Yesterday, I was visiting with some neighbors --a couple probably 15 years my senior -- and the man told me about how he was in a horrible car accident which lead to a brain injury and broken bones. After he got his senses back, he realized he couldn't walk. Doctors examined and said he would not be able to walk again. Thankfully, my friend found a yoga therapist and a yoga class that both helped him get back on his feet -- and quick!
Yoga is used in India as a kind of health insurance because it wards against physical and mental ailments; truly total body health.
So with all of this in mind, it’s hard to think about the negative side effects, a list of negative things that can take your practice from serene to seriously dangerous if you are not careful and take heed as you build your practice.
Hot yoga is more dangerous than other forms of yoga. The heat causes the muscles to loosen themselves beyond a normal (and healthy) range, which leads to overstretching and then pulled muscles, muscle pain, and possibly bruising. Also, the heat in Bikram is over 100 degrees so think it out carefully and plan all day.
Over-exerting yourself can end up costing you thousands. Just because everyone else is in side crow and you've never even done a decent regular crow doesn't mean you have to try something you know is out of your league. Unless the teacher is over you and guiding you, you will know know to listen to your body. One day, I couldn't do side crow. On a more recent day, I could. I just knew somehow that my body was ready and it occurred naturally. Injury happens when we get caught up inside our impure ego (ahamkara) and we stop listening to your internal cues. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recommends “pay[ing] attention to your body and don't push yourself past any positions that feel tight or strained.”
A yoga habit can be costly. Classes usually run between $10-$25 PER class, but there’s ways to make yoga more affordable. Yoga on a budget is how to get studio time in without forking over half the paycheck.
Sketchy Instructors. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a standardized accreditation for studios or instructors.The only thing like this that exists is a simple database run by a non-profit called “Yoga Alliance” that keeps tracks of names and numbers, and that’s it. All you need to do to become a teacher is to take a 200 hour (and now with classes online ….) course taught through non-standardized educational institution. It’s strange to think about. The best thing you can do is to shop around and take classes by as many different teacher as you can before deciding which class and teachers are your favorite. Oh and by the way, just because a teacher can get you sweating does not mean that he is a technically or adequately trained in anatomy, which comes back to the part on yoga injuries and how to avoid them.
There it is, the very few ways that can make practicing yoga a drag. Am I missing any disadvantages?