Recently, a large international yoga survey was undertaken by yoga teacher David Keil to assess the impact of yoga asana practice on physical health and injury. He explains that this was partly in response to the rather sensational article in the New York Times by William Broad about his book (The Science of yoga: the risks and rewards). The article and subsequent re-reporting of it implied that yoga was highly risky and anyone could get really badly injured very easily.
Keil doesn’t dispute that injuries may happen in a physical yoga class, but he wanted to explore these within the context of prior medical history, age, sex, physical fitness, type of yoga practised etc., and to see how asana practice can help an injury.
He has just released the first couple of installments of the results, based on responses from over 2600 people, mainly from the United States and the UK. The first article focuses on the background, methodology, and the make-up of the respondents, whilst the second focuses on the perceived benefits of a physical yoga practice. There’ll be future installments about injuries etc. The chart below is interesting as it shows the range of physical benefits yoga can bring to an existing injury or pain, particularly the benefit for lower backs. Have you had any similar benefits as a result of practising yoga asana?