The Negative Side Effects of Yoga Every Yogi Should Know

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Injuries are expected to happen every time you do exercises. They might be caused by nature like stumbling over a stone while jogging or someone’s recklessness like lifting heavy loads without any safety measures. Moreover, though in the eyes of many, it is simple to do, yoga can cause possible injuries, too.

According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, yoga injuries like torn muscles, damaged herniated disks, and severed carpal tunnels are very common in emergency rooms. Even not so severe complaints due to the neck, shoulder, back, and knee pains from doing yoga are typical in any doctor’s offices. Additionally, listed here are the other adverse side effects of doing yoga.

Rotator Cuff

While it’s an excellent way to tone your core and arms, Chaturanga, also called as Chaturanga dandasana or low planking (if you don’t know how to read the first term well), is one of the most common challenging yoga poses that can harm you. It is done like doing an upward push-up while bending your elbows.

Research shows that improper alignment on this position can result in extensive damage to shoulders, wrists, and elbow. Repeatedly performing this incorrect pose can overtax and risk your joints, too.

What’s more, misaligned Chaturanga can cause rotator cuff injuries where the tendons that connect bones to muscles can tear, strain, or overstretch and usually accompanied with arm weakness.

Back injury

Aside from Chaturanga, forward folds can also cause injuries in one’s back. Over-aggressively performing it would irritate the already vulnerable disks in one’s back. You may experience a severe spinal side effect if you overly round or attempt to go far before warming up. Don’t be hard-headed and always follow the proper flow of doing yoga poses.

Glaucoma Complications

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damages optic nerves, which often caused by uncommon high pressure in one’s eyes. This disorder can lead to someone’s blindness for many individuals over the age of 60.

In regards to extreme pressures, there are many yoga positions that can cause increased ocular pressures from performing inversions. For instance, headstand and shoulder stands are done with body upside down. Be careful in doing these positions, especially when you’re suffering from glaucoma.

Muscle strain

Like any workout training, after doing a bunch of yoga poses, your body will turn sore. To describe it more clearly, any exercises will lead to muscle contractions that will also cause microscopic tears to one’s muscles and tissues.

Now in yoga sessions, we always stretch. Don’t get me wrong. Stretching is absolutely fine. It is just overstretching would be detrimental to one’s health not only in yoga but also in other aspects. For instance, ballistic stretches done by ballerinas can injure their connective tissue or tendons when overdone.

Overstretching always happens when you ignore the signs of your body warnings and go beyond your limitations. In doing yoga, always stretch to experience a “mild” pull, instead of extreme pulling or tension.

High Blood Pressure

Yoga consists of challenging poses. Many poses can lead to inversion positions and one’s forceful breathing, which both may eventually cause an increase in one’s blood pressure. If you have a medical history of having high blood pressures, avoid performing specific yoga practices, like Breath of Fire. The name itself implies that it is contraindicated for hypertension patients.

Heat Exhaustion to Heatstroke

Do you need a cup of coffee or a siesta after doing yoga? Exhaustion can be the result of exerting or straining too much after your yoga session, like any other results from other workout training.

Heat exhaustion may happen after performing power, or hot yoga session. It may strip your body of sodium (salt depletion) and electrolytes (water depletion), causing you to experience weakness, dizziness, or even nausea. While it is considered as a result of over-working your body, fatigue can also be a sign of heat exhaustion, which may lead to heatstroke.

Heat Exhaustion Measures

Here are some measures you can do to treat heat exhaustion:

  1. Stay hydrated. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol, drink sports drinks or coconut water, instead. Drinking these beverages can replace depleted salt and electrolytes. By the way, coconut water is one of the natural pre-workout drinks, so it’s beneficial for your health.
  2. After working out, immerse yourself in a cool or cold shower or bath. Studies had proven the benefits of cold/ice bath in lowering body temperature and reducing the risks of organ damage or death, which may happen due to extreme body heat.
  3. If cold water is not around, remove unnecessary clothing or use other cooling measures like ice towels or fans.

If these treatments fail to give you any relief and your discomfort worsens with 15 minutes, immediately seek medical help. Again, untreated heat exhaustion may progress to heatstroke.

Increasing body heat after working out is normal. However, if it persists almost every after yoga class, then you must be heedful about this. Always make sure to perform movements at your own pace. To recoup your energy, a child’s and hero’s poses are great restorative postures to do.

Take breaks if you think you need some time to recover. Of course, consult your yoga instructor about this concern first before walking out of the gym. Apart from hydration, recovery is necessary, especially when soreness and your lactic acid are continuing to build up in your muscles.


Of course, again, injuries only happen if you’re not careful. Always listen to whatever your body says. If you experience extreme pain and discomfort, don’t jump to conclusions and think like: “It’s okay. Pain means burning calories.” No!

Speak up and inform your yoga instructor about what you’re feeling while doing a specific yoga pose so he/she can modify the position at your security. Don’t expect that teachers know everything, including what you’re experiencing at the moment. Keep in mind that the teacher is there not only for your health but to your safety too.