What Are The Disadvantages of Yoga?
What are the disadvantages of yoga?
Interestingly, this is one of the most often asked questions that leads readers to some of the yoga related posts on the Inspired Abundance website.
There are many different types of yoga and yoga itself has many different purposes. For some, yoga is a deep spiritual practice; for others it is a form of relaxation and meditation; and for others still it is a fitness program.
When considering the question of “what are the disadvantages of yoga”, you really have to understand the context of the question and the purpose of the yoga being practiced, but for simplicity sake let’s focus on the potential physical disadvantages for the balance of this post.
What are the disadvantages of yoga as a form of exercise?
1. Yoga Postures as exercise
Yoga postures … or “asanas” … are forms of exercise and, therefore using yoga as a form of exercise carries many of the same risks as many other forms of exercise: if you overdo it and take things too far, you will be susceptible to pulled or strained muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Needless to say, certain yoga practices pose more risk to physical injury than others.
2. Bikram yoga
Bikram yoga (or “hot yoga”) can provide an intense cardiovascular workout. However, you are more prone to injury in this type of class because of the high room temperature. Exercising in a very hot room causes your muscles to become very hot, therefore allowing for a much deeper stretch.
- This may at first sound beneficial, but that’s not always the case.
- Your muscles stretch, but your ligaments and tendons don’t (much). As a result, you may be tempted to stretch further than your tendons or ligaments will allow and end up suffering a strain, sprain or tear. These types of injuries can take a long time to heal.
- Also, some Bikram instructors do not allow or discourage participants to hydrate their bodies (drink) during the class, which is generally 90 minutes long. (I’ve taken martial arts classes with the same instructor mentality.) Even though participants are advised to drink water prior to class, many people do not hydrate adequately. If you don’t, you will require water during the class. In this case, it is not healthy to deprive the body of needed water, especially in a hot environment.
3. Over exertion
Over exerting yourself, especially in an overheated environment is generally not recommended by fitness leaders.
4. Mismatching goals and your physical condition
Another of the potential disadvantages of yoga is inadvertently enrolling into the “wrong” yoga class for YOU. As indicated at the outset of this article, yoga is very diverse. There as many different types of yoga as there are types of coffee at Starbucks … and they have different purposes and different levels of appropriateness depending on your goals and your specific physical condition.
- That’s why it is important to attend the appropriate class. If you are looking for an intense physical workout, you do not want to attend a Kundalini class where much of the focus of the class is on breathing and less on physical exercise.
5. Inexperienced yoga instructor
The level of experience of your yoga instructor can play a significant role in how enjoyable, safe, and informative your yoga class is. Choosing an instructor who doesn’t suit you can turn you off yoga altogether, so it is important to try out several different classes and talk to the instructor to find one you resonate with and who feels like a good fit.
6. Exacerbating existing injuries
Another disadvantage of yoga, again not unlike any other exercise program, is that the exercises may exacerbate any existing condition or injury. It is wise to consult a physician (who has some basic knowledge of yoga) to determine whether or not yoga exercises would be beneficial or detrimental to you. As an example, if you suffer from fibromyalgia, you want to be very cautious when beginning a yoga program. You must start out slowly and be very gentle with the exercises to avoid discomfort.
Disadvantage of yoga are relatively few so long as you apply common sense
So if you are wondering “what are the disadvantages of yoga“, know that the disadvantages are few while the potential advantages are many.
If you remember to honor your body as you proceed with your yoga practice … or any exercise program … then you will enjoy your practice immensely. By “honour,” I mean this: listen to your body and do only what your body allows you to do.
It can be tempting to put your yoga instructor’s suggestions ahead of your own inner voice, but if you feel a strong intuitive guidance, listen to it. Your inner voice knows your body better than you think.