How yoga can wreck your body

Today yoga classes are tightly associated in society with a healthy lifestyle. Usually right and said many experts of the HLS — "begin to eat right, practice yoga, exercise, etc".

In the Moscow fitness clubs, again, yoga classes are almost always present. Not to mention the countless sections/circles. This is a very popular method of healing, especially among women. Among my female friends most of hot yoga or doing. I myself once two months were a zoo, a long time ago, in my youth. Without any consequences, negative or positive. But over time I have formed a very negative opinion about this "physical culture" (hereinafter we are talking specifically about the "gymnastics" aspect of classical yoga).

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First, I learned that yoga does not Shine with health and longevity (as if not Vice versa). Second, the official medicine has not adopted this method of healing, obviously because they have not developed a consensus on any significant positive effects.

Of course, I've met people (usually women) with stories of miraculous healings. But it was all from the series — "I went to the grandmother, she conjured all resolved". Yoga in their stories can be successfully replaced by wearing the magnetic bracelet, the use of charged water, and similar magical nonsense.

In The Times I turned up an interesting article about the dangers of yoga, which has definitively placed all points over "and".The text is very long, I sometimes loosely retell, sometimes miss, where important — accurately translate.

How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body

By: William J. Broad

The author is a 30-year-old journalist, who injured his spinal disc in the lower back, tried to recover with the help of yoga and failed. He then appealed to new York's famed yoga instructor, who is known for specializiruetsya on the injured yogis and knows everything not only about the merits of these studies, but can tell a lot about the other side. His name is Glenn black, yoga he studied in India, then for many years practiced, has an extensive clientele among the stars themselves and even yoga trainers, carrying out their master classes.

This master class the journalist managed to speak to black and hear from a lot of discouraging information.

The first thing he least expected to hear from a man who dedicated his life to yoga, this is when he said he came to believe that the vast majority of practitioners must stop dealing with it. Fully. It's just too dangerous for their health.

Black said that not only beginners but even the famous instructors often cause themselves serious harm, and yoga is they need physical therapy or even treatment. Yoga is only for people in excellent physical form, it is not for everyone.

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In black, different factors can increase the risk for the average person. First and foremost is the fact that the technique was developed by Indian practitioners for which for example to sit with crossed legs — a daily habit. And yoga asanas were only a development familiar to Indians poses. Modern office workers sitting all day in a chair, come a couple of times a week to the gym and try to curl up in a situation for which they have neither the flexibility nor the health.

All this is compounded by the explosive growth in the popularity of yoga (in the U.S. the number of competitors increased from 4 million in 2001 to 20 million in 2011), which increased the number of inexperienced instructors who teach just as not knowing can hurt students.
Many crushed physically and mentally for the children, so they adopted some of the poses, "through I can not".

When such would-be trainers come in black metal with serious injuries, he just says "Throw yoga!"They look at him as crazy, but black is confident that this is their only way to be cured.

The author asked what the most serious injury from yoga teachers that have had to face, and black said he knows a few "stars" that have damaged the Achilles tendon, so with such a basic asana as a "pose downward-facing dog".

He saw fully "dead" hips. One of the most famous American yoga teachers just lost the mobility in the hip joints, she had to have surgery to implant a prosthetic. However, she continued to teach!
And many instructors are so big back problems that they are forced to teach a class lying!


Among the followers of yoga from the guru to their assistants believed about her miraculous healing power.
They say that yoga soothes, heals, raises energy and strengthens. Indeed, these classes can lower blood pressure, to produce natural antidepressants, or even to improve their sex life.

But the yoga community long remained silent about what intense pain it can cause.

Jagannath Ganesh guna, one of those who brought yoga into the present, left no hint about possible injuries in his journal "Yoga-Mimamsa" or the book "Asanas" (1931). Indra Devi avoided such references in his bestseller "to Be forever young, forever healthy" (1953), as B. K. S. Iyengar in his work "Light on Yoga" published in 1965 Assurances on full security of yoga, see the self-help books authors like Swami Sivananda, Pattabhi Jois and Bikram Choudhury. "Real yoga is as safe as mother's milk," declared Sivananda, the great guru, who committed 10 world tours and founded several ashrams on several continents.

But the growing number of medical evidence supports the view Glenn black that many people use commonly practiced poses is the inevitable risk to health.

The first observations of "yoga disease" appeared several decades ago and published in respected medical journals: among them, such as Neurology, British medical journal, the journal of the American medical Association. Describes the issues ranged about a little harm to health to permanent disability.

