Yoga can be good for your body as well as your mind, but like any exercise it carries health risks, including some related to body inversions common in yoga poses, nurse practitioner Amy Andersen wrote at Suite101.com on Oct. 24.
“Hot” or “Bikram” yoga can lead to overheating and aggravate heart problems, and people with high blood pressure may risk stroke by performing inversions in poses like “Downward Dog.” People taking blood thinners also may be at risk from such poses. “Any dizziness during or after inversions is a warning sign that must be heeded,” wrote Andersen.
Other risks associated with yoga inversions include:
- Elevated eye pressure, detached retinas, or broken blood vessels in the eyes
- Exacerbation of ear or sinus infections due to fluid movement
- Hernia or aggravation of an existing hernia
“Special classes for the injured, rehab yoga, or doing the postures with an instructor assisting, prevent many unnecessary injuries,” wrote Andersen. “Using a wall as prop is helpful. Holding poses for a limited time is advised. Remember, yoga is a practice not an athletic event.”