Yoga Contraindications & Cautions

Firstly, we know yoga can be beneficial to our bodies. However, not all poses/postures (asanas) and breathing techniques (pranayama) are advisable to everybody. At all times. Therefore, we need to consider our different strengths and limitations. Moreover, not to forget physical impairments. 

While some postures can greatly benefit some, the same movements can jeopardise one’s health, for example. Everybody is different. So, listen to your inner guidance and learn about yoga contraindications. In addition, use modifications and know when to STOP. 

*Please use this yoga contraindications reference with curiosity and with caution. It does not substitute for medical advice from a doctor at all.

** Also contact us if in doubt.

ANKLE PAIN OR INJURY

Adept’s Pose; Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose; Hero Pose; Lotus Pose; Pigeon Pose; Reclining Bound Angle Pose (blanket under the outer thighs); Reclining Hero Pose; Thunderbolt Pose

ASTHMA

Boat Pose; Head-to-Knee Forward Bend; Plow Pose; Seated Forward Bend

BACK PAIN OR INJURY

Cobra Pose; Corpse Pose (knees bent); Half Lord of the Fishes Pose; Intense Side Stretch Pose (perform half forward bend); Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose; Locust Pose; Lord of the Dance Pose; Marichi’s Pose; Reclining Hero Pose; Revolved Belly Pose; Revolved Triangle Pose; Seated Forward Bend; Savasana (knees bent); Sphinx Pose; Standing Forward Bend (knees bent); Supported Headstand; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Upward Facing Dog

BALANCE ISSUES

Lord of the Dance Pose

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME

Cobra Pose; Crane (Crow) Pose; Downward-Facing Dog; Four-Limbed Staff Pose; Plank Pose; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Upward Facing Dog; Wild Thing

DIARRHOEA

Boat pose; Chair Pose; Downward-Facing Dog; Extended Triangle Pose; Head-to-Knee Forward Bend; Marichi’s Pose; Plow Pose; Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose; Revolved Triangle Pose; Seated Forward Bend; Supported shoulder stand; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Warrior II Pose

ELBOW INJURY

Side Plank Pose

EYE PROBLEMS

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose (avoid if you have glaucoma)

GROIN PAIN OR INJURY

Bound Angle Pose (blanket under the outer thighs); Lord of the Dance Pose

HEADACHE

Boat Pose; Chair Pose; Cobra Pose; Downward-Facing Dog (support your head on a bolster or block); Extended Side Angle Pose; Hero Pose (lie back on a bolster); Locust Pose; Marichi’s Pose; Mountain Pose; Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose; Revolved Triangle Pose; Sphinx Pose; Supported Headstand; Supported Shoulderstand; Tree Pose; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Upward Facing Dog

HEART PROBLEMS

Boat Pose; Extended Triangle Pose; Hero Pose; Low Lunge; Supported Headstand; Thunderbolt Pose; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Warrior I Pose

HERNIA

Lord of the Dance Pose

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

Bow Pose; Camel Pose; Downward-Facing Dog (support your head on a bolster or block); Extended Side Angle Pose (gaze down); Fish Pose; High Lunge, Crescent Variation; Intense Side Stretch Pose (perform half forward bend); Marichi’s Pose; Pigeon Pose; Plow Pose; Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (head and neck on a folded blanket); Supported Headstand; Supported shoulder stand; Tree Pose (arms down); Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Warrior I Pose; Warrior II Pose; Warrior III Pose

HIP PAIN OR INJURY

Adept’s Pose; Crane (Crow) Pose; Eagle Pose; Half Lord of the Fishes Pose; Lord of the Dance Pose; Pigeon Pose

INSOMNIA

Boat Pose; Bow Pose; Camel Pose; Chair Pose; Extended Side Angle Pose; Fish Pose; Marichi’s Pose; Mountain Pose; Pigeon Pose; Revolved Triangle Pose; Tree Pose

