Yoga Asanas To Avoid For Certain Medical Conditions

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Yoga and You

While yoga can help alleviate many ailments as we saw in our last post- Yoga: A Route To Health & Vitality, not all poses are advisable if you have some medical conditions or are recovering from an injury.

Yoga poses to avoid for medical conditions

First of all there are common rules like, never forcing your body into a position that causes discomfort, distress, or pain in order to avoid injury. Always start gradually with yoga.  Do not neglect warm-up exercises to avoid strain. Take into consideration the characteristics of environment in which you are practicing. For eg.  if you are practicing in a hot environment (105 degrees Fahrenheit and more) your heart rate, respiration rate and blood pressure increases, muscles expand and one can stretch the body more. This may harm the muscles if you stretch them too far. Moreover, there are general principles regarding sequences of yoga asanas which are advised to be followed through. So you should consider starting yoga with good professional to learn those sequences.

Yoga can also be  practiced even while you suffer some health problems However, in this case the affected region of your medical condition, whatever it may be should be placed correctly in an asana/pose. That’s the only way you will get relief and benefit from it. If not, it may worsen the problem.

Here’s a closer look at some yoga asanas and poses to avoid if you have the following medical conditions:

  • Yoga poses to avoid for medical reasonsYoga exercises like Sun Salutation, Cobra pose, Locust pose, Bow pose, Standing Forward Bend, Kapalabhati and Ashtanga yoga series (which involves jumping) are strictly not recommended if the person is diagnosed with hernia.
  • It is inadvisable to do the inverted poses (headstand, shoulder stand and reverse posture) with conditions like high blood pressure, dizziness, serious eye problems, ear problems, glaucoma, head and neck injury and osteoporosis.
  • Women are advised not to do yoga asanas during menstrual period though they are still allowed to do pranayama and shavasana; for more advanced students it is enough to avoid inverted poses during this period of time.
  • Pranayama should be practiced with precautions if you have asthma or other breathing problems.
  • Avoid standing poses and back bends if you have heart disease or high blood pressure.
  • Sitting poses should be avoided when you have had a hip replacement or knee injuries.
  • Avoid twists and bends if you have a prolapsed disk
  • You should not start practicing yoga for the first time during pregnancy; if you were advanced before pregnancy you will still need qualified instructor to guide you.

Overall, it is always sensible to check with your physician embarking on any exercise program including yoga if you suffer from any medical conditions no matter how little or grave they may be.

*Image credits: photos by Cocoa Dream and katca_78 on flickr

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