When I hurt my wrist last year and had to have my entire forearm casted, a lot of people asked me “What happened to you?” And when I answered, “I hurt myself doing yoga,” they would laugh and think I was joking.
The truth of the matter is that certain types of yoga are probably just as vigorous and physically demanding as similar activities, such as gymnastics. This recent article points to the high rate/risk of injury in gymnastics, and the physical toll it takes on one’s body. I bet if a similar study were done of people who do, say, Ashtanga yoga and/or vinyasa flow, we’d discover a similarly high rate/risk of injury.
In some forms of yoga, and for certain people with certain body types, the primary risk of injury in yoga is from over stretching or pulling something. But as you advance in your yoga practice, or if you practice one of the more vigorous and physically demanding types of yoga, it is important to realize going into it that yoga can be dangerous. So take care, always make sure not to push your body beyond its limits, and recognize that what your body is capable of may vary from day to day.