Yoga, when practiced correctly, is actually known to prevent injury. However, when practiced incorrectly, some practitioners complain of getting injured. Here are a few ways to avoid injury during your practice. And here's the interesting fact, the number one cause of injury in yoga is ego.
1. Take it slowly. Don't pull directly into an intense stretch. Take three or four breaths to find your way into the fullness of the stretch. Yoga is not about how flexible you are, anyway, so be patient with your body. Also, if it hurts stop. Listen to your body.
2. Study the correct alignment of a pose. If you know how to set the foundation of the pose, you will be able to feel more accurately when it doesn't feel quite right and adjust accordingly.
3. Don't do poses you aren't ready for. Yoga is not about fancy arm balances and standing on your head. Learn how to slowly build into challenging postures over time.
4. Follow the proper sequencing of postures. Practices are typically sequenced to warm up the body and include preparation poses before moving into more challenging postures. So, if you're practicing on your own, don't move immediately into a pose that may take some warming up first. Study what poses can prepare you for others.
5. Don't try to copy anyone else or compare your practice to anyone else's. You are your own person with your own body that moves at your own pace in your own time.