Yoga Resources

Yoga Articles

Yoga and Neck Problems: Whats the Risk?



Firstly, a Yoga student, who has such a serious ailment, should get their doctors permission before starting to practice Yoga with a teacher. If possible, get a doctors referral to a particular Yoga teacher, who is more knowledgeable in this area. Many doctors often network with local Yoga teachers, studios, and ashrams, for the benefit of their patients.

Chair Yoga classes may be advisable in some instances. Yoga postures practiced during chair Yoga classes will not put pressure on the neck. It is also wise to find a teacher who has been thoroughly trained in the use of props, modifications, and completely understands your ailment.

Find a Yoga teacher who is understanding, gentle, and knowledgeable. At that point, set up an interview with your prospective Yoga teacher, and explain your ailment in detail. The methods, personalities, knowledge, and patience, of instructors who are teaching Yoga, will vary.

Some of the poses that I would not recommend would be: Sirsasana (Headstand); Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand); Halasana (Plow Posture); or any other posture that could cause severe compression on the cervical vertebrae (neck). Also, your doctor should be made aware of any risky movements and positions performed in a Yoga class, such as, chin locks, neck rolls, and fingers clasped behind the neck.

You will find it is important not to do any exercises or postures that hurt, even a little bit. Pain is your body's way of telling you, "not to do that and stop now. The Yoga exercises, that will help you the most, are those where you will feel a smooth and gentle stretch. If you don't feel a gentle stretch, I suspect those Yoga poses are not doing you much good.

If any Yoga exercises hurt at all, stop doing them immediately. I have yet to see a student, patient, or client, benefit from doing any Yoga pose that caused pain. To continue further on this point: Any treatment, of any kind, (Chiropractic, massage, physical therapy, or Yoga), should be with the goal of less pain. Why do it, at all, if you are going to be in more pain?

Learning Yoga for a serious condition, such as a neck ailment, should be practiced under maximum supervision of a competent Yoga teacher. I would suggest at least one private lesson before trying a group Yoga class. A Yoga teacher may suggest, at least, a few private Yoga sessions, so that the student understands all the safety guidelines.

As educational as Yoga videos are, they are no substitution for the guidance of a competent Yoga instructor.

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher. http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html


Related Links:


The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Yoga Business

How to Find the Right Yoga Teacher?

The Benefit of Yoga

Copyright © 2006 - Internet Resource