In one case, a College student, engaged in yoga more than a year, after intensive practice Vajrasana (sitting on knees) found that the legs badly obeyed, he walked up the steps and ran.

Doctors found he had a problem with a branch of the sciatic nerve under the knees. Sitting on his knees worsened blood flow to that nerve, which caused its dysfunction. Once a student has abandoned this position, he quickly went on the amendment.

Clinicians noted the already large number of such cases to even introduce a special term: "yoga failure legs" (yoga foot drop)

Later came the more formidable message. In 1972, a prominent neuroscientist from Oxford, rich Russell published an article in the British medical journal, which says that though extremely rare, but some yoga poses can cause stroke in relatively young healthy people. Russell found that brain damage can cause not only direct trauma, but a quick neck movement, and superfluous bends, which occur in some yoga poses.

The fact that the normal neck can be bent to 75 degrees backward, 40 degrees forward, 45 degrees to the sides and rotate 50 degrees to the right and to the left. Practicing yoga is usually far exceed these capabilities. The average student can turn his head as much as 90 degrees, which is twice more than the allowable value. And this sverginate neck encouraged teachers! Iyengar emphasized that in Cobra pose, the head should lean back as far as possible, and stand on the shoulders of the head pressed against his chest should form a right angle with the body. And he calls such a position (supposedly stimulating the thyroid) — "one of the most valuable gifts from the wise ancestors.»

Russell warns that such extreme position of the head and neck can injure the vertebral artery, that will lead to the formation of blood clots or clamping, with subsequent brain damage. Because these arteries unite at the basilar, supply the most important parts of the brain responsible for the coordination, breathing, eye movement etc. functions.

It is known that the reduction of blood flow in basal arteries leads to strokes, which are rarely accompanied by speech disorders or lead to loss of consciousness, but underlying damage mechanisms until death.
Most patients with this type of stroke basic functions restored, but sometimes headaches, dizziness and problems with coordination can last for years.

Russell is also concerned that yoga, as a cause of stroke, can be hidden from the doctors, because brain damage can occur with long delay (several hours), for example only at night and the attention of a doctor may attract some other possible cause.

In 1973, a year after the work of Russell, Willibald Nagler, a renowned expert on rehabilitation medical College of Cornell University, published an article about a strange case.

A healthy 28-year old female suffered a stroke when performed asana "wheel" in yoga practice. When I took this position, at some point it was teetering on the thrown back head, and suddenly experienced a severe headache. To climb alone it has failed, as well as to walk.
The woman was taken to the hospital — her right side of my body went numb, left arm and leg too badly to be heard. Eyes squinting on the left.

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The doctors found that her left vertebral artery is significantly narrowed between the first two vertebrae and artery feeding the brain is shifted greatly. Exploratory surgery showed that she had a necrosis of the cortex areas in the left hemisphere and secondary hemorrhage. After 2 years of treatment the woman was able to start with difficulty to walk, but the left arm and eyes still did not listen.Nagler concluded that although such cases are rare, but should serve as a warning about the dangers of excessive loads on the neck, especially for middle-aged people.

And the case with a patient of Nagler is not unique. A few years later, 25-year-old man was taken to a Chicago hospital with complaints of difficulty swallowing, deteriorating vision and poorly controlled by the left half of the body.

The patient had excellent health and a year and a half experience of yoga every day. Usually at first he curled his whole body left and right to failure, including the head, then did a handstand on his shoulders, taking a position clearly on the instructions of Iyengar and hold it for 5 minutes. From frequent stands in his vertebrae of the neck even had a corn from contact with hard floors.

Diagnostics revealed the blockade of the left vertebral artery between the second and third vertebra, almost complete cessation of blood flow.After two months of intensive therapy the patient was able to walk with a cane, but accurate movement of the left hand has not recovered. The team of doctors came to the conclusion that the state this young man is an example of a new kind of threat.

Healthy people can severely damage the vertebral artery by neck movements that exceed physiological threshold. "Yoga," they said, -"should be considered as a possible cause of stroke". For this reason, an article was published (Steven N. Hanus), where he was cited and the case of Nagler, and the warnings of Russell. Thus, doubts about the safety of yoga began to grow in the medical community.

The above cases may seem rare, but the related Commission consumer safety showed that the number of visits to emergency rooms related to yoga increased rapidly in recent years.

In 2001, there were 13 cases in 2001 to 20 cases in 2002 and 46. You have to understand that this is not comprehensive statistics but only indicative of the trend, for the reason that not all victims turn to the trauma and less severe problems going to family doctors, chiropractors, and other doctors.

