There are many benefits to doing yoga, but it has its drawbacks too. This article will cover 9 of the most common disadvantages of practicing this ancient form.
Disadvantages of Yoga: Why it may not be for everyone
1. Risk of injury
The number of yoga-related injuries is increasing year-on-year. Though not all of these injuries are serious, they can be.
Yoga is known for being very gentle and relaxing—but it may not be so gentle on you if you have existing muscle or skeletal problems.
Be sure to work with a trainer or instructor before starting if you haven’t had training in yoga.
If you’re new to the practice, it may be best to do some less stressful poses, such as child’s pose or standing poses, before trying out more intense moves like headstands and arm balances.
Also, don’t try to compete with others in your yoga class or try to move too quickly. Taking it slow will help you avoid injury.
Osteoporosis is a disease where the bones lose density and can become brittle and fragile. It is a common problem in older people, but there are several risk factors that make it more likely to happen earlier.
If you do yoga or weight-bearing exercises on a regular basis, you may be at risk of osteoporosis early on according to research by an international team of doctors and scientists.
Researchers warn that even people who go in for moderate yoga exercises are susceptible to osteoporosis.
3. Untrained instructors
There are many untrained instructors that teach yoga. What are the risks of this?
The biggest risk is that they do not follow proper alignment for each pose. This leads to incorrect body positioning which can lead to injury, or make it difficult for people to get benefits from their poses.
Another issue is that they may teach poses in a way that has nothing to do with the original meaning of the practice. For example, some instructors teach yoga asanas due to their effects on the body through physical stimulation.
Yoga teachers are also responsible for creating safe spaces by managing student behavior during class.
If they are not aware of how to create a safe space it can lead to people being uncomfortable in their practice, or become frightened when the yoga teacher does not properly take care of inappropriate behavior.
There is also an issue with students taking advantage of teachers who are not experienced. The students will try instructors by asking them to teach advanced poses that they may not be ready for or be qualified to teach.
Finally, if an instructor does yoga but is not well educated in the philosophy of the practice, it can lead to danger when students ask questions about why things are happening in their practice.
If the instructor doesn’t have proper knowledge about the philosophy behind what they are doing it can be very misleading to answer these questions.
4. Overdoing yoga
Overdoing yoga is a real risk that many enthusiasts of the exercise don’t consider. Although it is beneficial for some conditions, overdoing yoga can actually be bad for you and cause more harm than good.
Yoga requires static as well as dynamic positions as your body is being stretched. However, your muscles aren’t supposed to stay in a static position for a long time and could get overstretched which can lead to muscle damage.
If you are not doing yoga properly or you have been overdoing it, you may end up hurting yourself from the poses that you do. If this happens, you may end up with a serious injury and it can be quite difficult to recover from.
If you are doing yoga postures incorrectly, you could suffer from heart burn and other cardio vascular problems as a result of compressing the stomach thus creating changes in blood flow to that region which may cause aches and pains in the chest.
5. Not everyone can handle hot yoga(bikram yoga)
Yoga in hot environment is very strenuous. The extreme heat and lack of oxygen may place unneeded stress on the body, especially when done repeatedly over a long period of time.
Many classes end with a relaxation pose that lowers your heart rate slowly while still in a heated room. This could cause you to feel faint while transitioning back into a cooler environment.
It’s not good for people with diabetes or blood pressure issues because yoga produces more heat, which may elevate heart rate and blood pressure even more.
Yoga in hot rooms can cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fainting and dehydration.
The risk of dehydration is a serious concern for many of the people who practice hot yoga.
It can be a problem because you lose fluid during a hot yoga session, and especially in an intense class, humidity levels are typically low. Once you get dehydrated it can be hard to get your body back to normal.
Heat cramps typically occur in beginner students during a session. These can be caused by a number of things but most frequently they develop due to lack of hydration, loss of electrolytes, and loss of energy due to lack of food intake.
Essentially any factor that causes the body’s systems to work harder can cause heat cramps.
Heat exhaustion is a more serious concern than heat cramps are during hot yoga practice. Heat exhaustion can be caused by being dehydrated, loss of salt, loss of water through sweat, hypoglycemia and a drop in blood pressure.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency that can be fatal if the right steps are not taken immediately to cool the body down, usually through applying ice packs or cold water to the skin and taking an oral rehydration solution.
When your body temperature rises above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, your body can no longer cool itself down and it’s vital to take the necessary steps to cool down as soon as possible.
Because hot yoga sessions tend to have elevated heart rates, difficulty breathing and often involve a large number of people in a small space- heat stroke is a very real threat if students are not mindful of hydration levels.
7. Yoga can be expensive
Yoga classes can be expensive. Since it is a more specialized form of exercise, it’s not just as simple as getting a gym membership and hitting the machines.
Along with a space, you’re also paying for a highly specialized skill. Also, more experienced instructors may charge higher fees.
When you combine the long-term commitment of yoga with a
8. Steep learning curve
Yoga has a steep learning curve. While beginners can certainly do the easier asanas right away, the more advanced techniques will come after years of practice.
One could argue that this is true for all kinds of exercises and martial arts, though.
9. Yoga develops passive rather than active strength
Yoga focuses on strengthening your core and balance by increasing your mind-body connection.
These are incredibly necessary aspects to fitness, but those who are looking to build active strength and muscle mass will find that yoga does not push their bodies enough.
That’s why many people like to incorporate yoga into a weight training or bodyweight workout regimen.
While the weight training and bodyweight exercises help build strength, muscle, and endurance, the yoga adds a nice touch of flexibilty and balance into the mix.
Related: Yoga vs pilates for seniors
Who should not do yoga?
People who are very ill or have had recent surgery should exercise extreme caution when starting a new exercise program.
You should consult your physician before starting any exercise program.
Yoga is not recommended for pregnant women after the first trimester, people with high blood pressure, glaucoma, retinal detachment, heart disease, herniated discs or other serious back conditions, osteoporosis or any bone disease which is exacerbated by stress, or if you are unsure of your physical condition.
Yoga is not recommended for people who are excessively overweight. It may be dangerous to attempt inverted poses (such as Sirsasana) if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, retinal detachment, or if you are on anticoagulant medication.
So who is yoga for?
When done in moderation, yoga can be for everyone. There are many different styles and variations of yoga, and they’re all effective to the extent that they’re beneficial to your body and mind.
Yoga will strengthen you in a way that makes you more adaptable and flexible when it comes to the challenges we face every day: everything from lifting groceries out of your car trunk to getting through a long day at work.
Yoga is for athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s not about developing muscles or thinning your inner thighs; yoga will help bring strength and stability to the places you need it most, such as your core, but only if it’s done properly.