Yoga Injuries


I have been thinking about  the Good news Bad news of Yoga and injuries and having finally been doing back bends with little or no pain over the past month,  I thought I would do a quick video review on a couple of points I have been able to learn.  You may ask how a injury can be good news ?   This post covers a bit of Anatomy and Physiology, a couple of concepts about being more aware in your approach to your yoga practice.

How you can turn a simple piece of rope into a home traction device, ( Traction is a term used by orthopedic and chiropractic doctors to describe the any treatment that pulls or lengthens the spine apart as opposed to squishing it together) that  strengthens and loosens the muscles surrounding the spine naturally—so you can eliminate the source of the pain. While you would work on treating the issues that are behind the underlying cause.

The Yoga Trapeze (This looks like it would be a safer alternative to what I am doing in this video and has a lot more applications and a solid back support)
While there are dozens of causes for  yoga injuries like back pain, the physical manifestation is almost always the same: some form of compression, a squishing of the vertebrae into one another. If your lower back, neck or shoulders suffer from recurring pain and after you exercise (yoga, jogging, etc) this may help.   The Yoga trapeze looks like it would be more A LOT more comfortable that the rope system that is demonstrated in the video above  (basically  with the dead-simple treatment of traction your back pain can be eased)

A healthy spine has full, firm, and resilient disk tissues that allow for complete range of motion.  After sitting all day in an office, driving a car or  doing yoga for years  with incorrect  form that overloads one muscle at the expense of  others,  it’s very likely that some of your disks are not in great shape . So watch all these things are take some form of action to get on top of it.

Books referenced in the video

Anatomy and Physiology Version 6
This is the version I have which you can get a 2nd hand copy at this link

Anatomy and Physiology 7th Edition The latest version.

The Psoas Book Liz Koch

Keep practicing with more awareness.

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About Al Hall

Al has been a student of Yoga for the best part of 2 decades. Loves to surf, play beach volley ball and explore the deeper nature of reality. Fancies himself as a bit of a philosopher. Loves to make videos and is the founder of the Yoga.org.nz site.

34 Responses to Yoga Injuries

  1. Great Info Al
    I can certainly relate to back injury thru Yoga
    No one ever thinks about it great to see this level of tuition

    Regards Bill Bailey

  2. we r doing yoga in central park lahore in Pakistan . but i need some important pic of yoga like assan and tips also which would be helpful for me and my fellow in Park.

    Thanks

    sabir Hussain

  3. Hi All, sorry to hear about your injury, hope it is not too painfull….however a similar thing has hapened to me, when I was doing some yoga about six weeks ago. What has happened- I was doing some side bends,standing erect, hands streached above my head, nothing new, but it was a very humid night and I think I held the side-bends for too long, as I ended up in very bad pain in my back, I went to bed to strech my back lying in the corpse position, with the electric blanket on.The warmth helped and I avoided this excercise for a while, next time I did it, I held this asana for a shorter time. It is important to distigvish the reason for a pain and then try to work with it slowly, as the body always tells us the truth…..about ourselves. Namaste and my very best wishes Katarina…..

  4. Thank you very much for the explanation and the video.
    And also for the books mentioned. Indeed injuries that occure from wrong yoga practices are quite common. For if the teacher does not help the practising person to do the exercise up to the own possibilities instead of going further than the brim, problems will arise. As for every step in life also here counts practice will give the teacher.
    With kind regards from Amsterdam

