Reason of Yoga Injuries

Article 2

Reason of Yoga Injuries
-Wendy Loh

It is universally acknowledged that yoga can bring wide array of benefits by reducing pain, undoing stress, promoting mindfulness and calmness. Less written is about yoga injuries. With the skyrocketing popularity of yoga, the grim topic of yoga injuries seldom made known to public. Now, yoga professionals had done a major survey to document the reason of yoga injuries.

1. Demographic shifts of students
Previously, yoga was practiced by Indians who sat cross-legged and squatted on the floor all their lives, hence asanas(yoga poses) were very comfortable for them to accommodate. Yoga is good for people who are physically fit. But now, sedentary urbanites who are keyboard warriors wants to practice yoga. Yoga might do more harm than good as it will exacerbate underlying physical weakness and problems that make serious injury inevitable.

2. Inadequate teacher training
Yoga teacher training varies in terms of quantity and quality. With the increasing utilization of internet, training can be done entirely online, which classroom is not required. Hence, student might not getting appropriate supervision, correction and adjustment from experienced teacher. A survey conducted in 2009 published that 68% of respondents pointed that inadequate teacher training contributes to yoga injury. This admission was remarkable as most of the respondents were yoga teachers and therapists.

3. Too much emphasis on asanas
Some of the yoga teachers tend to overlook awareness and ignored anatomical limits by pushing students to overdo the poses. This aggressive tactics might cause students injuries.
To avoid injuries, instructor should downplay asanas by providing options and modifying poses. More emphasis should be put on awareness as teaching people to do asanas without leading them into deeper state realization will cause student to struggle or worse, injuries.

Swami Gitananda once said, “Real yoga is as safe as mother’s milk”. However, this leads to a debate to definition of safe as every student differs in terms of physical fitness. If yoga is practiced with care and awareness by tailoring to student’s fitness level, yoga can be miraculous path to achieve exceptional health.

200TTC Weekday(Jan/Feb14)

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