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NEW YORK (CBS 2) – When people think of yoga, they think of gentleness and serenity, but many may be surprised to realize that along with a yoga practice comes the potential for injury.
Roxy Emery is devoted to her yoga practice, but she says she is more careful now after she fell while doing a handstand and injured her shoulder.
“It felt like my muscles were melting off my bone,” Emery told CBS 2′s Dr. Holly Phillips, “it was like a hot pain.”
Experts say it’s not unexpected that people would be injured during yoga simply because so many are now practicing it. Another factor, however, is that many people just don’t realize the potential for injury.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michelle Carlson has seen too many injuries.
“The one downside is that people don’t think when they go into Yoga that it can actually cause problems for them,” Carlson said.
Carlson said some injuries are triggered by unknown pre-existing conditions — things her patients don’t discover until they start yoga.
“Its very common that you don’t know you have arthritis, its been going on in your hand for a couple of years and hasn’t been symptomatic and until you really put a lot of stress on it, it doesn’t bother you,” Carlson said.
Dr. Loren Fishman treated Emery for some residual pain from her injury. He said poor form and occasionally poor teaching can result in injury.
“Classes with thirty people…and no one can watch them all. Teachers that put poses in the wrong order, teachers that give newcomers poses they shouldn’t have in the first place,” Fishman said.
Pushing beyond one’s limits – as with other exercise — is also a risk factor for significant injury. That, emery says, is exactly what she did.
“I had no business trying to go beyond my beginner status,” Emery said.
Emery said she is much more careful know to recognize her limit and advised others to do the same.
“Listen to your body…just to create a healthy, happy you,” Emery said.