Is Yoga Really The Cause Of Your Injury?
It always makes me wonder when I hear practitioners say they got an injury from doing yoga. I mean, of course, it is possible to get injured doing yoga. I remember the first time I jumped back from Bakasana to Chaturanga--I hurt my toe so bad it was swollen for several weeks. Another time, while trying the traditional transition from Virabhadrasana II to Chaturanga, I lifted up and fell on my forehead. That hurt too!
These are injuries that I obviously got during practice.
There are other, more serious injuries than just falling out of a headstand--deep muscle injuries, joint pain, torn hamstrings and meniscus, rotator cuff injuries...the list goes on. Some of these injuries may even require surgery.
The internet is flooded with articles and claims of how dangerous yoga can be. Here are two examples below.
In no way am I saying that yoga never causes injury, but that is not what it is intended do. Asana practice is meant to purify the body and mind. This is especially true for the Primary Series, or "Yoga Chikitsa," which means yoga therapy. Practicing this sequence keeps the body strong, supple, and healthy.
Even with a therapeutic intent, yoga-related injuries can happen. It could be from bad alignment or from muscling your way into postures for which you're not ready. Repeating movements which are poorly executed. But I still feel at times that yoga is getting a bad reputation for causing injury when it isn’t always the case.
After your asana practice you don’t go home and sleep the rest of the day--even if you did, you may wake up with a stiff neck. You do other activities. You may sit the rest of your day at a computer, shoulders up to your ears and head bent forward.
You may have a habit of sitting with your legs crossed or doubled crossed, causing an imbalance to your hips and knees.
Maybe you carry your too-big-for-carrying child at times. Maybe you lift heavy loads.
Did you know that your handbag should not weigh more than 10% of your body weight? You may not feel any pain at the moment, but carrying heavy loads has a cumulative affect on your shoulders and back.
These are just some everyday activities that may lead to injury.
Always be mindful of your movements, your breath, and your posture.
What you do off your mat is just as important as what you do on your mat.