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Does Yoga Have Side Effects? What Pregnant Women And People With Ailments Should Know

Yoga offers physical and mental health benefits to individuals of all ages. Additionally, if you suffer from an illness, are recovering from surgery, or live with a chronic condition, yoga can be an integral part of your treatment and speed your recovery.

The scientific research into yoga's benefits is still fairly preliminary. Still, a lot of the evidence supports what practitioners seem to have known for millennia - yoga is extremely beneficial to our general well-being [1][2].

Yoga aims to create strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body. There are, however, side effects associated with everything good. And that applies to yoga too.

Does Yoga Have Side Effects?

1. Back injury

Practising asanas that involve your back muscles overly aggressively can cause damage to already vulnerable disks in your back, particularly those in your lumbar region. In addition, overly rounding your back or going too far before you have warmed up may result in serious spinal side effects [3].

2. Muscle strain

A common yoga side effect reported concerns the muscular system, such as pulling or strain on a major muscle group. An overstretch may occur when an individual ignores their body's warning signs and tries to extend beyond their abilities. When doing such asanas, you should feel only a mild pull, not extreme tension [4].

3. Complications with glaucoma

Glaucoma is a condition in which excessive pressure behind the eyeball eventually causes vision loss. Certain yoga positions, such as headstands and shoulder stands, increase the ocular pressure and could cause complications for those suffering from this eye condition [5].

4. May worsen high blood pressure

Excessive breathing and inversions can also increase blood pressure. Therefore, you should consult your physician before engaging in certain advanced yoga practices if you have pre-existing hypertension.

5. Exhaustion

When you indulge in power yoga or go in for excess yoga, you exert yourself beyond your capacity. The dizziness or nausea you experience after you are done with yoga could be because the body is losing out on sodium and electrolytes. It is all associated with heat exhaustion. If you start experiencing fatigue, that is one sign that your body is overexerting itself with yoga [6][7].

People with heart disease, high blood pressure, or other chronic conditions should also avoid extreme yoga poses. In addition, practising yoga with conditions such as chronic osteoporosis, hypertension (H/L), spine problems, pregnancy, or ear problems may intensify or aggravate these conditions [8].

Performing yoga after heavy exercise is not recommended; there should be a half-hour gap before practising yoga.

Is Yoga Safe During Pregnancy?

Some forms of yoga should not be performed during pregnancy as they might be harmful to both you and the baby. So, make sure you know what yogasana is good for you. Also, in case you have just had stomach surgery, you should avoid kapalabhati pranayama as it can affect your body functions. Also, avoid kapalabhati if diagnosed with high blood pressure [9][10].

On A Final Note...

There are very few serious side effects associated with yoga; the practice is considered to be generally safe. However, certain individuals are at an increased risk of experiencing negative side effects from practising yoga. For this reason, if you have pre-existing medical conditions, it is best to consult your physician before taking up yoga.

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