Doing yoga is undeniably beneficial for your body. This age-old tradition which comes from India is becoming more and more popular today. Today it is estimated that over 35 million people practise yoga in the US.
There are many types of yoga classes according to your preferences and requirements. Hatha-Yoga, Nidra-Yoga, Ashtanga, Power Yoga … you can easily learn yoga at any age. Whether you choose to practice gentle yoga or more dynamic classes, you will feel the benefits.
But as it goes, when our bodies aren’t able to keep up, when we catch certain diseases, is it sensible to turn to yoga or continue to practice it daily?
Let’s learn together, in relation to various diseases, the risks or benefits that yoga presents. In any case, it is important, before heading back to yoga class or doing yoga at home, to seek your doctor’s approval.
The first aliment we’re focusing on is mild yet very common: tendinitis.
This inflammation of the tendon is usually related to repetitive movements. Athletes are among those who are easily susceptible to tendinitis. If tendinitis is easily treated, the basis of treatment is rest.
Common tendinitis includes:
Tendinitis of the Achilles,
It is therefore clear that if you suffer from tendinitis, you will have to adapt your yoga practice for a few weeks so as not to work on the affected tendon. If not, you could permanently weaken the tendon. Tendinitis can become a chronic condition.
Ask your yoga teacher for tips on how to adjust the poses and enjoy yoga despite tendinitis.
In addition to medical treatments, massages and physiotherapy, have you tried yoga? Source: Visual hunt
As you get older, your joints become weak and can lead to chronic diseases, such as osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilages of the joints are damaged and affects almost 10 million people in the UK. It is a rather debilitating disease as patients find it more and more difficult and painful to do every-day movements.
This degenerative disease can require surgery and the fitting of prostheses to replace the unhealthy joint (hip or knee replacement). Medical treatment relies on managing the pain and doing exercise to preserve the mobility of the affected limb.
A study recently highlighted the benefits of yoga for osteoarthritis.
Exercise is essential to channel the development of the disease, yoga indeed seems to be the perfect activity for patients with osteoarthritis.
Simple poses, carried out gently, according to the patient’s ability can have real benefits:
There are plenty of yoga classes specially adapted for senior citizens which can help them to maintain their mobility.
Another common complaint: back pain. Bad back posture or a more serious aliment, who has never suffered from backache? It is a common curse of our century. An ailment made all the more common as it is so intimately related to our state of mind. Stress is a major trigger and an aggravating factor of back pain.
Are you prone to regular lower back or neck pain?
Yoga is an activity to seriously consider. Yoga prevents back pain in various ways:
All these points are essential to preserving the back and preventing backache. Yoga will also help you become aware of your body, learn to manage your emotions better and live mindfully.
Back pain can quickly become very debilitating. Yoga can effectively relieve this pain. Source: Visual hunt
Among the causes of back pain is scoliosis.
This curving of the spine can be very debilitating for those affected. Generally detected in childhood or adolescence, scoliosis should be treated immediately to prevent it from worsening.
Again, doing yoga with scoliosis could be a great form of treatment!
Some specific poses have a real remedial effect on this condition. This is what emerged from a study that showed that the spine can actually recover through yoga. Not only does this exercise limit the development of the condition, but it also helps to reduce it.
The side plank pose (Vasisthasana), done regularly seems to effectively reduce the curving of the spine. In addition, and it is worth noting, the practice of yoga relieves the pain caused by scoliosis and deeply strengthens back muscles. Of course, the practice of yoga poses must be performed well to avoid bad posture.
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Sciatica is another condition related to the back.
This nerve which starts in the lower back and extends to the foot can cause great pain when one of its roots is compressed in the lumbar region. In this case, the pain is blinding and particularly disabling. In the worst cases, it is difficult to move, or even find a position that is not even comfortable, but just bearable.
However, the secret to relieving sciatica is staying active!
For example, it is important to keep walking and doing gentle daily activities to reduce pressure. If at the height of the pain, you can sometimes move, as soon as the pain starts to fade, try doing certain yoga poses to relieve sciatica.
Among theses poses, you’ll find exercises which allow you to relax and stretch your back or work your leg muscles.
It is important to do these smoothly, without forcing your body. Seated twisting can provide real pain relief by reducing pressure on the nerve. If you are a frequent victim of sciatica, we recommend practicing yoga as a preventative measure. It will strengthen your muscles and limit the frequency of attacks.
A herniated disc, another common back problem, can be particularly uncomfortable!
When the disc that connects two vertebrae is damaged, the nucleus forms a hernia which, with all the pressure, is very painful.
Lots of rest is essential.
In the most severe cases, surgery may be considered. In any case, it is important to stay in a lying position until the pain subsides. Yoga can help you through this difficult time, but it will not be a question of what poses to do.
Yoga is also mediation, breathing and relaxation exercises.
It’s all about simple techniques to manage pain better and boost morale. This is particularly the case of Nîdra Yoga with its visualisation techniques.
Once the patient is relieved, performing yoga after a herniated disc promotes rehabilitation and improved mobility. Relaxing the back and building muscle can be beneficial. Nevertheless, poses must be carefully chosen and executed gently so as not to risk injury.
The child’s pose, an essential for relaxation. Source: Pixabay
Let us now think about pain specific to women. Firstly, menstrual pain.
It’s not always easy for men to understand female hormones… And yet, all women will tell you, periods are accompanied by premenstrual syndrome, abdominal pain, sometimes nausea, a drop in energy…
To varying degrees according to women!
So, how do you do yoga when you have your period and all you want to do is lie down with a hot water bottle and wait until you feel better?
You should think about doing the more gentle yoga poses which help you to:
Some poses are more effective than others in this respect. These moments of relaxation, when you become aware of your body and your breathing, are really great for overcoming that dreaded time of the month.
For those lucky enough not to experience menstrual pain, don’t worry! You can keep doing dynamic yoga, but avoid upside-down poses and twists for a few days, which can have a negative outcome.
Now let’s talk about babies, even if they’re not actually a disease!
It’s a wonderful moment in a woman’s life. Again, yoga can help you become accustomed to these changes gradually and confidently.
Prenatal yoga will allow you to enjoy your pregnancy and prepare you for childbirth. Be sure to take the right lessons for pregnant women of course. If you’re just starting out, pregnancy is not the time to get into yoga class.
Indeed, it is actually not recommended.
Once the baby has arrived, there is no reason to deprive yourself of yoga which can be a great way to take some time off from your busy daily routine as a mum.
Enjoy these moments of peace and harmony with your baby. Yoga sessions for young mums also welcome infants. We rediscover the body and gently work the muscles. We also take this opportunity to bond with the baby and socialise with other moms. A good remedy for baby-blues.
Simple poses allow muscles to be stretched, softened and strengthened. Source: Visual hunt
Are you a real homebody?
Are group classes not really your thing?
You can also try yoga at home on your Wii. You will learn simple moves and balancing exercises to gently introduce you to yoga.
Be careful, however, it may make you want to join a real hatha yoga class and push yourself further. On the Wii yoga can actually look like a gym class, however, by learning the basics of yoga with a teacher, you will discover a real way of life, which you can apply to your daily routine to find the serenity with your mind as well as your body.
Are you convinced yet? Yoga can help you at different stages of life to understand, respect and strengthen your body better.