Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,725,466 articles and books

Yoga; Treatment.

If you have a medical condition for which you are receiving treatment, yoga should be considered an additional therapy, not a replacement. Talk to your health care professional if you have arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia fibromyalgia

Chronic syndrome that is characterized by musculoskeletal pain, often at multiple sites. The cause is unknown. A significant number of persons with fibromyalgia also have mental disorders, especially depression.
 or other serious medical conditions. Many places offer special classes designed just for people with these conditions.

Even if you don't need a specialized class, you need to be aware of certain warnings before starting a class. For instance, high blood pressure, glaucoma glaucoma (glôkō`mə), ocular disorder characterized by pressure within the eyeball caused by an excessive amount of aqueous humor (the fluid substance filling the eyeball).  or a history of retinal detachment Retinal Detachment Definition

Retinal detachment is movement of the transparent sensory part of the retina away from the outer pigmented layer of the retina. In other words, the moving away of the retina from the outer wall of the eyeball.
 or heart disease may mean that you should not perform certain exercises or positions (the ones than turn you upside down, like a handstand). Again, talk to your health care professional first.

For the vast majority of women, yoga is an ideal way to improve overall health. It requires little advance preparation, so once you find a class, you can jump right in.

What To Expect

Wait at least two hours after eating before starting your yoga workout. Don't worry about the "proper" outfit. Wear something comfortable that will allow you to move--leotards or yoga pants are good choices, but you can wear a T-shirt and shorts, too. (Some instructors, however, may not want you to wear baggy clothes because they want to be able to watch your form as you practice the postures. Also, baggy tops tend to fall up over the head during semi-inverted poses.) Most people practice yoga in their bare feet.

The session will probably start with gentle warm-up exercises, probably a series of breathing exercises and gentle stretches. From there, the instructor will take you through several postures (asanas). You may hold these positions for a few seconds or a few minutes. Depending on the specific posture, you will start from a seated, standing or prone position.

You may already know some of these movements--for example, the cross-legged seated Lotus position. Others will feel like the shoulder rolls or stretches you may already do. Some will be unfamiliar, though.

Don't worry if you can't do each posture perfectly--as long as you keep it safe and mindful, the pose is always perfect. Yoga is about the process itself. You don't have to do everything the class does. Go at your own pace. Eventually, you will perfect your form. Remember, the point isn't to push beyond your limits.

During the process, be sure to breathe slowly and deeply from your diaphragm and move gently. Take breaks as often as you like, and never do anything that causes any genuine pain or discomfort.

The class will probably end with some sort of relaxation exercise, perhaps meditation.

Classes generally last 60 to 90 minutes, and you may attend class once or several times a week. It's important to develop a daily practice. This means doing yoga on days you aren't in class--shoot for about 30 minutes. If that sounds daunting, start with five or 10 minutes and work up. If your schedule doesn't allow for daily practice, try for four times a week for about 45 minutes.

Aside from your regular practice, you can work on some of the seated postures during the day while at the computer. And you can practice the deep, diaphragm-based breathing techniques anywhere.

The time of day you practice depends not only on your schedule, but on your goals. In the morning, a yoga routine may energize you and prepare you for the day. That's the preferred time of day for many folks. In the evening, relaxing poses can lead to better sleep.

Many yoga classes offer a gentler workout. While yoga is not like an aerobics class, it will still be challenging. There is a great increase, too, in the number of physically strenuous, faster-paced classes on schedules these days. Regardless of which experience you choose, when you finish, you shouldn't feel exhausted. You should feel refreshed, relaxed and energized.

There are no negative side effects Side effects

Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm.
 to yoga, but as with any exercise program, it's always possible to hurt yourself, especially if you try to explore advanced postures before you are ready. While you are practicing yoga, always listen and respond to what your body is telling you. One of the fundamental concepts in yoga is nonviolence or "ahimsa ahimsa (əhĭm`sä) [Sanskrit,=noninjury], ethical principle of noninjury to both men and animals, common to Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. Ahimsa became influential in India after 600 B.C., contributing to the spread of vegetarianism. ," and it begins with the self. This mindfulness will help you reduce the chances of injury, and it's really at the heart of yoga.

At first, it's natural to feel a little sore, especially if you haven't been exercising lately. But if the soreness is severe or persists, talk to your instructor. If you feel pain in your joints, talk to your instructor right away. A reasonable amount of muscle soreness is normal, joint pain is not. If the joint pain persists, talk with your regular health care professional.

