Yoga Injuries

Yoga Injuries

In 2007, Ellen Saltonstall, Susan Genis and I did a research paper investigating who gets injured doing yoga, what are their injuries, how often does it happen, and why. The conclusions were surprising.  Here’s the abstract.

Abstract: To obtain an initial estimate of the extent, nature, and causes of Yoga-related injuries, we invited 33,000 Yoga teachers, Yoga therapists, and other clinicians to participate in a 22-question survey. The survey was conducted with the cooperation of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT), Yoga Alliance, and Yoga Spirit. 1,336 responses came from 35 countries between May and October of 2007. A majority of participants believed that the most common and the most severe injuries occurred in the neck, the lower back, the shoulder and wrists, and the knee. Poor technique or alignment, previous injury, excess effort, and improper or inadequate instruction were the most commonly cited causes of Yoga injuries. Individual âsanas were linked with particular injuries in a highly specific way. For example, neck injuries were attributed to sirsâsana (headstand) and sarvângâsana (shoulderstand); lower-back injuries were associated with forward bends, twists, and backbends; shoulder and wrist injuries were linked to adho mukha svanâsana (downward-facing dog) and variations of plank pose (e.g., chaturanga dandâsana), four-limbed staff pose and vasisthâsana, (side plank pose); and the knee was believed to be most frequently injured in vîrabhadrâsana (warrior pose) I and II, virâsana (hero’s pose,) eka pâda rajakapotâsana (one-legged king pigeon pose) and padmâsana (lotus pose).

Loren Fishman, Ellen Saltonstall, and Susan Genis (2009) “Understanding and Preventing Yoga Injuries.” International Journal of Yoga Therapy: 2009, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 47-53.  https://www.google.com/#q=%E2%80%9CUnderstanding+and+Preventing+Yoga+Injuries.%E2%80%9D+International+Journal+of+Yoga+Therapy%3A+2009%2C+Vol.+19%2C+No.+1%2C+pp.+47-53.