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Yoga Injuries

Yoga injuries happen, even to careful practitioners. We care deeply about the health and well-being of every yoga practitioner. Here are perspectives on why injuries happen and how to prevent them.
  • Yoga Injuries Again: Healthy Hip Joints

    Yoga Injuries Again:  Healthy Hip Joints Five years ago my sacroiliac (SI) joint was so completely, chronically out of alignment that at times I literally could not walk. After many trips to a chiropractor, neuromuscular therapist and many extremely uncomfortable acupuncture treatments, my chiropractor suggested I have X-rays taken so that he could see what was at the root of the issue. The X-ray showed an amazingly healthy spine with symmetrical spacing between vertebrae, healthy discs and beautiful spinal curves—qualities I attributed to a longtime asana practice. My SI joint didn’t look half bad either. My SI problems were due...

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  • Yoga Injuries: Whose Fault Are They?

    Yoga Injuries: Whose Fault Are They? This morning, YogaDork posted an article about a man who successfully sued a Bikram studio for a severe back injury. The 58-year-old veteran claims that teachers encouraged him to push past the pain of an old injury to the point where he broke his back. The student claims that teachers told him that doing more yoga could fix his physical issues and that his inflexibility was due to mental issues resulting from his financial instability. Sound familiar? I get it that mental/emotional issues do sometimes manifest in our bodies. On my first insight...

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  • Yoga Injuries Part III: Practicing in the Yoga Tradition

    Traditional Tools for Preventing Yoga Injuries Yesterday, I wrote about the issues inherent in dropping one component of a larger system of practice into a culture with a vastly different mindset. If you’d like to catch up on this discussion, you can read the post here. Today I’d like to talk about how Western yoga might look different if we approached practice from the perspective of its original intentions. Traditionally, yogis studied and practiced the yamas (ethical precepts) and niyamas (personal practices) for years before beginning to practice asana. Integrating concepts such as non-harming, truthfulness, self-reflection, contentment, wise use...

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  • Yoga Injuries Part II: Eastern Practice Meets the Western Mind

    Yoga Injuries II:  What Happens when an Ancient Eastern Practice Meets Modern Western Sensibilities? While much of the yoga blogosphere has moved on from the yoga injury discussion of last week, the issue is still percolating for me—probably because I’ve been thinking about this a good, long while. Last week I wrote a post that posed the question of whether the root cause of the rise in yoga injuries might be caused by asana being severed from its roots as a part of a much larger, more comprehensive system. I was happy to see that this post generated a...

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  • Youch! Yoga Injuries: How Not to Wreck Your Body

    The New York Times Takes on Yoga Injuries Last week’s New York Times article titled “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” made quite a splash in the yoga blogosphere. And the waves are still rippling out. Today, Cyndi Lee of OM Yoga asked her Facebook friends to share their thoughts on the article and has already amassed a huge number of comments. As a practitioner who’s just passed my 30-year anniversary of continuous yoga study, I have to say that while I found the article’s title a tad bit incendiary, I felt that the article made some valid points...

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