The Risks of Yoga

  • Like any form of physical activity, Hatha Yoga carries risks. It’s especially risky for those who push themselves or are pushed by teachers to create a particular form.
  • A 13-year study of yoga-related injuries in the U.S. published in 2017 found that injuries had increased (from 10 to 17 per 100,000 participants), although the risk of a serious injury remained low (less than 0.02%).
  • The study reported that the majority of injuries occurred in students ages 65 and over.
  • See more: About Injuries in Yoga
Especially Risky for People Who Push or Are Pushed

A growing number of Americans are getting injured doing yoga—an unfortunate trend touted in news stories. Often media reports express surprise that this ancient healing discipline can actually cause harm, especially since many people take up yoga specifically to heal injuries. Yet like any form of physical activity, hatha yoga practice carries risks—especially for people who push themselves or are pushed by teachers to “achieve” a particular pose, explains Leslie Kaminoff, a New York yoga therapist and bodyworker, who regularly treats yogis with both acute and chronic injuries linked to improper practice. – Carol Krucoff