Yoga and Injury: can Yoga be Dangerous?

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Today there are millions of yoga practitioners in the world. It is being practiced since thousands of years and the assumption is that it promotes mental and physical well-being. However, many a time, we do not realize that yoga postures like other exercises can be risky. Yoga is helpful in relieving musculoskeletal pain but may also cause the same. A study suggests that incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10% every year.

Yoga can obviously be dangerous. With so many centers giving away certificates and numerous candidates, the quality of each yoga trainer cannot be kept in check. Yoga is a vast domain and approx. 200 hours of study is provided to any trainer. These hours are very less for such an extensive subject. A trainer generally focuses on the asanas. However, actually, he/she should be thoroughly aware of the anatomical functioning of the body. Many injuries are due to body bending postures like shoulder stands and various back bends where the entire weight is shifted upside down. The upper body limbs are not designed to carry such weight and give up beyond a point. An inefficiently trained yoga teacher or untrained individual may not be able to guide properly in such cases.

Several practitioners start practicing these postures by watching television or other people. Under-supervised yoga postures are sure to result in injuries.  Many a time, for achieving quick results, we tend to force ourselves too far. This can result in hamstring injuries, wrist pain, and lower back irritations. They can even be caused due to quick and jerky movements.


The following points should be considered for preventing injuries.

  1. Start learning from a certified trainer or good yoga institute.
  2. Understand your eligibility for different yoga types by discussing your current physical state and medical history. Start only after getting satisfied by the answer to your queries.
  3. Strictly follow all the directions given by your teacher. These directions can be for your asanas, lifestyle, or eating habits.
  4. Start gradually with simpler yoga types. Do not jump to rigorous or complex ones. Give your body enough time to adapt to the new regime.
  5. Get into the habit of doing relaxation yogasanas after difficult ones.
  6. Try to be regular with your yoga practice. After a big break due to any reason, restart from simpler ones.
  7. Advice your fellow mates to do yoga but do not teach.

Yoga, like any other activity, has its own benefits and side effects. It entirely depends on the way and type of yoga performed. Yoga has its own guidelines and guidance should be taken for every asana. One can be still delighted about yoga as the benefits of yoga are way more than the scope of any injury. Yoga should be performed in the right way by listening to the body and regular practice for maximum benefit.


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