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Yoga – practice with caution for greater benefits and less harm say researchers

Yoga – practice with caution for greater benefits and less harm say researchers
From News Medical - June 28, 2017

According to new research from researchers at the University of Sydney, Yoga practice could do more harm than good in some participants. Yoga is an ancient Indian form of spiritual practice that involves a series of body postures, deep breathing techniques and balance of the mind and body. The study was published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

The latest study, contrary to all has been written earlier regarding the benefits of yoga, finds that yoga could be worsening or exacerbating old injuries and leading to new ones. In the study, at least 10% of the individuals complained of a new pain after taking up yoga practice. Further, 21% individuals complained of worsening or exacerbation of the previous injuries after taking up yoga practice. Particularly pain in the upper limbs and shoulder pain was worsened with yoga they noted. Around 13% of the new pain that came after a year of yoga were in the upper limbsshoulders, elbows, wrists or hands.

For this study participants aged around 45 years were chosen. They were all based in New York and regarding their experience, they ranged from beginners to practiced yoga followers with nearly 20 years of experience. A total of 354 individuals who practiced yoga were included and then they were followed up for a year. At the end of the year they were given a questionnaire to fill up and were assessed according to their answers. Around 74% of the participants however reported a significant improvement in their low back and neck pain after yoga practice.

Associate Professor Evangelos Pappas, a study author said that this study showed that just like any other sport could be dangerous for an injury, yoga is too. Pappas himself is also a yoga instructor incidentally and is not against yoga practice he reiterated. He added that yoga is beneficial for most part but there is no reason to believe that it is free from any risk. It has been seen that the risk of injuries estimated by earlier researchers was 1 to 2.5% risk of injury with yoga.

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