You’ve probably heard from plenty of different people that yoga is a practice and form of exercise that anyone and everyone can try out for themselves.
Whether it’s yoga gurus, fitness instructors, health bloggers, or anyone else for that matter, it’s very hard to go through life and to hear how yoga helps both calm your mind, and work on your strength, stamina, flexibility, and pretty much any other aspect of health out there.
And, largely speaking, this is still true. Yoga is by far one of the most accessible forms of yoga and meditation out there, with only yourself and a flat surface needed to get started practicing poses/asanas.
However, despite all these great aspects going for it, yoga isn’t perfect. It’s not going to be ideal, or even possible, for some groups of people as a way to exercise or practice mindfulness.
Many people don’t even realize that, and can often go into yoga lessons expecting to come out rejuvenated and energized, when they may accidentally burn themselves out. Or worse, hurt themselves.
That’s what this guide is here to solve. Not only will we tell you which groups of people should maybe think twice before picking up this practice, but also other helpful tips to consider when deciding on picking up yoga.
Groups Of People That Yoga May Not Be Great For
So, let’s start covering the groups of people that probably need to do their research before deciding if yoga is the best exercise for them.
It’s important to note that being someone who might fall into one of these categories doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to do yoga, or even shouldn’t try it at some point.
Rather, it’s about the expectations that you have for yoga when starting, and whether yoga is the best way to meet those expectations.
Think of this guide less as a hard yes-or-no list of groups that can’t do yoga and more as a fact-finding or myth-busting guide. We’re here to help manage your expectations, not to shoot down all your hopes and dreams!
People Who Get Short-Breath Easily
One of the core aspects of yoga is learning how to breathe.
Yes, that sounds obvious, but some genuine breathing techniques are necessary to learn how to perform the various poses/asanas in yoga. Inhaling at the right time, exhaling to allow your body to stretch further.
If you aren’t trying to learn, or simply cannot learn these techniques, then you’ll find that you’ll overexert yourself, trying to hold these poses without the proper support
You’re supposed to be out of breath after you’ve practiced the whole sequence is finished that you’re feeling short of breath, not in the middle of it!
If you are practicing these breathing exercises, and you do find that you’re still gasping for air between poses and movements, then you should be consulting a health professional.
More than likely, you’ll need to address whatever pre-existing health condition you have, before being able to properly start yoga.
This one should be a pretty obvious example. Your flexibility and overall health are pretty hampered while you’re carrying a developing baby in your body!
If you are interested in starting to learn yoga, we would recommend avoiding most types of physical practice until you’ve finished the third trimester, had your baby, and fully recovered, before considering trying out yoga.
That being said, some positions, such as the cat/cow pose, can be performed during the first and second trimesters. Still, make sure to do your research on what poses can and can’t be done during this often joyous, but also challenging, time of your life.
People Who Get Easily Exhausted
In the same way that being out of breath during a yoga routine is a bad sign, being physically tired during or after a yoga sequence is also a sign that you probably shouldn’t be doing yoga right now.
While yoga can certainly cause some strain or discomfort after a full sequence (especially after trying out advanced asanas for the first time) it isn’t an activity that most would describe as ‘tiring’.
Benign tired during or after a yoga sequence is finished is likely a sign of chronic fatigue or some other issue, one that yoga alone can’t solve. Make sure to consult a medical professional if you find this is the case for you.
When Yoga Causes Pain
You’ll often hear how yoga is a particularly great way of managing and alleviating mild pain and discomfort around your body. I mean, how many times have you searched for yoga poses that can help you deal with lower back pain?
It is true that when practiced right and for long enough, the muscles that often cause this discomfort can be worked and made more flexible.
But if you’re expecting your shoulder or side pain that you’ve had for a while to just instantly disappear, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
On that subject, while it isn’t a surprise to be feeling a little discomfort or soreness after a good yoga sequence, you shouldn’t be feeling any sharp pain while performing any of the asanas.
If you’re experiencing any pain like that, make sure that you contact and inform a medical professional as soon as possible. There’s a good chance that the pain is a sign of something pretty bad, and can’t just be solved by going into a butterfly pose.
People Looking To Lose Weight Fast
It’s something that we’re all probably guilty of, at least a little bit. Perhaps you follow a fitness and wellness blogger or influencer, and you’ve seen them take up yoga, and have some pretty startling results.
Maybe you’ve seen a shredded dude at the gym, asked them what their workout consists of, and they’ve mentioned starting with yoga.
There are a ton of different ways that it can happen, but the gist is the same: ‘It’s worked for making other people look great, so it must work for me, right?’
Well, the answer to that is… maybe. But probably not, and not in the same way as everyone else.
Yes, it is technically true that some people have lost considerable amounts of weight while practicing yoga. But Yoga, by itself, is very rarely the full picture.
Remember, yoga started and continues to be, a practice for flexibility. Looking amazing, while seemingly the same on the surface, very rarely factors into those two goals.
Chances are that people who have cut/amazing figures and practice some yoga will also use yoga poses and stretches as a warm-up to some kind of exercise that is tailored to weight loss and management, such as running, cycling, crunches, heavy weights, and so on.
Again, keep in mind that, for thousands of years, yoga has been a series of practices that are there to achieve some kind of spiritual, mental, or physical enlightenment, before it was ever just a slimming routine.
Looking good is a distant second, and even third place to both managing physical health, and mind/body synergy.
Constantly Restless Minds
I know, this might seem counterintuitive at first. One of the biggest things that people love to talk about is how yoga can help you meditate and calm or mind, or practice some form of mindfulness.
However, the truth is that it does these things if you’re in the right state of mind.
If you are someone that suffers from chronic anxiety or, a feeling of restlessness, or any other condition that might make it difficult to focus or concentrate for long periods, you’re not suddenly going to solve those problems by completing a yoga set once or twice.
If you’re expecting those results, you should be looking for a therapist, not a yoga guru!
In these instances, trying to pick up yoga while suffering from severe anxiety, depression, or restlessness is a little like trying to pump air into a tire that has a massive puncture hole in it:
Yes, you may be able to keep it going for a short while. But if you don’t address the main problem first, you’ll be right back to where you started.
That being said, don’t discount the potentially great effect of practicing yoga on your mental health once you are in the right headspace. In these instances, yoga becomes an invaluable tool for maintaining a good or at-peace state of mind.
Whether it’s the sense of fulfillment that you get from completing a set, or the social aspect of meeting with others if you’re more extroverted.
But, again, that’s for if you’re in the right state of mind.
Final Notes – Is Picking Up Yoga The Right Move?
So, overall, there are some issues when it comes to if some people can or should be practicing yoga.
In the end, it’s important to remember that yoga is just as much a journey that has a very distant end goal, rather than just a physical exercise.
If you’re looking for quick results for losing weight, dealing with pain, or handling your anxiety, you’ll need to look for help elsewhere for the moment.
Remember: Just because yoga isn’t for you right now, doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future.
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