Actually there are two sets of yoga contraindications:
- One is about the individual characteristics of a particular person’s organism
- The other set consists of general guidelines what to avoid during your practice and it can also tell you if you are safe to practice yoga or not.
I need to mention though that yoga is generally safe; but some of its techniques can only be used by a relatively person, and there are some conditions and diseases, when doing yoga practice as a whole or some parts of it is not recommended. Yoga can be a great healing tool, but one has to know how to use this tool.
Another point to consider is the fact that yoga got very popular today and as a result many not very qualified teachers appeared. Probably the best word to use is not ‘unqualified’, but ‘lacking the experience’. How this can affect you? If a yoga teacher is young, he or she can compensate their mistakes just by their own young and healthy body, which is usually not possible for an elder person, who wants to learn yoga from them. The same is true for a diseased person, who came to yoga to improve health. Without enough experience, teaching yoga may even harm sometimes. That is why it is good to know the contraindications for yoga poses.
The first thing to say here is that in case of really serious diseases, a group practice won’t work; instead, an individual yoga program should be followed.
Permanent Contraindications for Yoga Practice
- The unstable mind, mental disorders and epilepsy
- Organic heart disease
- Malignant tumors
- Infections of the musculoskeletal system
- Severe spinal injuries and recent head injuries
Temporary Yoga Contraindications
- Chronic diseases exacerbation period
- Body overheating or over-cooling, as well as having bodily temperature above 37 degrees or below 36.2 by Celsius.
- After taking a lot of medicines or drugs
- The postoperative period
- Severe fatigue
- Increased intraocular and intracranial pressure
- Violations of the vestibular apparatus
Also Avoid Doing Yoga If Under the Following Conditions
- If you were in the sauna or steam room less than 4 hours ago
- Have taken meals less than two hours ago
- If you are under some serious condition or your body is too weak, so that it requires rest
- If you are into professional sports (this can be arguable).
You Can Practice Yoga Poses and Breathing Exercises in Adapted Forms If Under the Following Conditions
Pregnancy. The special attention is paid to pranayama, relaxation exercises for the whole body (especially the muscles of the abdomen and uterus), and joint exercises. The routine is based on the trimester, and is generally very soft.
Menstruating. The practice should be more lenient; avoid intense twisting, backbends, power asanas and standing postures. But if you feel unwell, abandon the practice completely!
Hypertension. If you want to do inversions, do them only under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher.
Vegetative-vascular dystonia. The morning routine is recommended that include standing poses and inversions.
Spine diseases, including Osteochondrosis, scoliosis, etc. Avoid postures with forward bends from standing or sitting position.
Arthritis and arthrosis. Only therapeutic yoga is advised.
Neuroses and chronic fatigue syndrome. Do mild asanas, focusing on deep relaxation, as well as the breathing exercises.
Varicose veins. Avoid postures with balancing on one or both legs, and poses with legs pressing against the wall.
Digestive disorders. In case of ulcer and other diseases of the digestive system, avoid twisting poses, and poses with a pronounced effect on the abdominal area.
By knowing these contraindications for yoga poses, you will be able to judge – at least preliminary – whether you can go for yoga now (or some of its poses) or not.