Is Yoga Always Safe?

Woman Exercising On A Yoga Mat
Photo by Burst / CC0

Houston Chiropractor Comments: After patients become pain free, they usually ask “What can I do to stay well?” Just like the dentist will tell you to “brush and floss” to prevent dental problems, doctors of chiropractic will tell you to “stretch and exercise”. While there are several different ways to do this, yoga is a very popular method.

There are 11 main types of yoga. Some are very strenuous, some relaxing and some are more meditative. The most common form is hatha yoga. This is a good place for beginners.

As you go thru the different physical postures of yoga, you need to be aware of any physical limitations that you have. Different yoga postures put strains on different areas. Even gentle, low-impact yoga carries risks, as with any exercise routine. The most common injuries are overuse complaints such as tendonitis or sprain / strain injuries. As with any type of exercise, people should gradually increase the amount and duration that they do. People with a history of carpal tunnel complaints should be careful with upward and downward dog poses to minimize the wrist strain. Patients with osteoarthritis should watch how much pressure they put on specific arthritic joints. People with a history of osteoporosis should watch their bending and twisting.

Some people are too flexible or hypermobile. These patients need to concentrate on strengthening the muscles around the joint instead of increasing the flexibility. They should concentrate on holding the postures longer or doing a form of power yoga.

The key to doing yoga safely is to concentrate on how you feel more than how your pose looks. If your downward dog is hurting your shoulders and not stretching out your hamstrings and calves, you need to change your posture. A good yoga instructor will help you to make modifications that don’t cause pain. If your instructor will not help you to make modifications to be pain free then you should find a different instructor.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!