It's always advisable to check with your health care professional before embarking on any exercise program, particularly if you are out of shape, over 65 or have serious health problems. You definitely need to do so if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, arthritis (particularly rheumatoid arthritis rheumatoid arthritis

Chronic, progressive autoimmune disease causing connective-tissue inflammation, mostly in synovial joints. It can occur at any age, is more common in women, and has an unpredictable course.
), spinal disk injuries, a history of retinal detachment or heart disease, or if you are pregnant. And be sure to inform the yoga instructor, too. If you have any of these conditions, it may be a good idea to begin your journey with one or more private sessions so you can better understand how to tailor the practice to accommodate your needs.

You may notice that your general health improves as you continue to make yoga a regular part of your life. But no matter how good you feel, don't stop your regular treatments. Continue to take any prescribed medications until your health care professional advises otherwise.


"General Yoga Information." American Yoga Association. Accessed February 13, 2008.

"Yoga Journal releases 2008 'Yoga in America' Market Study." Bio-Medicine. 2008. Accessed February 2008.

"Some important aspects of yoga." Accessed February 2008.

"Age Erasers for Women." Prevention Magazine Health Books and the Rodale Center for Women's Health Women's Health Definition

Women's health is the effect of gender on disease and health that encompasses a broad range of biological and psychosocial issues.
, Rodale, 1994 Accessed Oct. 2003.

"Frequently Asked Questions About Yoga.|" Yoga Journal. Accessed Oct. 2003.

Garfinkel M., Singhal, A., et al. "Yoga-based intervention for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome carpal tunnel syndrome: see repetitive stress injury.
carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)

Painful condition caused by repetitive stress to the wrist over time.
: A randomized trial." JAMA 280, 1601-1603; Nov. 11, 1998. Accessed Oct. 2003.

"General Information"American Yoga Association. Accessed Oct. 2003.

Haddon, Genia Pauli. "In Yoga, Shape Doesn't Count" Uniting Sex, Self and Spirit. Accessed Sept. 2000.

Johnson, S. "Yoga Tips for Beginners - How to safely start a yoga practice." WebMD Reviewed July 2002. Accessed Oct. 2003.

Ramaratnam, S. Sridharan K. "Yoga for epilepsy" (Abstract) Cochrane Review. The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2000. Accessed Oct. 2003.

Raskin, L. "Stay Young With Yoga : Anti-aging action." WebMD Medical News. Oct. 31, 2001. Accessed Oct. 2003.

Stein, A. "Staying in shape during pregnancy What's safe, what's not" MSNBC MSNBC Microsoft/National Broadcasting Company . Accessed Sept. 2000.

"Survey of research."Touch Research Institutes, University of Miami This article is about the university in Coral Gables, Florida. For the university in Oxford, Ohio, see Miami University.

The University of Miami (also known as Miami of Florida,[2] UM,[3] or just The U
. Accessed Sept. 2000.

"Yoga FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) A group of commonly asked questions about a subject along with the answers. Vendors often display them on their Web sites for use as troubleshooting guidelines. ." The Yoga Site. 2001. Accessed Oct. 2003..

"Stretching the Limits" The Boston Globe. Published Jan. 8, 2003. Accessed Oct. 2003.

"Yoga Journal Releases First Comprehensive Study of the Yoga Market." Yoga Journal, June 16, 2003 press release. Accessed Oct. 2003.

Keywords: Cystometry,Magnetic resonance angiography Magnetic resonance angiography
A noninvasive diagnostic technique that uses radio waves to map the internal anatomy of the blood vessels.

Mentioned in: Cerebral Aneurysm

magnetic resonance angiography 
,Cardiovascular,Chronic back pain,Manipulation,Sciatica sciatica (sīăt`ĭkə), severe pain in the leg along the sciatic nerve and its branches. It may be caused by injury or pressure to the base of the nerve in the lower back, or by metabolic, toxic, or infectious disease.  
COPYRIGHT 2008 National Women's Health Resource Center
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:NWHRC Health Center - Yoga
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 20, 2008
Previous Article:Yoga; Overview.
Next Article:Yoga; Facts to Know.

Related Articles
Chronic fatigue: try yoga, citalopram, placebo. (Hint of Promise).
Yoga; Key Q&A.
Some fibromyalgia patients benefit from yoga, meditation.
Yoga alleviates fibromyalgia pain in small study.
Yoga gets results during radiation for breast ca.
Yoga improves quality of life during radiation treatment for breast cancer.
Yoga boosts quality of life during breast Ca irradiation.
Yoga; Overview.
Yoga; Key Q&A.
The Use of Iyengar Yoga as a complementary therapy to traditional medicine.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters