A new study analyzed the benefits and consequences of practice yoga and in doing so, pointed out a paradoxical fact. Although yoga can be a useful practice, it also comes with its harms and about the same yearly level of injuries as most sports.
University of Sydney, Australia, scientists conducted this latest research. The results are available in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
The Yoga Paradox, Helpful, But Within a Limit
Yoga is considered to have various beneficial effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Previous research found that it could help improve the memory, for example. However, this latest research states that it could also prove to be more harmful than useful.
The study points out that practicing yoga exercises can sometimes worsen prevailing wounds. Or, in some cases, it could lead to muscle or bone pains.
“While yoga can be beneficial for musculoskeletal pain, like any form of exercise, it can also result in musculoskeletal pain,” Evangelos Pappas was quoted as saying.
According to Pappas, who is part of the study, their research determined that the incidence of pains caused by practicing yoga is somewhere over 10 percent each year. This rate is comparable to injury rates provoked by all combined sports among the physically active population.
Also, Pappas states that yoga can, in some cases, exacerbate existing pains. It could increase the pain levels of an injury by up to 21 percent, according to the study. This trend was especially noticed when analyzing musculoskeletal pains in the upper extremities.
The research involved more than 350 people, members of two yoga studios. These were asked to respond to a series of questionnaires dealing with their age, weekly hours of yoga, their intensity and experience in practicing it. They were also asked to report pain levels or injuries. A follow-up questionnaire was then filled out a year later.
Over a third of the injuries reported by the participants lasted longer than three months and also prevented the person from practicing yoga for the time being.
This yoga paradox determined the team to urge people to be more careful when practicing this. They recommend talking to the yoga instructor in cases of pains or injuries. Also, they advise those practicing yoga to also inform their doctors about this exercise.
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