Should you do yoga when you're injured?

When I first started doing yoga about 20 years ago, I considered yoga to be an instant cure-all for whatever aches and pains I was experiencing.

It’s true that I always felt so much better after taking time to stretch and breathe and de-stress with my yoga practice.

Yoga was, in fact, a key component in my healing from chronic shoulder tendinitis — and that experience changed my life for the better in so many ways! (I’ll share that story with you in a separate post.)

I was so stoked on doing yoga that I didn’t realize I could actually overdo it. It’s yoga, right? Perfect for anyone, anytime.

Well… that depends!

When I broke my foot a couple of years ago, I was unable to do any yoga poses that required standing on two feet!

And when I was recovering from eye surgery to reattach my retina (another story I’ll share with you in a separate post) yoga was absolutely out of the question.

So, the question then becomes…

Should you do yoga when you’re injured?

This is a question I get a lot from surfers who want to accelerate their healing after an injury (either a surfing injury, or just the wear and tear of everyday activities.)

While it’s true that yoga could help you heal faster in certain situations, you first need to determine the nature and severity of your injuries.

What type of injury do you have?

There are two main types of injuries: acute and chronic.

An acute injury is something that comes on suddenly, often from an injury or trauma. For example, you slip on a rock as you’re walking out to the surf, and you twist your ankle. That’s an acute injury.

A chronic injury is something that occurs over time, usually from overuse. For example, you notice that you get knee pain after riding your bike down the beach trail, or your shoulder starts to hurt from too much paddling.

When to take a break from doing yoga

Take a look at my video here for my tips and advice on when to do yoga — and when to take a break from yoga so you can feel better faster and get back in the water, where you want to be!

I know how frustrating it can be to have to put your surfing — and yoga — on hold, so that’s why I created my most recent video focused on healing.

Yoga for Healing

Not all yoga needs to be rigorous and challenging.

There are times when a slower, more mindful practice with gentle stretching and conscious breathing can be “just what the doctor ordered.”

You can see a sneak peek of the YOGA for HEALING video on this page.

What about you? Let me know in a comment below what aches, pains or injuries you may be dealing with, and let’s get you back up and riding again!

More Surf Yoga Tips…

Should you do yoga when you’re injured?


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Did you get your FREE Pre-Surf Warm-up yet? This 10-minute sequence comes from YOGA for SURFERS 1 and will get you energized and focused before paddling out. Get started today and start feeling better fast!


Avid surfer and certified yoga instructor Peggy Hall has been inspiring thousands of surfers to surf better — and live better — since 2002. Her upbeat energy, down-to-earth teaching style and positive encouragement will get you fit, focused and fearless on the waves, and in your life!