Injury

Yoga can hurt you.

There’s a lot we should avoid.

A beautiful image of a pose, shows beauty, not safety.

Neck

Many of us spend too many hours mostly holding still, looking in only one direction at a screen. Or spend too many hours repeating the same motions.

We lack variety of movement throughout our day. Our necks get tight.

Yoga helps our necks with limbering.

Some traditional yoga poses risk harm to our necks. We avoid them. We never put weight on our head or neck. We avoid turning or bending our necks too far. No headstand, no shoulderstand, no plow, etc. Relaxed head positions in Warrior 2, Triangle, etc.

Back

The discs between the vertebrae of our backs have strength but also vulnerability. Loading the back and then twisting invites injury.

We avoid the revolved variations of some yoga poses that twist our backs counter to the rotation of our hips .

We limber our backs before doing intense yoga and avoid twisting our backs beyond the range of motion that feels good.

Knees

Our knees work in one direction, forward and back.

Many of us have tight hips. Yoga poses that rotate our hips can instead translate into strain on our knees.

We avoid poses like Lotus. We take care with a pose like Pigeon.

We always slightly bend our knees in standing poses. The bend engages our quadriceps muscles and stabilizes our knees.

We align our knees with care in poses like Warrior 1 and 2.


How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” by William Broad in The New York Times Magazine 2012-01-05