Apparently, the rise in yoga injuries has skyrocketed in recent years, and experts are blaming social media. A quick Google search will lead you to a plethora of news articles pointing to Instagram as one of the main influences of increasing injuries amongst yoga students and teachers. The Guardian sums it up with a bit of tongue in cheek: ‘Inexperienced yoga teachers are apparently hurting themselves attempting complicated poses for their Instagram feeds. So much for 5,000-year-old traditions.’
It’s true, social media seems to have hugely influenced the yoga industry as a whole, and 200-hour trained teachers are morphing their bodies (and their students’ bodies) into unsustainable shapes for likes – which is in complete conflict with the traditions of the practice.
A Central Queensland University study is attempting to prove this link between social media and increasing yoga injuries. The head of the study, Dr Betul Sekendiz says that there has been an 80 per cent increase in yoga-related injuries over the past seven years, which can’t be explained by the small increase in participants. She says, “Influencers on social media are showcasing yoga based on the sex appeal of difficult poses… due to this attention grabbing promotion, we know that many people are attempting the same type of poses…Yoga is promoted as low-intensity and low-impact and as having benefits for spiritual development…so these extreme poses go against the original philosophy.” www.cqu.edu.au
Originally published in Jan 2020 Issue of Australian Yoga Journal out now