force the pose when you should choose a more comfortable position for your neck. Overstretching the neck may also cause injury. It is important to draw that arrow into your chest and keep your head neutral.
2. Lower Back
Everyone knows how beneficial yoga is for the back. However, if your form is incorrect, it can strain your lower back. Rounding through the spine during poses like downward dog and forward folds is a common mistake. Rounding the spine causes a curve in the back and can lead to you rupturing a disk or straining a muscle.
The best way to avoid a lower back injury is to think of yourself as being pulled by a string from your toes, through your hips to your spine, through the top of your head, as you gently stretch your lower back. You can also modify the pose by slightly bending your knees or using a yoga block to support your body.
You should also imagine pulling your belly button toward your spine to keep your core engaged, as your strong core muscles help support the spine. If you have lower back pain, try to keep your twists to a minimum.
Hamstring injuries usually occur in yoga over time, often where the hamstring is connected to the sit bone. Most of the time, it is due to overstretching and incorrect form when practicing forward bends. Overarching of the back during a forward bend pulls on the hamstrings, which causes the problem, often referred to as a yoga butt. The best way to fix this injury is by resting until the inflammation subsides. Some great poses that can help strengthen the muscles back up include the locust pose or the side plank.
You may also want to try a bridge pose with a yoga block between your thighs, pressing down with your heels to get your hamstrings and inner thighs working their mojo. As always, keep your core engaged and focus on your breathing throughout the exercise.
It is easier to become injured in yoga than you may think. As a yoga student, you must learn the proper form to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place.