What are potentially harmful yoga poses?

Really? Do you think there are “yoga poses” that cause you any harm?

Yes? No?

Confused? Ok, then let me ask you – How yoga can cause you harm?

By breaking your bones or shooting you by a gun?

No!. It cannot.

Yoga has no physical body like you and me. Therefore, yoga cannot hit you by stick or shot you by gun.

It is just a form of exercise that you have to practice and get benefited from.

And while practicing or overdoing it, you yourself cause injury and thus say – yoga caused you harm.

But Wait!.

Yes! there are yoga poses that cause you harm.

But only when you-

  1. practice without any prior knowledge about them.
  2. practice them yourself without any guidance of an instructor when new to yoga
  3. are not enough flexible to do advance yoga poses.
  4. practice them at the time when they are not recommended (like doing forward bending poses while pregnency, doing head stand with neck injury, etc.)

So, what does it mean?
It means that yoga poses don’t cause you any harm. You yourself cause harm.

Asanas. Benefits. Precautions!

Each and every asana has its own benefits and precautions.

If you are a beginner or new to yoga then have a good yoga book explaining how to do the yoga postures? What are its benefits and precautions to take while doing them.

Or even better, go to a experienced teacher/instructor to learn yoga near you.

And when going to learn yoga from a teacher or an instructor, always tell them about your health problem you may have, before the class begans. Even if you are a dialy yoga practitioner.

And if you are an instructor, its also your duty to ask your students once about their health problems they may have.

Because sometimes when students don’t or forget to tell and get injured while practicing any posture, they blame the instructor for it.

Mainly students who get injured while practicing yoga are –

  1. the students who already have health issues like neckpain, backpain, high blood pressure, asthma, etc.
  2. the students with low flexibility
  3. and the students with little or no yoga knowledge.

Stay alert the next time you do yoga. And if you get injured, blame yourself, not yoga.

So, what do you think? Yoga causes you harm or you yourself cause harm while practicing it? Share your thoughts by commenting below!

P.S. –Sharing is caring. So, don’t forget to like and share the post. 🙂

9 thoughts on “What are potentially harmful yoga poses?”

  1. individual practitioners. the yoga should be adapted to the needs of the practitioner. The majority of yoga teachers are not trained to do this – put rather to teach a series of poses often in some lovely flow that may be good choreography and not sound sequencing. I see many people with yoga induced injuries (especially yoga teachers) in my yoga therapy practice. often they have injuries that are essentially repetitive stress induced – too many planks or downward dogs for their shoulders.

    A wise practitioner can generally avoid injury with a well trained teacher but even that is not always the case.

    I like the points you make and agree with them but they do not go nearly far enough in helping people understand potential risks.

  2. To add to Ellen’s comments and your article, yes yoga can hurt. When you have any combination of lack of teacher experience or compassion, along with student ignorance, a class can quickly yield injuries. Why are we simply talking about asana here? A good teacher talks about the mental and spiritual aspects as well – and how when we yield to the Ego, we are bound to get injured.

    -The Ego drives an inexperienced teacher to encourage their students to “push deeply into a pose” that an inexperienced student isn’t yet ready to do.
    -The Ego drives a teacher to “show off” a full pose that many students then feel pushed to copy, despite their body’s limits. We all know the difference between demonstrating a full pose for the benefit of those who can do it versus being exhibitionists.
    -The Ego drives the student to try and match the teacher who showcases a full pose – or to match what they see around them, rather than being mindful of their body’s limitations.

    Yoga becomes dangerous when the Ego hijacks the class. Teaching mindfulness – to honor your body and listen to it as the practitioner is key. Mindfulness begins when the student should be honest with the teacher about their body and mind’s limits. After that, recognizing what each of us is capable of and not fighing “what is” – mindfulness, surrender – develops (with the help of the teacher).

    As the teacher, of course we need to know each student’s limits. I’ve seen all sorts of horror stories, and they’ve been lessons as to the type of teacher I don’t want to be. I work with a lot of people who have any variety of issues, and that includes mental and spiritual aspects. I wouldn’t teach “energizing” pranayama in a class of people with PTSD or anxiety, and I always remind students throughout class that pain is the body’s way of saying “don’t do it.” For all others, I always teach modifications and emphasize we are in the class to honor our bodies.

    • Shirley, thanks for sharing the great points!. I totally agree with you.

      Yes, when instructors showing any asana’s domonstration, they should also show 3-4 varitions of that posture, so that students can choose from which is easier and comfortable for them.

  3. I agree wth all the insights. Its very important for the teacher to show options and make it so that its ok to do whichever option so long as the student is able to stay in the position , steady and enjoyably. Sthiram sukham asanam as per Pathanjali ie. When the posture is steady and enjoyable in holding, then its right for that person at that point.
    Also adequate warmups need to be done before going into asanas so that u dont hurt yourself doing the posture.

  4. I normally avoid dialoging with “yoga types” as they are mostly the untrained novices who put the public at risk and as a “peer” it is not my place to correct them. This group is company I am happy to keep. I reluctantly went to an am free downtown yoga class. It was worse than bad. No artistry on the part of the teacher, sequencing that made absolutely no sense especially considering the inclusion of some very advanced postures. How painful to see people struggling clueless around me and be unable to say a thing. I met the teacher after and we were mutually familiar. She is very nice and respectful toward my seniority as a teacher. We did a couple partner shots. It was healing for me to engage in loving kindness with a “competitor” whose practice undermines the public image of yoga. We bonded as peers in yoga/fitness. ( God I wish she would come to me and let me fix her practice but I held my tongue) At some point in life we have to let go of things we absolutely can not change. But the problem has only gotten worse in the last 20 years. I scrape the bottom for a few students (BTW these few are great) while the yoga mills are packed to the roof. See: upaya, skillful means. It has meanings in yoga philosophy but I employ it in the Buddhist sense: If you introduce Dharma to a neophyte but misrepresent it you can turn the neophyte away from Dharma for 100 life times. American pretenders do not know what they are messin’ with when they teach something they do not remotely understand. If this sounds too dramatic how about the simple Hippocratic oath: “First Do No Harm”
    suami mike syracuse


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