Avoiding Yoga Injuries – Common Alignment Mistakes in Forward Bends and Twists

Back Health

For many students proper body alignment in yoga poses doesn’t come naturally. Beginners come to yoga classes with the “baggage” of habitual movement patterns, physical restrictions, poor body awareness and lack of understanding of the purpose and form of postures. More experienced practitioners might have improper training or excessive mobility that causes them to “collapse” into the posture. As a result students’ bodies can bend and twist in potentially harmful ways while trying to avoid working certain areas. We call those patterns of misalignment “release valves”.

Release valves can compromise student’s safety, reinforce existing movement patterns and cause students to miss out on most benefits of individual poses. In this workshop writer and yoga therapist Olga Kabel will cover the most common alignment mistakes in forward bends and twists and ways to correct them. You will begin by exploring the proper forward-bending and twisting technique, and then learn how to identify and troubleshoot potential release valves.

What You Will Learn:

Part One

  • Three ways of bending forward: swan dive, nose dive and abdominal support and how each affects the spine
  • The “secret ingredient” of any effective forward bend
  • How to move into the forward bend, how to “work the pose” and how to come out safely
  • Whether or not we should keep the legs straight in a forward bend
  • How to identify the misalignments that might strain the student’s neck, back and hips while attempting forward bends, and how to troubleshoot them.

Part Two

  • What twisting does to your spine
  • Three main steps to follow to make your twists safer and more effective
  • The “secret ingredient” of any effective twist
  • How to protect your sacroiliac joints during twisting
  • How to identify common body misalignments in twists that might lead to disc compression and shoulder injury, and how to avoid them.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice Video: Enjoy an exploratory yoga practice with Olga that will show you how to present proper forward bending and twisting technique to your students to set them up for success.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of all webinar sessions – both MP3 (downloadable) and MP4 (streaming online), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.


This course qualifies for 2.5 CEs with Yoga Alliance.

Educated as a school teacher, Olga Kabel, C-IAYT, has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and practicing yoga therapy for the past 12 years. Olga is a founder of Sequence Wiz—a membership-based electronic health records system (EHR) for yoga teachers and yoga therapists.

$127/ Lifetime Access

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