When performed correctly, yoga is far from bad for you. In fact, yoga - an exercise that can and should be personalized - is absolutely wonderful for you and your health. Whether you are a fit 20-year-old or a 75-year-old who has trouble walking, there is something in yoga to benefit anyone and everyone.
The yoga we are familiar with is really only one of eight "limbs" of yoga coming from the ancient Yoga Sutras called "asana." When practiced incorrectly, yoga can pose risks such as dislocations, tears, joint problems, and in the case of neck rotation exercises/poses - even embolic stroke (from lining in the vertebral arteries being torn and forming a clot). However, most things pose dangers when done incorrectly, so this should not be considered a blemish on yoga's record.
When performed properly, yoga has several incredible benefits. First - a word of caution: yoga is highly personal. How yoga is practiced depends on individual abilities and limitations. One of the best ways to know your limit is to pay attention to how you breathe. If you are holding your breath or if breathing is labored, you are putting too much stress on your body and should reduce the intensity or stop altogether.
Yoga done the right way is first and foremost relaxing and is a wonderful way to de-stress. This leads to the added benefit of reducing hypertension and being able to think more clearly. Also, as yoga is a form of exercise; it reduces the risk of obesity, promotes blood circulation, and can help prevent heart disease. Another benefit of yoga is that it increases sexual arousal and pleasure. Should a yoga-inspired romantic evening lead to pregnancy - yoga is beneficial there too as it can help manage pain associated with pregnancy (as well as keep the mother-to-be calm).
With a focus on being mindful of what your body is telling you and innovations (such as props to support people in difficult poses), yoga is one of the safest and most beneficial forms of exercise.
Possible short-term side effects
- when performed incorrectly:
- joint dislocation
- pulled muscle / tear
- joint pain
- embolic stroke (very rare)
- when performed correctly:
- improves sexuality / aids fertility
- reduces risk of heart disease
- reduces risk of obesity
- treats back pain / arthritis
- boosts emotional health
- relieves asthma
- boosts memory
- promotes quality sleep
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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-29-2015
Written by Jeff Volling
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