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10 Yoga Poses That Actually Hurt Your Joints

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Yoga poses

By: Churchill Otieno

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, usually used to keep the practitioner in shape and healthy. However, there are dangers when it comes to yoga sessions. Some types of stretches can eventually do more harm than good, though there is some debate about it. Some steps can be taken to prevent yoga related injuries, however many don't even realize what can happen as a result of the injury. For some, their joints are in danger of being stretched, misaligned or otherwise mistreated. It is important to always consider three things before taking on a certain yoga pose. There are always precautions you can take to avoid damaging your joints and bones, however some are positions our bodies are simply not built to perform.

1. The pose should follow the spine's natural curvature.

2. The practitioner should be able to breathe deeply from the rib cage.

3. The pose should follow the functional capabilities of the joints.

10 Yoga Poses That Pose a Threat to Your Joints

10. Paschiomottanasana

Paschiomottanasana is a seated forward bending yoga pose. There are various ways that this is capable of affecting your joints depending on if you are a newbie or if you are more experienced. Those who are newer to yoga generally round their spine and collapse their front when performing this one, which can rupture your spinal disk, strain your muscles or tear a ligament. However, those who are advanced tend to flatten their spines more, while opening their front up. This can result in a torn hamstring or tendon, straining of the sacroiliac joint or completely missing out on the benefits of this pose. This pose generally goes against the movements the body is designed to make, as it keeps your knees straight, causing unnatural torque and tension in the knees and lower back areas.

9. Padmasana

The lotus pose, Padmasana, is one that requires your knees to bend for prolonged periods of time. It can result in intense pain and limited mobility, as injury is a huge possibility here. After one or both legs are in the lotus position, many attempt to include a back bending movement or forward bending movement, which can pinch the inner-knee bones together and harm the medial meniscus. The largest danger of this pose is the strain it puts on the thighs and bone structure, as it is an unnatural position for the body.

8. Uttanasana

This is a standing forward bend position that is intended to stretch the hamstrings. You must keep your knees straight while lifting the sitting bones. This poses a potential problem for injury, as it pulls on the tendons and creates tiny tears in the hamstrings. Though these tears can heal over a day or two, it is ill advised to continuously create tears in your muscle as it can result in worse injury further down the line. It can also negatively impact your alignment, as some people have loose hamstrings which can result in their tendons wrapping around their bones.

7. Janu Sirsasana

The head to knee pose is one that frequently results in one pain pattern, a dull ache over a small area, generally on the posterior superior iliac spine. It is a pose in which, while you may have one knee bent, you put a lot of stress on the other knee, as well as the back. This can cause the sacroiliac joint to become unstable, and move in and out of alignment. Many movements can cause this condition to worsen, from sitting to forward bending or twisting. Many professionals in yoga and healthcare believe that this pain is caused by the sacroiliac joints moving about. Yoga, too, has been known to loosen the supporting ligaments overtime until one slips.

6. Virasana

Known as the hero pose, Virasana is particularly excruciating on the knee joints. While it can also lead to heart problems and headaches, it most commonly results in knee and ankle injuries. It is a position that requires the practitioner to kneel on the floor for prolonged periods of time with your knees perpendicular to the floor. Virasana is advised to help keep knees healthy, however having the knees bent for lengthy periods can be damaging.

5. Baddha Konasana

Baddha Konasana is a bound angle pose meant to focus on the thighs. It can often result in knee or groin injury due to the positioning of your limbs, however it can be done safely, like any other of these poses. The position is somewhat strenuous on your knees, and hamstrings, as you sit with the soles of your feet together, knees bent and legs on the ground. The pose calls for anywhere between 1 and 5 minutes in the pose before returning to your natural position.

4. Utthita Trikonasana

Called the three angle pose, the utthita trikonasana pose is particularly strenuous on the body. Using your hands and legs, you create a triangle by stretching one hand up, one hand down and both legs more than shoulder length apart. It is important to be cautious when performing this pose. It can lead to cervical spinal injuries, as well as neck pain, torn or tender hamstrings, or you could develop pain in the hip or pelvis area.

3. Marichyasana 3

One of the Sage poses, the Marichyasana 3 is a seated twisting position. It is intended to stretch and strengthen the muscles along the back and spine, as well as relieve and balance the pressure placed on the spinal discs. However, it is to be avoided if you have high or low blood pressure, diarrhea, insomnia, headaches or migraines. It is a dangerous pose to do alone, as it can end in a serious spinal or back injury.

2. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

When it comes to side bends, such as the Parivrtta Jau Sirsasana, those with unstable sacroiliac joints or loose ligaments might find these can cause intense pains. The bending can cause a gap in the joint, allowing the other side to jam into itself. The misalignment can be further worsened by continuing the poses, jamming the joint deeper within itself.

1. Upavisthe Konasana

In this pose, you fold in on yourself to stretch your hamstrings and adductors. Upavisthe Konasana is a wide angle, seated forward bend. If not done with attention to your posture, as well as attention to your endurance levels, you could pull a hamstring or groin. You may also be at risk for a herniated disc or lower-back injury.

While there are precautions one can take to avoid these injuries, it is often best to simply eliminate them from your yoga practices. The dangers can outweigh the benefits, as they often result in pain that lasts for a long time. There are other positions that one can choose that will result in healthier joints, as well as ways to change the pose to be safer on the joints.

About the Author

Churchill Otieno (@ChurchillOtieno), holds a degree in Communications and Public Relations. He is an accomplished independent researcher, experienced, professional writer based in Chicago, IL past Mombasa, Kenya. He is an author and publisher for Consumer Health Digest Joint Pain Center category since 2013. He has an additional credentials in health and wellness. He has been writing articles on health for more than two years with interest on bone, joint health, arthritis, osteoarthritis etc. He is regularly contributing for many other popular websites. His mission is to educate, empower and advocate people whose lives have changed due to arthritis joint pain. He also strive to support the families and caregivers as they learn how to advocate and care for the afflicted person.


Zaina Kapoor's picture

10 Yoga Poses That Actually Hurt Your Knees

I love yoga, YOGA is perfect way to health fit and fine...

Amolika's picture

10 Yoga Poses That Actually Hurt Your Joints

I love yoga, YOGA is perfect way to health fit and fine...

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