(Cover) – EN Fitness & Wellbeing – More and more people are being sent to hospital with yoga injuries, and experts believe that Instagram influencers may be behind this surge.

According to a team led by Dr. Betul Sekendiz, a lecturer at Central Queensland University in Australia, the number of cases has risen by almost 80 per cent in the last seven years, based on data obtained from a selection of emergency departments in Victoria between 2009 and 2016. Interestingly, research shows that the number of yoga participants has only increased by a mere 5.5 per cent in that time, which is why Dr. Sekendiz believes that a desire to copy the complex poses seen on social media could be to blame.

“I think people know the correct technique, but they might be pushing themselves too early, especially if you look into the influencers on social media,” she told ABC News Australia. “I think on social media, the most frequent pose we see females performing is the headstand. I am not saying we should stop doing yoga, but we need to look into what’s going wrong here.”

The study found 118 recorded cases of yoga injuries, with almost 10 per cent of casualties requiring a follow up hospital visit for further treatment. The results also showed that accidents were most common in women between the ages of 20 and 39, and Shyamala Benakovic, the CEO of Yoga Australia has urged yogis to be cautious when trying to replicate poses they’ve seen online.

“The whole premise of yoga is to be able to understand your body and mind and work with that to bring awareness to the limits your body can take and then work from there,” she insisted. “Yoga is not about posture — that’s a real misconception. It’s understanding the practice and the science behind those practices — which is what we try and educate people and try to communicate the real message as what true yoga is.”

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