Serious yoga injuries are rare. In a recent online symposium it was reported that the number of cases seen in emergency room for golf injuries was ten times greater than for those related to yoga injuries.
Given the millions of yoga classes that take place around the country during the course of a year the frequency of yoga injuries seems quite low. When yoga injuries do occur, they tend to involve muscle strains and most individuals recover within days or weeks.
Pregnant women, those with Glaucoma and other medical conditions should check with their physician and the yoga instructor as to which poses may be contraindicated.
To reduce the risk of yoga injuries, the individual should take a beginner class rather than a mixed level class and consider having a few private sessions to learn the basics correctly and receive individual attention.
Some styles of yoga are more vigorous than others and may not be suited for everyone. “Hot Yoga” , where the room temperature can exceed 100 degrees, may pose needless risks for those with heart related conditions.
Some schools of yoga which do not make use of props may result in some individuals not being able to do poses correctly and could result in muscle pulls and strains.
Classes with large number of students may make it difficult for the teacher to observe and make corrections in your form.
Teaching styles and abilities vary so it is best to find a teacher you are compatible with. In general, the better and more serious yoga teachers teach at yoga studios rather than the local Y or health club.
To reduce the risk of yoga injuries, observe a class. Does the teacher just do the poses and you are expected to follow along or does he or she, walk around, give detailed instructions and make periodic individual corrections and adjustments to the students?
No sport or activity is completely safe but if you follow these sensible guidelines you should experience the benefits of yoga with little chance of getting a yoga injury.