I have a new article targeted toward practicing PTs on the website, PutMeBackTogether.com called When is it Safe to Return to Yoga Class? Here's a condensed version:
There are more than 15 million people in America who practice yoga according to a 2008 Yoga Journal study. It’s likely that that number is even higher now, four years later. It’s inevitable that a physical therapist working in an outpatient clinic will face the question, “When can I go back to yoga class?” or “Is taking yoga a good idea for me?”
Earlier this year, the NYT Magazine caused quite a stir when they published an article entitled “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”. Given the popular hysteria that resulted from this article, PTs may feel more obliged than ever to make sure our patients are not putting themselves at risk by doing yoga. Here are some basic criteria you can use to help you guide your patient to a safe return to a community-based yoga class.
- Always recommend that your patient start with a gentle or beginner level class even if they are not a beginner.
- Make sure your patient has full and painless range of motion in their affected joint.
- There is a psychological element of participating in a class that stokes a natural tendency to compete with other students or to want to perform well for the teacher.
- Forge a relationship with one or more teachers in your community who you can trust.
- Your patient should demonstrate independence with awareness of proper alignment and neuromuscular control of the involved body part.
- Consult The Pragmatic Yogi!