Yoga PI: Proceed with Caution

Any time you fill a prescription medication at the pharmacy, the bag (or box if you prefer mail order) containing your medication will also include a package insert. The package insert contains important information such as how to take the medication, what side effects you may experience and other important safety information:

PRECAUTIONS – explain how to use a medication/intervention safely including physical impairments and drug interactions 


ARTHRITIS Do not stretch joints with extreme articulation or weight-bearing such 1-leg balancing poses. Avoid pressure postures that cause any pain.

CANCER Seek medical advice prior to beginning yoga practice. Precautions vary depending on the type & location. Some cancers involve little to no restriction. Others demand extreme caution.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Seek medical advice prior to any physical activity including yoga. Some conditions require little restraint while others involve significant restrictions. Avoid overly vigorous practices that significantly increase abdominal pressure & involve breath retention.

DIGESTIVE DISORDERS ulcerative colitis, hernia, gallstones, kidney stones, ulcers Avoid postures that apply strong pressure to the belly.

HIV Avoid excessive physical or mental strain. Emphasize a gentle practice with flowing breath & easy stretching.

MENSTRUATION Women are able to practice but it is recommended they rest during the 1st few days of flow; avoid inversions or vigorous breathing exercises for the entire cycle

PAIN Pain is your body trying to communicate with you that some thing is off and can be a symptom of underlying health conditions. Yoga can be a good treatment for chronic pain but consult with a physician prior to starting a yoga practice.

SPINE Do not practice shoulderstand or headstand if you have problems with the cervical vertebra. Forward folds & spinal twists can activate certain disk conditions & low back problems. Avoid practices that increase flexibility without strengthening the spinal muscles especially if your spine is hyper-mobile.

WARNINGS – cover possible serious side effects that may occur

SEVERE MENTAL DISORDERS schizophrenia or bipolar disorders Relaxation, meditation & intensive breathing exercises should be practiced in concert with professional treatment.

DRUG INTERACTIONS Do not abruptly discontinue medication or reduce dose without consulting with your healthcare provider.

**This is not an all inclusive list. Make sure you seek advice from your healthcare provider to understand any conditions you have that could affect your yoga practice. Always share any limitations or underlying conditions when working with a yoga instructor. Do not abruptly discontinue medication or reduce dose without consulting with your healthcare provider.



The Principles and Practice of Yoga and Healthcare ~ Sat Bir Singh Khalsa
Yoga for Depression ~Amy Weintraub
Yoga as Medicine ~Timothy McCall MD
Yoga Rx ~Larry Payne PhD & Dr Richard Usatine
Yoga Skills for Therapists ~Amy Weintraub


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