Print Edition - 2017-11-02  |  Health and Living

Is yoga too dangerous for me?

  • health dilemma by dr luisa dillner

Nov 2, 2017-

When William J Broad wrote an article in the New York Times called “How yoga can wreck your body” he was attacked by practitioners. Yoga is now so popular, he argued, and used to get fit as much as for relaxation, that it’s no wonder it is causing injuries. So should you try something less dangerous or can you minimise the risks?

The main risks involve putting your body into extreme positions. Broad cited examples of yoga positions causing strokes by over-extending the neck and compressing the basilar artery, which supplies blood to the brain. These positions also caused headaches, dizziness and loss of balance. Often, Broad said, people didn’t associate their problems with yoga.

Some of the most common yoga poses, if done repeatedly and over-enthusiastically may be harmful. The chair pose in which you squat with your knees bent and back straight is meant to straighten your legs but can put pressure on your knees, especially the anterior cruciate ligament which once over-stretched is rarely the same again. The downward-facing dog pose in which you put hands and feet on the floor and form an inverted V has been credited with tearing the achilles tendon at the heel and over-extending wrists.

Published: 02-11-2017 08:00

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