guides yoga Yoga PI

proceed with caution


Any time a prescription medication is filled at the pharmacy, the bag (or mail order box) containing the medication always includes a package insert (aka PI). The package insert contains important information such as how to take the medication, how ofter, what side effects you may experience and other important safety information.

It is important to know your abilities and limitations when it comes to any exercise regimen, yoga included. Before you step onto the mat, know if you have are any conditions that require modifications to practice yoga safely.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


Pain is the body trying to communicate something 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.


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.


cover possible serious side effects that may occur


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


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 the comorbid 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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Cramer H. Adverse Events Associated with Yoga: A Systematic Review of Published Case Reports and Case Series. PLOS One. 2013.

Cramer H, et al. The Safety of Yoga: A Systematic Review & Meta-analysis of RTCs. Am J Epidemiol. 2015;182(4):281-293

Cramer H et al. Predictors of yoga use among internal medicine patients. BMC Compl Alt Med. 2013;13:172.

Fishbein D, et al. Is yoga really dangerous? A systematic review of adverse events reported in the medical literatureJ Alt Comp Med. 2014; 20(5):A21.

Fischman L.M. et al. Understanding and preventing yoga injuries. Intl J of Yoga Therapy. 2009. 19: 1-8

Holton M.K. et al. Do side-effects/injuries from yoga practice result in discontinued use? Results of a national survey. Int J Yoga. 2014; 7(2):152–154

Le Corroller et al. Musculoskeletal injuries related to yoga: imaging observationsAJR. 2012. Aug;199(2):413-8

Pryse-Phillips W. Infarction of medulla & cervical cord after fitness exercises. Stroke. 1989. 20: 292-4

Walker M et al. Yoga neuropathy: a snoozer. Neurologist. 2005.11(3): 176-8

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