I have been doing the same yoga exercise for years as a preventive and a cure for my spinal problems. It seems to help well and I think I might have been a stationary patient without those yoga poses. I never went for more than those few basic things that helped me though. Apparently, that was a good thing too.
I came across an article in The New York Times Magazine from 2012 that talks about the dark side of yoga classes. Apparently, we are all too hyped up on the usefulness of yoga and on how great it is to cure practically anything. What we do not know and never think about is that yoga could be extremely harmful.
“…awareness is more important than rushing through a series of postures just to say you’d done them. But then he said something more radical. Black has come to believe that “the vast majority of people” should give up yoga altogether. It’s simply too likely to cause harm.”
The yoga poses are developed in India where the everyday activities are quite different, for example, people customarily sit with their legs crossed under. These poses are not at all natural for the Western people. Another problem is that many teachers provoke students (or stimulate student’s own indulgence) to take more and more strenuous poses, causing eventually serious bodily harm in physically unprepared. The problems are numerous and we should be well aware of them before going too far. Yoga is actually suitable for physically fit and well-stretched people.
Read the article: “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body“.