KNEE PAIN OR INJURY

Adept’s pose; Bound Angle Pose (blanket under the outer thighs); Pregnancy; Eagle Pose; Extended Puppy Pose; Fire Log Pose; Four-Limbed Staff Pose; Gate Pose (use chair instead); Half Lord of the Fishes Pose; Happy Baby Pose; Head-to-Knee Forward Bend (support on a blanket); Hero Pose; High Lunge; Lord of the Dance Pose; Lotus Pose; Pigeon Pose; Reclining Bound Angle Pose (blanket under the outer thighs); Reclining Hero Pose; Thunderbolt Pose

LOW BLOOD PRESSURE

Boat pose; Bow Pose; Camel Pose; Chair Pose; Extended Side Angle Pose; Fish Pose; Lord of the Dance Pose; Marichi’s Pose; Mountain Pose; Pigeon Pose; Revolved Triangle Pose; Supported Headstand; Tree Pose; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose

LOWER BACK PAIN OR INJURY

Bow Pose; Camel Pose; Crocodile Pose (active version); Easy Pose (support under hips); Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose; Fire Log Pose; Fish Pose; Four-Limbed Staff Pose; Pigeon Pose; Staff Pose; Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (sit up on the folded blanket); Wide-Legged Forward Bend

MENSTRUATION

Boat Pose; Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose; Plow Pose; Supported Headstand; Supported shoulder stand; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose

MIGRAINE

Bow Pose; Camel Pose; Fish Pose; Marichi’s Pose; Pigeon Pose; Revolved Triangle Pose

NECK PAIN OR INJURY

Boat Pose; Bow Pose; Bridge Pose; Camel Pose (avoid dropping your head back); Cat Pose (keep your head in line with the torso); Cow Face Pose; Cow Pose (keep your head in line with the torso); Dolphin Pose (keep knees bent); Extended Side Angle Pose (look straight ahead); Extended Triangle Pose (look straight ahead); Fish Pose; Half Moon Pose (look straight ahead); Happy Baby Pose (support head on a block); High Lunge (look down); Knee to chest pose (small blanket under the head); Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose; Locust Pose (look down); Pigeon Pose; Plow Pose; Revolved Belly Pose; Standing Half Forward Bend (look down); Supported Headstand; Supported shoulder stand; Two Foot Pose; Upward Plank Pose; Upward Salute (avoid the raised arms); Warrior I Pose (head in a neutral position); Warrior II Pose (look straight ahead)

PREGNANCY

Boat Pose; Cobra Pose; Corpse Pose (raise your head and chest on a bolster); Crane (Crow) Pose (avoid in the 2nd and 3rd trimester); Happy Baby Pose; Downward-Facing Dog (avoid late-term); Four-Limbed Staff Pose; Plow Pose; Supported Headstand; Supported shoulder stand; Upward Facing Dog

ROTATOR CUFF INJURY

Wild Thing

SHOULDER PAIN OR INJURY

Camel Pose; Cow Face Pose; Crane (Crow) Pose; Dolphin Pose (keep knees bent); Lord of the Dance Pose; Side Plank Pose; Upward Bow (Wheel) Pose; Upward Facing Dog; Upward Salute (avoid the raised arms); Warrior I Pose (raised arms parallel to each other)

WRIST PROBLEMS

Crane (Crow) Pose; Side Plank Pose; Staff Pose; Upward Plank Pose

VARICOSE VEINS

Eagle Pose, Cow Face Pose

Yoga Contraindications-Breathing Practices

ALTERNATE NOSTRIL BREATHING

High Blood Pressure; Migraine; High Anxiety; Cold; Fever; Flu; Blocked Sinuses

BEE BREATH
Migraine; Heart Ailments; High Blood Pressure; Ear Infection

THREE-PART BREATHING PRACTICE
Panic Attacks and Anxiety; Asthma

UJJAYI BREATH
Avoid tightening your throat; Heart Disease; Migraine