Injury Prevention

In an injury prevention workshop, the causes of injury in modern day yoga classes and potential safeguards are examined.  Students participate in a facilitated discussion of common injuries and practical solutions for teachers and students to avoid or mitigate these injuries. This workshop benefits new and advanced practitioners alike.

Example Workshop Schedule

2 Hours: Overview of common causes of injury in the context of public yoga classes.  Students participate in a led discussion of both student-centered and teacher-centered causes of injury such as inadequate prep, heavy assists, competition with self, pre-existing injury and so on.  As a group, potential student-centered and teacher-centered solutions are developed.

Following the initial discussion, the course moves into specific lecture and practice focusing on specific areas of the body.  Additional focus can be placed on selected areas of the body as per the students' needs.

2-4 Hours:  Lecture and practice concerning lower back pain and related injuries.  Yoga has the potential to improve lower back injuries or to create or worsen them.  This segment covers postures that often contribute to LBP as well as those that can be used to reduce it or to replace contra-indicated postures.  Poorly executed transitional movements in yoga classes are often the root of lower back and lower limb aches and pains. Special attention is given to those transitions in the longer version of this segment.

 2 Hours: Lecture and practice concerning foot and knee injuries. Postures are built from the ground up.  In a standing practice, pronation, supination and/or low-tone of the feet results in potential misalignment of the knees and hips.  Proper use of the feet in asana creates powerful changes up the kinetic chain and can resolve issues in lower limbs. 

 2-4 Hours:  Lecture and practice concerning shoulder, wrist and elbow related injuries.  The arms are not typically used for weight-bearing in daily life. In an asana practice, adequate strength and understanding of scapular stabilizers are required for safe loading of the arms and shoulders.  This segment reviews plank, chaturanga and upward-facing dog as a means of teaching proper shoulder stability and strength. Improper alignment, often due to muscle weakness, affects the health of the shoulder, elbow and wrist.  Students learn ways to build shoulder stability in asana practice and modifications of common poses to utilize in the meantime.

2 Hours:  Lecture and practice concerning cervical spine and inversion-related injuries.  Shoulderstand and headstand place added load on the cervical spine.  Preparation and risk factors of both postures as well as potential modifications are covered. Segment includes a discussion of the dangers of arterial compression in extreme neck flexion and extension.



2-14 hours



Facilitated Discussion: The source of injuries

Lecture and Practice:
Common yoga injuries

  • Hamstring tears
  • Cervical injury
  • SI Dysfunction
  • Plantar Faciitis
  • Patellofemoral pain
  • Meniscal tears
  • Lumbar disc injury
  • Tendonitis
  • Rotator cuff tears