Jill Abelson—a yoga instructor, teacher trainer, author and workshop presenter—had been practicing yoga for over two decades. But one day, while easing her way into a headstand at a yoga studio in Miami, the seasoned yogi tweaked her neck and ended up in the E.R. a few hours later. Not long before that, Jill had suffered another yoga-related injury when an instructor over-adjusted her neck, accidentally pinching a nerve in her left arm.
We tend to view yoga as a gentle, restorative exercise, one that heals the body rather than breaking it down. But as the practice of yoga continues to explode in popularity, spawning more vigorous and athletic offshoots, downward doggers are becoming saddled with yoga-related injuries—from minor wrist tendonitis to neck injuries to, in rare cases, sciatic nerve damage.
“There’s something serious going on in the world of yoga,” says Abelson, an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher and renowned expert on alignment, injury prevention and hands-on assists. “Injuries are becoming more and more common, and we need to figure out why this is happening.”
Abelson suspects that there are three reasons for the rise in yoga-related injuries. One culprit, she thinks, is the shifting economics of yoga. Once a fringe practice, yoga has morphed into a moneymaking industry, with studios seeing a revolving door of clients daily. A recent survey indicates that a whooping 20 million Americans are rolling out their mats in an effort to reap the well-documented mind-body benefits of yoga. And almost half of these yogis—45 percent—identify themselves as beginners. spryliving.comContinue reading >>