  5. Thank you AL! Very useful for me all your lessons.

  6. Hi Al
    Thanks for that video. It’s interesting because we have a traction system set up here too. Having done Iyengar yoga I also know about the use of props like blocks and straps and being very careful about the way you practice yoga. I also have a book about Yoga in old age. About 25 years ago when I was heavily into yoga I injured my groin muscle and it led me to take up swimming and other forms of exercise although I have never forgotten yoga which I started at 17 (I’m now 53) so that makes me a devotee of 36 yrs! As we age we have to become more aware of what we are doing with our bodies and to listen to them. I have started to do a lot more Pilates/Yoga as it concentrates so well on the core and the spine and is somewhat less challenging than straight yoga poses. I’ve learned that this is not a competition to see who can do the most advanced moves and postures but it is a conversation with your self and your body. I know, that going forward this will become even more important as I age. I still do power yoga but I pace myself. There is one lady in my class who is 65 and still doing back bends of the type you showed (although not from a hand stand position!). I never did get there and I don’t think it matters. There are lots of less strenuous ways to do a back bend and get the same benefit without the potential injury. The same goes for all inverted postures. Fear of falling is the worst kind of fear when you really want to practice YOGA in all its meanings and avoid injury. So far, all I have are sore muscles from a strong work out. My groin injury hasn’t returned but my abs are going great and my arms and legs are strong.

    Deep Peace
    Namaste
    Trish

  7. Thanks for your sharing !

  8. nice little pussy…..tat
    peace out….

  9. Hi Al, Sorry to hear about your back injury. I dare say that more than 90% of people will experience back pain of one form or another in their life-time. My wife and I were no exception. More than 15 years ago when I first encountered a very severe form of backache, I went and bought myself a device called The Inversion Table.
    It is basically a two A-shaped support which holds a canvas table that can be adjusted for different heights of the user. You lie on the table, strap your legs, and slowly, (without any jerky action that may aggravate the injury) tilt the table to a covenient and comfortable position, and use your own weight to traction the spine and the core muscles. Feels very relaxed, and we have cured our backs.
    These days, however we rely entirely on Yoga to maintain our back health. We are both well into our seventies and extremely active physically.

    Namaste
    Dhana

  10. Very interesting, thanks, a lot for posting!!!
    (I really enjoyed the cat!!!!)

  11. I started your yoga about 8 months ago then quit because of a nerve problem in my and I have knee pain due to the nerve. Any suggestions. I know when I do yoga I feel so much better and stretching my leg makes the nerve stop hurting for about 4 hours. But then the pain is back. I am not an advanced yoga person but I would like to learn how to release the pain and be a advance yoga person

  12. I paid 200 bucks for a trapeze when all I needed was a rope and a freakin blanket.
    namaste

  13. Thank You for the video and the information on the books too. I have not had a yoga injury however I have had several work injuries. ( I am currently off work because of a knee injury) I am new to yoga and to be honest I don’t practice on a regular basis. I am working on a more regular practice, but I have to be careful with my knee. It’s good to remember that I need to listen to my body….if I had been listening I might not have injured myself at work. I have noticed that my physical therapy has some basic yoga and pilates moves in it, so i am focusing on them right now.
    I enjoy your blogs they always have helpful information! Namaste CJ

  14. That nutrition super smoothie has totally clensed and helped to repair my body.
    I have it most mornings for breakfast and it really does the trick.
    I hope you have much success with strengthing you weaker body areas all the best to you dude.
    Namaste.

  15. What the heckis going on HERE??? Another yoga product??? Why are people not going to a qualified yoga teacher and learning how to proceed without injury. What’s being shown here continues to undermine yoga and turn it into yet another “product”, open to yoga quackery and fast buck hucksters.

    • HI David
      I have a whole book here on “Products” They help people get around limitations. The book is from one of the most respect yoga Teachers Ever Mr Iyengar http://www.bksiyengar.com. I think calling a $10 piece of rope a product is a bit of a stretch. Of course we are all entitled to our own opinion which is the beauty of a free society.

      I presume that you live in a concrete jungle (city) where there is a ton of “qualified” teachers . Thousands of others out there are not so lucky they come from places small towns and country’s (EG I have a lot of reader from Iran and small towns in africa) that have never heard of yoga.

  16. Thank you so much Al. You have such a sweet heart and you inspire me to practice.

  17. Thanks for the info! Cute little kitten! My cats like to do yoga with me too. :-)

  18. This information was great for a relatively inexperienced yet advanced yogi like myself. My practice is only seven years young but I am over forty years old. I have a very challenging practice with a lot of arm balances and inversions and this has developed into shoulder injuries. Can you help in this area?

