Like strict veganism and watching Seinfeld, yoga is a daily practice certain people swear by.

“It helps me unwind and find stillness,” people rave. 

“Yoga changed my life.”

All the power to those people. If you find a practice that improves your quality of life, omm your heart out. 

Yoga Can Actually Make Your Injuries Even Worse, Zen-Busting Study Finds

For others though, yoga is a special hell.

If you live in the inner city, most classes are $25+ a pop. They’re filled to the brim with outrageously flexible people wearing outrageously expensive tights. No matter how many times you wipe down that mat, you’re still slipping in downward dog.

If you’re one of those people who just can’t get into yoga, we have some news that might make you feel a little less bad.

According to a new study by the University of Sydney, yoga causes musculoskeletal pain in more than 10% of participants. The same study found that the ancient practice also exacerbated 21% of existing injuries.

“Yoga may be a bit more dangerous than previously thought,” lead researcher and Associate Professor, Evangelos Pappas, said.

“Our study found that the incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10% per year, which is comparable to the rate of all sports injuries combined among the physically active population.”

The study, published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, followed over 350 yogis across two studios in New York

The participants, who were mainly women over the age of 45, were tasked with completing a questionnaire at the beginning and end of one year of practice. 13.3% of participants reported experiencing “new” pain in their shoulders, elbows, wrists or hands.

Interestingly enough, Pappas isn’t some hellbent yoga hater. He himself is a yoga teacher. He reckons this research makes a lot of sense as our upper extremities weren’t designed to support heaps of weight.

“In yoga you actually have a lot of these inversions, the downward dogs, that put lots of weight on the upper extremities,” he said.

It’s not all bad news though, so if you’re a yogi, don’t flip. 74% of respondents did report yoga relieved pain in the lower back and the neck.

“These findings can be useful for clinicians and individuals to compare the risks of yoga to other exercise, enabling them to make informed decisions about which types of activity are best,” said Pappas.

In short, if you’re going into a yoga class with existing troubles in your upper body, it’s best to let the teacher know so they can sling you some posture modifications.

Source: The Guardian.

Photo: Forgetting Sarah Marshall.