Over time, stories about the victims from yoga began to appear in the media. The newspaper "Tajms" has published information about what "heat" exercises Bikram yoga increase the risk of sprains and damage to muscles and ligaments. One of the experts noticed that the excessive stretching of the ligaments does not allow them to recover, to return to the former shape and increases the risk of strain, dislocations and displacements.

In 2009 a team of scientists from the medical College of Columbia University released results of a global survey of yoga teachers and doctors. The question was asked like this: what serious problems caused by yoga you had to face? The largest number of responses (231) touched my back. Other frequently damaged places — shoulder (219), knee (174), neck (110). Then there are strokes. Respondents noted 4 cases when extreme yoga exercises has led to the brain damage of varying degrees. The numbers do not say so horrific, but they prove the potential danger of yoga.

In recent years, the yoga community appeared the reformers, who began to pay attention to the possible harm from it. In 2003, in "Yoga Journal", Carol Krucoff, a yoga instructor and the doctor, who works at the medical center, our Duke (Sat. CA) — shared their own problems.

On the telecast, she showed a complicated pose, wanted to do more effective stretching of the legs and tore a hamstring. The next day, she walked with great difficulty. She had to spend a year on a full recovery, when she could again extend her leg. The editor of "Yoga" Caitlin Quistgaard described as a strained ligament in yoga class. "I realized how yoga can heal," she wrote, "but also realized that it can maim and heard it many times from colleagues»

One of the most noticeable audible reformers is Roger Cole, an Iyengar teacher-yoga with a degree in psychology (Stanford).

Cole was also a "Yoga Journal" and talks about safety issues in the American College of sports medicine. In one of the columns he discussed the practice of reducing neck bending in a "stand on the shoulders" by putting a folded towel under the shoulders. This is invented in order to reduce the angle between the head and body 90 degrees to 110. Cole warns about the dangers of using unmodified stands in the form of damage to the muscles, ligaments and discs.

But modifications of the classical asanas don't always help. Timothy McCall, a physician, medical editor of "Yoga Journal" calls stand head down in General too dangerous for regular yoga classes. His fears based on his own experience, he found that the headstand causes the dangerous phenomenon of the compression of the nerves, "scalenus syndrome", which occurs tingling in right arm and numbness. When he stopped doing that pose all the symptoms disappeared. He later noted that the inversion could produce other injuries, including degenerative arthritis of cervical vertebrae, damage to the retina (due to high pressure in the eyes).
"Unfortunately", McCall concludes, "the negative effects of headstand can be very unpredictable»


A year after the author first met Glenn black at his master class in Manhattan, he got the soap from him, in which a yogi, wrote that you had surgery on the spine. "Everything went well," he wrote, "but the recovery is long and painful. Call me if you want»

The cause of the disease, black said, was four decades of kinks in the back and twists at the waist. He developed a stenosis, a serious spinal lesion, in which chronically narrowed Central canal in the spine, it nerves are compressed and there are wild pain. Black said that he had 20 years ago was something to feel when coming out of poses "the plough and the shoulder stand", but two years ago the pain became unbearable. The surgeon said that without surgery he can't walk. The operation lasted 5 hours, it was necessary to bond several of the lumbar vertebrae. Black will eventually recover, but will never be able to bend that part of the spine.

Black is one of the most careful of yogis who met the author. At the first meeting he was assured that never hurt myself or yoga to his disciples. The author asked — and this stenosis may not be associated with yoga, it's just age? No, he replied, that's for sure yoga.

With these thoughts black spoke at the conference at the omega Institute, in-depth feelings from the last operation. But his warning seems to have gone on deaf ears. "I was more determined than usual, my idea was that "Asana is not a panacea and not a cure. In fact, if you do it too aggressively — you eventually will have problems“ Many people do not like to hear it.»

— Such an article.
I didn't double-check information presented by the author, and do not perceive all this at face value, but collectively described (and known to me previously) enough to come to this summary about yoga:

Pretty stupid to seriously engage on the method of "improvement" sucked from dirty fingers some ignorant Papuans, who have no idea about the physiology/anatomy of the body. We have a little match to the same wild Papuans to believe that becoming idiotic, unnatural postures, you will become healthier. In the best case, this time will be simply wasted, and at worst the most terrible consequences such as disability. Of course and fitness/fitness also carry certain health risks, but their benefits to the body at least proven and even obvious, here it is clear why risk. In the case of yoga, all very vague and controversial, to put it mildly. If you do not call yoga some elements of careful stretching, which of course has benefits. published  

And Yes, I know what is right is not a yogi, and a yogi.


P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©



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