Last Updated on
The ancient practice of Yoga is enjoyed by millions of people each day all over the world.
Not just for it’s physical practicality but for it’s promotion of overall well being, mental, emotional and spiritual up lifting.
Yoga is practiced on a daily basis by millions of people, not only for physical conditioning but for mental well being as well.
If you are an amateur like me or if you regularly attend yoga classes, you know that the poses that you contort your body into are not very easy to do, especially for amateurs like myself.
And if you let your mind wander and are not focused on what you are doing, you could find yourself suffering an injury very quickly.
To be more specific, there are certain yoga poses that can cause elbow pain and even develop into a full blown injury.
Is it possible that you could actually suffer an injury such as tennis elbow from doing yoga?
The short answer is Yes.
You can damage your extensor tendons and muscles if you are not careful.
Here’s the deal:
When it comes to practicing yoga and injuries to your elbow, the bottom line is that you need to avoid hyperextending your elbows when performing specific poses.
A quick and simple test to see if your elbows hyperextend is to straighten your arm out in front of you with your elbow fully extended, if you notice that your arm is not really straight and your elbow is kinked a little.
This is a good indication that you are able to extend your elbows.
Bearing weight in this position can cause severe damage to your elbows and is not recommended!
Let’s get to the yoga poses that you need to be aware of.
Here is a quick video of the ones to be aware of:
There are 6 poses that can easily cause your elbow to hyperextend which overtime can cause you a world of problems down the road.
- Side Plank
- Reverse Plank
- Wheel Pose
- Downward Dog
- Camel Pose
- Cobra Pose
Here are the yoga poses you really need to pay attention too:
1. Side Plank
A super popular pose but one that can be risky.
This pose puts your entire body weight on your wrist and elbow joints.
And it’s even worse if you are able to hyperextend your elbows!
To take the strain off your elbows and wrists, focus your energy and weight towards your index finger and away from your pinky finger.
You can also go down and have your weight supported by your forearm.
2. Reverse Plank Pose
We you perform this yoga pose, the brunt of your weight is on your elbows and pelvis joints.
Despite the fact that most people think that their shoulders are taking most the weight.
Not only is this pose risky for your elbows but it can cause shoulder issues as well.
Fot the simple fact that the angle of your shoulder and arm is not really natural and neutral for most individuals.
In order to pull this pose off successfully and safely, you need to be flexible.
Again your wrists and elbows are under extreme pressure.
If your elbow ends up being hyperextended, the results could be damage to your tendons and ligaments.
3. Wheel Pose
This is an advanced pose that most likely is only practiced in really experienced classes.
If you are an amateur yogi like me, forget even attempting this move.
It is common for people who do this pose, to extend their elbows which again puts strain in the tendons and ligaments.
Save yourself embarrassment and pain and don’t do it.
4, Downward Facing Dog
In this picture, you can clearly see how this girl is hyperextending her elbows.
Her elbow joints, tendons and ligaments are screaming for help.
Bring your head up a little and increase the bend in your elbows to ease some of the pressure.
The further you bring your head down, the greater the risk you will go into hyperextension.
5. Camel Pose
Then there is the camel pose.
As you grab the inside of your ankle, you may just very well accidentally send your elbows into hyperextension.
As a male of average size and weight, you will find this movement extremely difficult and challenging.
Really take care and notice when doing this move and if your elbow hurts, come out of the position.
6. Cobra Pose
Again this is an image where you can tell that her elbows are hyperextended.
While it is safe to lock your elbows in this pose, don’t push out on them and force them into a dangerous position.
Even if you have strong shoulders, know that your wrists and elbows are taking your weight while in this pose.
The key to counterbalancing your hyperextension, is to try and shift your weight into your index finger and away from your pinky fingers.
This will help rotate your elbows and shoulders inwards and take the strain off your elbows.
Here is a great site that gives more tips on how to alleviate wrist, hand and elbow pain when doing yoga.
So there you have 6 yoga poses that can cause you a world of hurt.
If you already are suffering from elbow problems, then you know exactly where I am coming from and know that these poses are killer on your elbows.
But here’s the kicker:
Is your elbow discomfort primarily on the outside of your elbow?
Do you not only have pain in your elbows from yoga but performing even easy tasks at home or during your everyday routine?
Does the pain in your elbow get worse when gripping, holding or squeezing objects?( ie: turning a doorknob, carrying grocery bags, twisting the lid off a jar)
Is your arm hard to straighten and extend when you get out of bed?
If so, then you may already be suffering from the most common repetitive strain injury that affects your elbow – it’s called tennis elbow.
This is crazy:
You don’t have to play tennis or other racquet sports to develop tennis elbow.
Even your 80 year old Aunt or Grandmother can get it.
Once you it’s confirmed that your outer elbow pain is tennis elbow, then there are simple steps you can take for treatment.
Want to know the best part?
You can heal and recover really fast at home without spending a small fortune on Doctors and Physical Therapy.
Ready to stop your elbow pain? Then learn from this video tutorial and get 5 simple steps you can do right now to cure your tennis elbow with amazing speed.
is the author of Tennis Elbow Secrets Revealed which has been teaching individuals how to overcome their tennis elbow injury at home since 2005 with over 1,767,986 copies sold.
He is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Exercise Rehab Specialist based in Vancouver, BC, Canada