The video from NCCIH includes:
A look at innovative technology that examines how older people use their muscles and joints in certain yoga postures. (George Salem, Ph.D., University of Southern California)
An overview of a rigorously designed study that shows yoga may benefit people with chronic low-back pain, a common and difficult-to-treat problem. (Karen Sherman, Ph.D., M.P.H., Group Health Research Institute)
Valuable “dos and don’ts” for consumers who are thinking about practicing yoga.
If You Are Considering Practicing Yoga
Do not use yoga to replace conventional medical care or to postpone seeing a health care provider about pain or any other medical condition.
If you have a medical condition, talk to your health care provider before starting yoga.
Ask a trusted source (such as your health care provider or a nearby hospital) to recommend a yoga practitioner. Find out about the training and experience of any practitioner you are considering. To learn more, see Selecting a Complementary Medicine Practitioner.
Everyone’s body is different, and yoga postures should be modified based on individual abilities. Carefully selecting an instructor who is experienced with and attentive to your needs is an important step toward helping you practice yoga safely. Ask about the physical demands of the type of yoga in which you are interested and inform your yoga instructor about any medical issues you have.
Carefully think about the type of yoga you are interested in. For example, hot yoga (such as Bikram yoga) may involve standing and moving in humid environments with temperatures as high as 105°F. Because such settings may be physically stressful, people who practice hot yoga should take certain precautions. These include drinking water before, during, and after a hot yoga practice and wearing suitable clothing. People with conditions that may be affected by excessive heat, such as heart disease, lung disease, and a prior history of heatstroke may want to avoid this form of yoga. Women who are pregnant may want to check with their health care providers before starting hot yoga.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.