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8 Yoga Poses to Avoid If You Have a Herniated Disc

Anne Jones
Author:
July 8, 2011
Anne Jones
Registered Yoga Teacher
By Anne Jones
Registered Yoga Teacher
Anne is a registered massage therapist, E-RYT, fitness professional, anatomy instructor, personal trainer, and former journalist.
July 8, 2011

People who have sustained a bulged or herniated disc may be afraid to do yoga. A herniated disc is most commonly the result or chronic flexion (forward bending) movements, especially while picking up a heavy load. This can result in chronic low backaches.

Stretching and yoga can assist in recovery, ease low back pain and lengthen tight hamstrings, but overstretching or stretching improperly can often make the situation worse. Private instruction is always the most appropriate and beneficial way to practice if you have a herniated disc, but if you are in a public class or practicing at home, try to avoid the following poses.

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1. Balasana without support. Instead, try Balasana with your trunk supported on a bolster or thick blankets.

2. Janu Sirsasana. Instead, stretch the hamstrings with Supta Padangustasana with a strap around your foot. Begin with your knee bent and slowly work towards gently straightening it.

3. Marichyasana I

4. Padangusthasana or Uttanasana with straight legs

5. Paschimottanasana

6. Upavista Konasana. Instead, try Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Cobbler’s or Reclining Goddess in English) with a block or support under each outer thigh, or Prasarita Padottanasana with your hands on the back of a chair or two blocks on the floor.

7. Any pose where your back is rounded.

8. Any pose that causes numbness, shooting pain, or tingling.

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Anne Jones
Anne Jones
Registered Yoga Teacher

Anne is a Registered Massage Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher, fitness professional, anatomy instructor, personal trainer, and former journalist. She works at South Langley Massage Therapy, seeing massage therapy and private yoga clients. She also trains fitness and private yoga clients in the early mornings, evenings, and on the weekend in person and via FaceTime/Skype. Anne also teaches the anatomy portion of the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Vayusha Yoga and myofascial release and yoga workshops at Thrive Movement Studio, both in South Surrey, outside of Vancouver, B.C. She currently lives in Cloverdale, B.C. with her daughter, her husband, and their tiny dog, Kenzie.