William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- What is yoga?
- Who invented yoga?
- How does yoga work?
- What are the types of yoga?
- Who's doing yoga?
- What about kids and yoga?
- What about seniors and yoga?
- What about prenatal yoga?
- Is yoga just another fitness fad?
- What are the health benefits of yoga?
- What equipment and props are needed for yoga?
- How does a yoga class work? What can I expect?
- What should be worn during yoga?
- Where can I try yoga?
- How much does yoga cost?
- How do I go about getting started with yoga?
- Is it safe to do yoga?
- What resources are available for people interested in yoga?
Is it safe to do yoga?
You should discuss yoga with your doctor before starting if you have medical conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetic eye disease (diabetic retinopathy), orthopedic problems (low back, neck, etc.), or any other medical condition that you think might be worsened by yoga. Some of the poses may be unsafe, and your doctor can advise you. For instance, individuals with diabetic retinopathy should not do exercises where the head is below the heart, like downward dog (adho mukha svanasana), forward bending (konasana), handstands (adho mukha vrksasana), and any of the other inversion poses (half plow [ardha halasana]; plow [halasana]; shoulder stand [sarvangasana]). Some of you may have back problems, and that should definitely be discussed with your doctor and the yoga instructor before you start. If necessary, speak with the yoga instructor or studio manager and find out what poses will be used, and then if you have doubts, you can run it by your doctor. Although the yoga instructor may be trained, they are not doctors, and so you should check with your physician about your medical concerns.
Go for it!
Yoga is a great complement to aerobic and resistance exercise, and I suggest that you might be completely surprised at the benefits you experience. I don't see how you have anything to lose, and so I urge you to give it a try! I will leave you with a yoga chant that is occasionally used to end a yoga session.
Om Om Om
Asatho Maa Sath Gamaya
Thamaso Maa Jyothir Gamaya
Mruthyor Maa Amrutham Gamaya.
Om Shanthi. Shanthi. Shanthi.
Om Om Om
Lead me from unreal to real
Lead me from darkness to light
Lead me from death to immortality.
Om Shanthi. Shanthi. Shanthi. (Peace, peace, peace be to all.)
May the entire world be happy.
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