Yoga is much more than just a series of exercises. In order to truly appreciate yoga, it helps to understand it holistically, as a mind-body practice that includes diet, meditation and breath work.

Still, there are a few yoga poses (asanas) which can help treat physical injuries. It helps to know what they are, so you can focus on problem areas during your yoga practice.

Some of common injuries that are treatable with yoga:

  • Back Pain
  • Wrist Pain
  • Knee Troubles

Note: If any of the exercises below exacerbate your injury, stop immediately and consult your doctor.

Yoga for Back Pain
The crocodile pose can help ease back pain (and even prevent slipped disks), by releasing the tension in your whole body.

  • Lie down on your stomach with your toes touching the floor.
  • Fold your arms and rest your forehead on them.
  • Spread the legs, with your toes pointing out and heels facing each other.
  • Relax completely, making sure your entire front is touching the floor.
  • Stay in this position for 3-4 minutes.
  • Bring your legs together.
  • Unfold your arms and place them at your sides.
  • Breathe calmly and evenly in this position for 2 minutes.

Yoga for Wrist Pain
The below exercises are easily performed during a work break. Doing them a few times a day will help to relax the wrist muscles and alleviate pain.

Wrist Rolls

Wrist rolls help to relieve pain and soreness caused by excessive writing or typing. They can be done at work at regular intervals throughout the day.

  • Sit in a chair with your feet parallel to each other.
  • Bring your arms to shoulder height and stretch them out to the sides.
  • Rotate your wrists 20 times in a clockwise direction. Use slow, gentle movements to release the accumulated tension.
  • Rotate your wrists 20 times counter-clockwise.

Wrist Fists

  • Sit in chair with your feet parallel to each other.
  • Lift your arms to shoulder height and stretch them out in front of you.
  • Make fists with your thumbs inside.
  • Bend your fists downwards until you feel a stretch in the top of your hands and wrists.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this move 10 times.
  • Bend your fists upwards until you feel a stretch in the palms of your hands and bottoms of your wrists.
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat this move 10 times.
  • Next, move your flex your fists up and down 20 times. This will stretch the wrist muscles completely.

Palm Pressure

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Place your palms next to each other on a desk our tabletop.
  • Spread your fingers so that your index fingers and thumbs touch to form a diamond shape.
  • Apply pressure to the desktop with the heels of your palms and fingers—don’t stretch to the point of pain.
  • Release your fingers after a few moments of gentle stretching.

Three Yoga Poses for Knee Troubles

Lie face-up on a mattress, mat or floor. Breathe in and bend your left knee. Wrap your arms around your left leg. Pull the leg as close to the chest as possible. Keep your right leg straight. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat with the right leg.

Lie down on your back. Let your arms rest at your sides. Breathe in and raise your left leg as high as possible and hold it. With the help of your arms, try and pull the raised leg as closer to the chest—be careful not to strain. Slowly raise your head and try to bring your chin to your leg. Slowly release your arms and lower your leg. Take a few breaths. Repeat three times, then perform the exercise with the right leg.

Sit in a chair. Let your shoulders and back relax. Raise your left leg, keeping your knee straight. Contract the knee muscles and hold until you begin to feel fatigued. Relax your knee and lower your leg. Repeat with the right leg.

One Step Further

You’ll experience even more benefit from these exercises if you combine them with breath work and meditation, as part of a complete yoga practice. Body pains and strains are often caused by poor posture, gait, or sitting style—all habits which yoga can help correct.