    Nicole

  19. Love doing traction – not only for good back stretch, but it is also invigorating for the mind. I found that I had to experiment with the length of my rope – there is no set guide; depends on your height. Just a suggestion: if your core is not as toned as Al’s, set your traction up against a wall. Going into the traction position: face the wall and use your feet “climbing” up into the hanging position. Do the same coming out of the position. Very important: NEVER LET GO OF YOUR HANDS HOLDING ON TO THE ROPE. This also helps if you have some fear going upside down. The wall can also act as a guide for your posture: awareness to the alignment of the spine (prevents hyper-extension of lower back).

  20. Great Al, I can relate to the back injury and stress. I have found over the years that as long as I do my Yoga regularly my back is fine, and soon become aware of impending problems again, should I get lazy about my practice. Keep up the good work, I enjoy your newsletter and videos.
    Thanks Jacky

  21. Thanks for your letters and comments, Al. You are a true inspiration to me and my Yoga practice. You are so right in the fact that we need to take time for ourselves and become one with our bodies.

    I’m sorry about your injury, and I hope you’re better soon! I have learned the hard way to take it easy, and listen to what your body is telling you. The old adage, no pain, no gain, is a crock. You don’t ever benefit from pushing too hard.

    Take care and be safe my dear friend.

  22. am very happy to recieve this information I hope this will serve as aguide for the future and I hope you are doing well now

  23. great information Al. I do suffer from back injury And your information helped me .
    I have to try it!!

  24. Dear All,
    Sorry to hear about your injury, hope you are doing well now.
    Very interesting,you inspire me keep practicing. Iam a high blood pressure patient,my question is, can I do yoga trapeze practicing ?

    Namaste

  25. Hi Al

    Thank you for the information on traction for easing lower back pain. I am at the moment also experiencing lower back pain, however I dont have acces to to the type of traction prop you have demonstrated in your video could you therefore advise any other way of relieving the pressure on the lower back please?

  26. Hi Al, thanks for the video and helpful information. I do have back injuries caused by incorrect posture and prolonged sitting at the computer and am sure your advice will prove beneficial.

    Lalita

  27. Ex. very good comments, but I need for lower back pain exercises and explanation to that. I started my Yoga only 1 years ago. I need for detail explanation to every Exs,

    Thanks a lot
    Aslam

  28. Thank you Al for sharing your journey and passing on your experiences. I am really aware when I join some sites that the main reason for the site is to advertise and sell products only and it is inspirational to find your advice is practical and just genuinely helpful.
    I love the rope idea and have been aware of this form of work as part of my practice is with Iyengar but you have brought it to my awareness again and I realise that I can make it myself with rope (money being a problem at present). I to have lower back issues which stem from bad posture since childhood as I have had a cromic lung condition all this time and have Kyphosis of the thoracic spine and a lordotic lumber region. Find it helpful to begin yoga sessions with 20mins of laying in the constructive rest position (laying supine on back with legs bent at knees and feet planted on the floor), and connecting within, how I am feeling and how my body is reacting..where the tensions lie and allowing my gentle breath to release the psoas and spine back towards the floor, allowing gravity to do its gentle releasing for me.

    I have just ordered the Psoas book from the library and find it so valuable, I am a trainee yoga teacher and I have learned a lot and adapt my classes accordingly, I really recommend her book also.

  29. Hi Al! Thank for writing and sharing your experiences with yoga. I think the same Patrick,s comented: ” Your body is telling you something, listen to it”. I practice yoga since 1986, I had 15 years that age. Now I’m 39. My experiences tell me (and I tell you now) that we’re not only a body, if we have a problem in our fellings, emotions, karmas, or eteric body, its reveals in a body pain, find the problem and fix it. That’s evolution. I practice reiki since 2002, and your hands energy by your heart can help you to fix problems you don’t know, in all your componentes, phisicals or not.
    Keep in touch, and thanks for writing. Namaste.

  30. Thank you for the information , I am very happy to recieve this information

  31. Olá
    Ótimo seu trabalho.
    Fico feliz quando recebo seu e-mail informativo, emobora tenho que usar um tradutor, mesmo assim aproveito muito.

    Seja feliz….

    Swásthya.

  32. Sweet Great Report on injuries Al this type of article is so helpful

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