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Pregnant women should not practice rigorous asanas. Advanced core-strengthening exercises, inversions, asanas in supine positions, intensive backbends, poses that compress the abdomen, or extreme twisting postures are generally contraindicated during pregnancy. That said, expectant moms need not stop doing yoga altogether. There are different types of asanas for each trimester, which can be safely practiced.
Yoga can help relieve pain caused by compression of the sciatic nerve or the piriformis muscle — a small muscle under the glutes. But certain asanas can work the other way round ie, increase your pain, and must be avoided at all costs. Do not practice forward bends or extreme backbends. Stay away from poses like Paschimottanasana, Hastapadasana or Kurmasana. Instead, work on gently stretching the hamstrings and glutes.
Knee pain is a common condition, especially among the elderly. It can be easily managed by yoga done with the help of props and some modifications. However, poses like Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana, Utkatasana, or Padmasana are contraindicated for those suffering from knee pain. These exert unwanted pressure on the knee or push the knee beyond its range of motion. Avoid all poses on hands and knees. On the other hand, practicing Sukshma Vyayam will increase your knee mobility.
Hernia and ulcers
Restorative and slow-paced forms of yoga are helpful for those suffering from peptic ulcers or hernias. However, practicing rigorous core-strengthening asanas will worsen your condition. Core strengthening is a major aspect of yoga, but it is best to avoid it when you are suffering from a hernia or ulcer. Do not practice poses that involve abdominal compression and intensive twists.
Also read: Types of Yoga: A Guide To Help You Choose
If you are suffering from hypertension, practice asanas that allow you to consciously relax. Avoid inversion poses, which put additional pressure on the heart such as Downward Dog, Sarvangasana, Handstand, or Setu Bandhasana. Meditation and yogic practices are said to reduce stress-induced hypertension and have several therapeutic benefits. Diaphragmatic Breathing and Yoga Nidra can also be very beneficial.
Also read: Hypertension: When Did You Last Check Your Blood Pressure?
Frozen shoulder or injury
In case of shoulder joint dislocation or exacerbation, it is advisable to avoid poses that stretch the shoulder area and put weight on the joint. Shoulder openers such as Puppy Pose, Gomukhasana, or Downward Dog should not be practiced. Focus on strength building instead, and work towards stabilizing the rotator cuff imbalance.
Lower back pain
Depending on your condition, try to avoid advanced forward or backward bending positions as it may lead to overextension of vertebral joints and acute inflammation. Though most of the pain in the lower back is a result of poor posture, weak back muscles and spinal immobility, it is imperative to understand your own limitations. Poses like Chakrasana, Ushtrasana, Paschimottanasana, as well as those requiring a great deal of spinal mobility, should be avoided.
Anyone who has undergone surgery or met with an accident should avoid yoga for at least three months. Before beginning or resuming practice, it is advisable to consult your doctor to understand how it can affect the surgical procedure or the injury.
Hip, wrist and ankle injury/ pain
In case of severe pain in any body joint, avoid asanas that can add strain, stretch, or flex that joint aggressively. You may want to even lay off for a while till the pain is relieved. Rest is pertinent in such conditions.
Now that you know of the common contraindications of yoga, if you are suffering from any of the above conditions, consult your doctor before starting on yoga. Also, suspend practice in case of stress or tension in any part of your body and consult a yoga professional if the problem persists. Remember, respecting your body’s limitations is key.
I'm David, I would like to share the unique story of how I founded Yoga.Health.
Several years ago our original team emerged to build a post TKA (total knee arthroplasty) digital wearable to collect patient range of motion data for mobility research. Preparing for NIH and Veteran Affair’s first round of clinical trials, my role as CMO and product director was product-market adoption, and patient adoption during their months of post-surgical recovery.
The research findings on post-surgical patient experience were discouraging; the average American’s health condition and motivation who needed knee replacement was so poor; therapy and recovery patient protocol abandonment was high, and comorbidities caused product variable complexities. Ultimately making the project very difficult to find a likely success path for the patient, a critical cohort of the study. The project closed in large losses of time and resources.
Yet, I found a shining light in the corners of the research. Study after study indicated that movement/ exercise, yoga in particular for self-motivated patients as the best over-all complementary form of exercise for post-surgical rehabilitation. In addition, and not surprisingly, almost every independent peer reviewed study from universities documented that yoga could significantly improve post-TKA patient mood during bouts of pain, improved sleep, range of motion and balance. All bringing the patient to a speedier recovery and longer span of post-TKA quality of life.
"...Yoga.Health has found its purpose, and that’s you."
So personally, I know how I feel when I unroll that sacred mat, but finding the claims in research made me appreciate how a therapeutic yoga practice really means over one’s lifespan.
Yoga.Health later launched in 2020 and while building the brand, challenges persisted. From the beginning, my team and I worked through the 2018 Velvet Revolution, the pandemic, two wars, several deaths, and floods. But as one of my favorite Broadway performers; Elaine Stritch has famously sung; “Good times and bum times, I’ve seen it all and my dear, I’m still hear…” (Follies, 1971, Stephen Soundheim).
Well, we are still here and stronger as each month goes by. Selectively our partnerships, product offerings and team grow with the research to bring useful solutions for potentially millions of people.
I love my work in Yoga.Health and the happiness it brings to my life.
Furthermore, my heart is filled with gratitude to everyone I’ve worked with and the champions still who are a part of our team. Yoga.Health has found its purpose, and that’s you.
Lastly to our customers, thank you so very much for allowing us to serve you in your journey healthier living and better life, your appreciation is our reward. If we can help you more, please reach out.