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Article Title:
How to Prevent Yoga Injuries

Article Description:
Yoga injuries is a common concern for many people, especially in 
the area of back bends. To prevent jamming and to ensure smooth 
and easy movement, follow the eight major principles of movement:

Additional Article Information:
637 Words; formatted to 65 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Fri Apr 28 12:32:38 EDT 2006

Written By:     Susi Hately Aldous
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL: 

For more free-reprint articles by this Author, please visit:


How to Prevent Yoga Injuries
Copyright © 2006 Susi Hately Aldous
Browse Books for Free

[the illustrations for these exercises can be found on the 
website at the end of this article) 


Yoga injuries is a common concern for many people, especially in 
the area of back bends. 

To prevent jamming and to ensure smooth and easy movement, follow 
the eight major principles of movement:

1. Nourish relaxation by breathing and connecting.
2. Initiate movement at the spine.
3. Connect spinal movement with moving through the largest joints 
4. Move your joints through their optimum range of motion.
5. Create core stability by boosting up your band has and 
6. Be relaxed and resilient.
7. Be generous with yourself and move through your pain-free 
   range of motion.
8. Remember that less is more.

In addition to these eight principles of movement, explore the 
five principles associated specifically with back bends.


1. Relax

Because it is easy to complete a back bend by moving through 
the weak links of the spine, it is easy to create injury and 
dysfunction. So, to safely inspire a functional and balanced 
body, it is important to cultivate awareness of movement.

Breathe and relax before moving into any back bend. Being relaxed 
heightens awareness and encourages tighter, tenser areas of the 
body to release and let go, while also allowing for inner cues of 
what is working and what is not working to surface.

As the movement continues into the back bend, you may notice that 
you are particularly tight in one area of your spine or at your 
hips. As a result, full extension may not be possible. By being 
aware, you can prevent yourself from forcing through this and 
instead cultivate a different way of moving that enables release, 
stability, and strength.

2. Initiate Extension at the Upper Spine 

Back bends provide a lovely laboratory for enjoying the spine in 
its full splendour. As mentioned earlier, in order to experience 
a back bend, the spine must extend. Without spinal extension, the 
back bend will not occur. 

To optimize spinal extension, begin at the upper spine. By moving 
first at the upper spine, then maintaining the depth of the pose 
relative to the movement occurring at the upper spine, you are 
almost guaranteed to not overcompensate, which means you won't 
move through the weak links, which in turn means you won't jam 
the lower back and cause back or neck pain.

3. Release the Chest and Use the Back of the Shoulders

Sometimes initiating movement at the upper spine is difficult 
because the muscles of the chest are tight or desensitized. If 
the scapulae have the tendency to ride up to the ears, and the 
shoulders round forward, it can be difficult to access the 
segmental movement of the individual vertebrae of the upper 

4. Stabilize the Connection between the Pelvis and Spine and 
between the Pelvis and Femurs

Sometimes initiating movement at the upper spine and releasing 
the chest are difficult because the muscles of the lower back are 
tight, desensitized, or hypermobile. When the lower back is 
dysfunctional, there is a tendency for the pelvis to move with 
dysfunction as well. It can become stuck or unstable. 

Whichever the situation, both can lead to poor spinal movement, 
increasing the potential for pain and injury in the lower and mid 
back. By improving the connection between the pelvis and spine 
and between the pelvis and femurs, you can gain a foundational 
structure from which your back bend can move safely and easily.

5. Fan the Pelvic Stability Outward: Developing Your Core

Fanning the pelvic stability outward is the essence of developing 
solid core stability. Beginning at the pelvis and radiating up 
the spine and down to the toes, it is necessary if you want to 
experience strength, ease, lightness, depth, and freedom in a 
back bend.

Susi Hately Aldous is the facilitator of the Anatomy and Asana 
workshop series taught internationally. This article is based 
on her book: Anatomy and Asana: Preventing Yoga Injuries. More 
information from this book is available at Browsebooks: (includes 
illustrations) © copyright Susi Hately Aldous



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