Is Yoga Bad for the Knees?

Ok, I admit it. I’m not a yoga fan. Even if you are it might be worth taking a look at this article. The comments are from a medical doctor who has had to attempt to fix the knees of yoga instructors. Many of our stretches are yoga inspired but I think the whole yoga phenomenon is a bit overblown. One real interesting point is obvious. Larger classes seem to lead to more problems. This is because large class yoga is what I call fake stretching. Kind of a follow the leader, “try to get in this position” sort of thing. This leads to a lot of relative motion in attempts to look like the people in front. I think the development of relative flexibility is one of the real big problems in yoga.


6 Responses to “Is Yoga Bad for the Knees?”

  1. […] Is Yoga Bad for the Knees?     This is just an article showing another article from a doctor speaking about how these yoga masters are having these health problems such as knee problems. […]

  2. mboyle1959 Says:

    It’s hard to say how much flexibility you need? Elsbeth Vaino, one of my experts, put it nicely the other day. Most who need yoga don’t do it, most who do it don’t need it.

  3. I had just recently heard of how yoga could be bad for you. I don’t know if I never paid attention or maybe the propaganda and all the hype around it kept me from hearing about this side of it. I hear what Lauren is saying because in that article in particular it clearly stated that if you do it right you are at a much lower risk. I think my only problem is why do you want to do something that has higher risks and possibly less rewards than the recommended strength training programs by that same article. Also the article talked about many instructors having these joint injuries. If the people leading the class can’t master it why would you want to put yourself at risk? Also I would like to know when is enough flexibility for an average human. I am still looking into this yoga stuff so those are just the questions that came to my head not trying to put anyone off.

  4. Says:

    In my work as a physical therapist, I see a number of injuries as a result of yoga. I realize there are other reported other benefits of yoga, but the major reason most people tell me they participate in the activity is to “improve flexibility.” A problem I see is that many of the individuals that want to improve their flexibility do not need to. Many (mostly women) are already hypermobile in their shoulders and lumbar spine. Many of the yoga postures can place the lumbar spine and/or shoulders in extreme positions of motion. While I agree there are some benefits of yoga, proper instruction and proper selection of participants is critical. Many yoga participants may benefit more from a well developed strength and conditioning program.


  5. Yoga, like anything else, needs to be done correctly. The author of this article mentions several times that people who do “extreme” poses without being ready for them are experiencing injuries. No kidding! Would I (a non-gymnast) try doing a flip off a balance beam? Of course not, that would be dangerous. Additionally, doing yoga in a class of 100 is ridiculous. There is no way the instructor can provide the correct amount of attention to the students in that setting.

    Perhaps its not yoga itself, but not being smart about how its done, that is the problem. My instructor is fantastic- she spends most of the time walking around making sure people are doing things right, and making little adjustments and corrections. Not only that but she is very adamant that if you can not do something, or you feel pain, you should not force yourself to try to do it.

    I think you need to be smart about how you do it, just like any other physical activity.

  6. […] The Daily Telegraph ponders whether Yoga is bad for your knees.  I used to do a lot of Yoga, and there’s a case to be made that many Yoga stretches are good to do.  But, never forget that Yoga is a system that has come to us via tradition not via science.  There’s much dogma to it, and dogma is nearly always bad in my book.  Here’s Mike Boyle’s take on the article. […]

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