Many of us look to yoga as a way to heal and restore our mind and body but sometimes it’s just the opposite. Proceed with caution.
Here are the 6 most dangerous yoga poses.
1. Frog (Mandukasana)
There are several caution flags on this pose. Frog has been known to cause strain in the groin and the sacroiliac. You also have to watch your joints because the position puts your knees and ankles in danger of twisting (in a bad way) or compromising the soft tissue and ligaments. This position is such a bad boy that many teachers flat out refuse to teach it.
2. Plow (Halasana) & Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
You’re not surprised to see these two on the list. Your teacher likely reminds you of the dangers before moving you into either of these because of the vulnerable position your neck is in.
But did you know that these two poses have been linked to increasing your risk of a stroke? An oft-cited study published in The New England Journal of Medicine raised the concern. The science points to the combination of hyperextension and weight on the neck leading to the dissection of the carotid and vertebral arteries.
3. Revolved Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
Any pose that involves twisting creates a potential for injury if the revolution is not entered into carefully. Be careful with this pose in any fast moving class where you might be tempted to get as far revolved as possible as quickly as possible. Threats include pinched nerve in the spine, pulled hamstring, and pain caused by pressure in the low back and shoulders.
4. Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) & Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
Inversions look like fun and may remind us of our younger selves joyfully doing cartwheel and handstands in the park. But these happiness-inducing poses are a big no-no for anyone with a family history of aneurysms or glaucoma. Not to mention the risk of falling – or being next to someone who is falling. Timber!
5. One-Legged King Pigeon (Pada Raja Kapotasana)
Not only can this be a bit too much for many a tight hip, but it can also unlock a whole whack of emotions. We store past emotion in our hips and many people have been caught off guard when this pose invokes a sudden need to cry. Bawling on the mat isn’t the only risk you face in this advanced posture.
When not done right, this pose can also potentially strain or twist your knees, hips, quadriceps, and low back. Avoid this pose unless your hips are already substantially open and you’re prepared to face your past demons.
6. Forward Fold (Padahastasana)
This is a pose you’re sure to encounter in almost every class and on the surface it might seem basic and harmless. However, it’s simplicity and familiarity is part of the problem.
People injure themselves in forward-fold by underestimating it and expecting more from their body. They go too deep and before you know it, they’ve pulled a hammy or tweaked their lower back.
Remember, yoga is not a competition and is no place for ego. It’s just you on your own mat, so listen to your body, don’t push yourself to go deeper than your comfort zone or attempt advanced poses before their time.