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Yoga| Pain

Posted Jul 10 2008 10:08pm

Friday, July 11, 2008

In comparing 12-week sessions ofyogaor conventional therapeutic exercise classes or a self-care book,Yogawas found to be more effective than a self-care book for improving function and reducing chronic low backpain, and the benefits persisted for at least 26 weeks. Sherman KJ. Cherkin DC. Erro J. Miglioretti DL. Deyo RA.Comparingyoga, exercise, and a self-care book for chronic low backpain: a randomized, controlled trial.Annals of Internal Medicine. 143(12):849-56, 2005 Dec 20.  

Yogatraining and a single bout ofyogaappear to attenuate peak muscle soreness in women following a bout of eccentric exercise. These findings have significant implications for coaches, athletes, and the exercising public who may want to implementyogatraining as a preseason regimen or supplemental activity to lessen the symptoms associated with muscle soreness. (Boyle CA. Sayers SP. Jensen BE. Headley SA. Manos TM.The effects ofyogatraining and a single bout ofyogaon delayed onset muscle soreness in the lower extremity.Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 18(4):723-9, 2004) 

The information below is an excerpt from the article byPaul P:Whenyogahurts. Practicing it is supposed to make you feel better, but doing it wrong is dangerous.Time. 170(16):71, 2007 Oct 15.  

Yoga, regardless of the form, does not offer a comprehensive way to get fit. According to a study by the American Council on Exercise, a national nonprofit organization that certifies fitness instructors and promotes physical fitness, dedicated yoga practitioners show no improvement in cardiovascular health. It is not the best way to lose weight either. A typical 50-min. class of hatha yoga, one of the most popular styles of yoga in the U.S., burns off fewer calories than are in three Oreos–about the same as a slow, 50-min. walk. Even power yoga burns fewer calories than a comparable session of calisthenics.

And while yoga has been shown to alleviate stress and osteoarthritis, it does not develop the muscle-bearing strength needed to help with osteoporosis.Part of the problem is that increasingly, the people teaching yoga don't know enough about it. Yoga was traditionally taught one-on-one by a yogi over a period of years, but today instructors can lead a class after just a weekend course.

Though the Yoga Alliance, formed in 1999 and now based in Clinton, Md., has set a minimum standard of 200 hours of training for certification, only 16,168 of the estimated 70,000 instructors in the U.S. have been certified. "Yoga means bringing together mind, body and spirit, but in Western yoga, we've distilled it down to body," says Shana Meyerson, an instructor in Los Angeles. "That's not even yoga anymore. If the goal is to look like Madonna, you're better off running or spinning."


  1. Ask an instructor for credentials. And don't be afraid to leave if you're not satisfied.
  2. Alert your instructor to your condition. Talk about past injuries and current weaknesses, and ask for any necessary modifications.
  3. Beware of stationary instructors. They should be roaming around, monitoring participants and making adjustments for those who need them.
  4. Avoid positions prone to cause injury. These include lotus, chaturanga or plank, headstands and downward-facing dog.
  5. Stop if it hurts. Yoga should not cause pain.


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lower body topics,pain
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