Main Health Conditions that Contraindicates the Practice of Yoga

March 29, 2013

Healthy Life

Health Condition

Health Condition

Yoga can be an advantageous and beneficial meditation and exercise technique. However, not all people can employ yoga poses due to the presence of certain conditions that may be aggravated by certain yoga poses. While yoga is recommended to almost all individuals, people with the following health conditions should avoid yoga or some of the yoga poses because of the risk of developing harm to the person:

Absolute Contraindications of Yoga

There are certain conditions that are totally contraindicated in the practice of yoga because of the greater harm that the person may experience while employing yoga poses. These include:

  1. Epilepsy- The occurrence of epilepsy in the middle of a complicated yoga pose may actually aggravate muscle contraction, which may produce more serious damages on the person. If you have epilepsy or a seizure disorder, you may look for other exercise routines other than yoga.
  2. Spinal injuries and head injuries- The presence of spinal and head injuries are another absolute contraindications for yoga for the reason that yoga poses may further complicate injuries to the spinal cord and may increase intracranial pressure.
  3. Musculoskeletal system infections- The presence of infections to the muscles and bones may lead to weakening of the affected body part, which may not be able to support certain yoga poses.

Other Contraindications of Yoga

Certain health conditions may not necessarily prevent people from doing yoga, but significant considerations and utmost care should be employed during yoga classes. Others may do yoga, but should avoid specific yoga poses that may be detrimental. These conditions include

  • Fever- Doing yoga during fever may further increase the body temperature of a person. Make sure to drink lots of fluids to counteract dehydration and heat stroke. Also, Bikram yoga (employing yoga in a heated room similar to sauna) should not be performed during episodes of hyperthermia.
  • Severe fatigue- When one is fatigued, it is advised that rest should be taken and employ yoga after a full body rest and recuperation to maximize the benefits. Your body may be too weak to employ yoga poses.
  • Increased intracranial pressure- When ICP is increased, yoga poses where the head is lower than the body should be avoided.
  • Asthma- Yoga poses that tend to press on to the chest should be avoided to prevent further limitation of lung capacity.
  • Varicosities- If you have varicose veins, spider veins and even hemorrhoids, yoga poses that involve standing in one leg or those that involve prolonged flexion of the legs should be avoided.

It should be noted that yoga is relatively safe for the general population as long as it is done with the presence of a yoga instructor. Nevertheless, if you are suffering from certain health conditions, it is recommended to consult a medical practitioner first before undergoing yoga.

The human nature greatly affects how people behave and think, but employing yoga can help calm one’s mind and body for in a holistic way.

Michael Edwards is a yoga instructor for 5 years already. He was once a yoga proponent and has undergone training to teach yoga to share the benefits and pleasure of the exercise to others.

Main Health Conditions that Contraindicates the Practice of Yoga 


This site is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment!
Health Condition, Yoga

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