How to avoid yoga injuries: Lower back problems
Forward bends can lead to bulging disks and other low back injuries. The problem is when yogis keep their legs too straight and round their backs going into a pose. Instead, keep a micro-bend in your knees, aim for a straight back, don’t fold too deep and engage your abs to keep your core stabilized. If the teacher offers props, use them!
How to avoid yoga injuries: Knee tears
It’s unlikely that you’ll injure yourself serious enough to require surgery, but a knee tear will slow you down for a few weeks. It can happen if you let the knee twist out of alignment when doing pigeon pose, warrior poses or half lotus. Mike Chapman, owner of Breathe Into Motion Studio in Cambridge, Ont., and a certified personal trainer, says moving from the hip while keeping the knee bend often prevents these injuries. Do all the prep poses before moving into something like half lotus and use props during pigeon to support the knee.
How to avoid yoga injuries: Hamstring pulls
Ironically, if you work too hard to protect your lower back — yet push deeply into a forward bend — you can pull your hamstring muscle up near your buttocks. Awan says people who go very deep into forward bends tend to do this. Instead, pull back. But also, breathe into the entire length of the hamstring along the back of the leg to be sure you’re stretching it all.