Sunday, December 26, 2010
Indian Doctors Say Yoga Not Good For Knees
Yoga may be good for your karma, but is terrible for your knees, an Indian orthopaedic surgeon has warned. Dr Ashok Rajgopal says he has performed knee replacement surgery on a number of leading yoga gurus. His warnings are a serious challenge to those who say yoga, which is now a multi-billion pound global industry, can ward off the effects of ageing and leave devotees feeling fitter, stronger and at peace with the world.
Some of its most charismatic teachers, like India's Baba Ramdev, who has built a worldwide empire through television appearances, believe its breathing exercises can even cure diseases like HIV Aids and cancer. In the United States alone, more than £4 billion a year is spent on yoga equipment and 15 million people are regular practitioners. But according to Dr Rajgopal, the extreme stretching exercises at the heart of the discipline cause severe stress on joints, leading to arthritis. He has seen a higher incidence of joint and bone ailments among yoga followers.
"Yoga is wonderful provided it is done in a controlled environment, and people are trained and built up to doing such postures but putting the public at large through these extreme yoga postures can create problems for them," he said.
"Many yoga gurus had to undergo knee surgeries, they had been affected by yoga postures," he told.
"Extreme postures like acute deep knee bends, particularly for people who are not used to doing these postures, it is definitely harmful to them in terms of the abnormal stresses, and damage to cartilages. In that respect it is harmful."
He said he had seen particular problems among people who had practised yoga in classes of more than 100 people.