Will yoga keep me injury free?

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

You'll often see athletes--professional and amateur alike--get walked off the field after suffering an injury during play. While the grueling nature of their activity accounts for the cause of the accident, they are actually more prone to sustaining injuries because the nature of their regimen (sports play, weights, jogging) tightens muscles. Tighter muscles cause greater resistance to gravity when falling or experiencing other misfortune, which then compromises the muscles and joints.

The practicing of yoga postures, as most people know, helps to build flexibility in the muscles and stabilize the joints. While a person with particularly developed flexibility and stable joints will not lock up on the way down to the ground and is therefore less prone to injury, it doesn't in fact eliminate the possibility of injury outright.

Whether participating in a dangerous sport, taking a misstep when getting off the bus, or experiencing some other accident that may often cause an injury, practicing a sound yoga posture practice will reduce the chances of an injury taking place, turn more serious injuries into minor ones, and generally help the body to recover from problems both related to the injury and not.

Well no, not exactly, but it can help stretch out tight muscles and it can address weaknesses in the body. Two key components of yoga are an attention to core strength and a focus on proper body alignment. Strengthening the core not only equates to increased running economy and speed, it also protects the low back from possible injury. A strong core is a crucial element of staying an injury free runner, and yoga can help towards that end. Attention to alignment can inform athletes of any imbalances in the body and can offer a safe and effective way to balance any weaknesses or areas of tightness. Finally, working on balance in yoga classes can help with proprioception and dexterity while running. A trail runner who has to negotiate uneven terrain can benefit from working on balance in particular yoga postures. Think of yoga as an insurance policy of sorts. It is an investment in continuing to run. Be mindful not to overdo it though. Athletes tend to push themselves and it can be very temping to stress and strain beyond the point of safety. It is actually possible to injure oneself in yoga, so remember yoga is not a competitive sport. Relax, stretch, focus on core strength, and enjoy the myriad benefits that yoga has to offer, including injury free running.
Sadie Lincoln
Sadie Lincoln on behalf of barre3
While yoga itself cannot prevent all injuries, it can help to improve your posture and help you move with more grace and awareness throughout your day. You may notice that by adding yoga into your fitness routine, you are able to perform other activities with more ease. One of the great things about yoga is its ability to improve alignment while both stretching and strengthening the muscles.  This is so important in helping to prevent injuries in the body that come from imbalances such as weak or tight muscles.
Jaspal R. Singh, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
It depends on your health. There is no one-size-fits-all program when it comes to exercise and pain. While yoga can help people with certain spinal conditions, such as spinal stenosis, yoga is not advised for those with acute disc herniations or sciatica. Consult with your doctor before starting a new workout program.

Continue Learning about Yoga

Why There’s Always a Yoga Program Just Right For You
Why There’s Always a Yoga Program Just Right For You
Recently, while standing in the checkout line at my local Whole Foods, I glimpsed the yoga magazines for sale, each one with a cover image that was in...
Read More
How can I prepare for a yoga class?
A yoga class requires little advance preparation. For the vast majority of people, yoga is an ideal ...
More Answers
8 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core
8 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core8 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core8 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core8 Yoga Poses for a Stronger Core
Can Yoga Help Teens Cope with Anxiety?
Can Yoga Help Teens Cope with Anxiety?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.