How to Prevent Yoga From Wrecking Your Body

Woman Doing Outdoor Yoga

yogawp1This is an oldie but goodie: A few years back the NY Times reported about the dangers of Yoga. I really got into the classes when I lived in Los Angeles from the mid 90′s to early 2000′s. I even went to hot  classes taught by Bikram himself before he was as famous as he is today. While my body could handle the heat then- I find now that 90 minutes straight stuck in a very hot room doing Bikram Yoga or nothing at all is just too much for me. I’m not sure if it’s the Lyme diagnosis or living in Florida but I had to step away from the hot classes.

At first it was tough on my ego as I was  advanced and enjoyed a tough workout. But when I went to a severely fast paced overly packed overly heated class here in Florida (I’m talking countless sweaty bodies stuffed like sardine into a tiny room) going at such a fast pace it was so obviously unhealthy and dangerous.

I had further confirmation of this when I ran into my chiropractor (at a slow relaxed hour long unheated class) who has been practicing nearly 30 years. He said he’d injured himself in a hot class and didn’t recommend it – especially for me.

Even though there are slow paced classes at our studio, there also power yoga classes where Yogis  then jump onto a bike for spinning afterward. I figured at least they’re not doing all this in a heated room..  At one of the local heated studios (not a Bikram facility) in town they had a DJ spinning (not on a bike :)music there the other day while young kids did yoga in a heated room. At least at this place they have infra red heat which is more gentle on the body than electric or even gas heated studios (God forbid it’s the other kind of gas- you might run into that too if it’s an after dinner class :-/

I’m all for exercising and for those who can do 90 minutes of fast paced moves (or hold the poses longer in Bikram) in the extreme heat – I take my hat off to them. But I must agree with my chiropractor that this can cause injuries as it did for even him. Take it easy at first and work your way up if you really need the heat. And  I recommend smaller classes  that are slower paced where you aren’t moving for 60 or 90 minutes like someone is hitting the fast forward button on the DVR the entire time!

Follow US

Erin Elizabeth


Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site is barely 4 years old, but cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. Erin was the recipient for the Doctors Who Rock "Truth in Journalism award for 2017. You can get Erin’s free e-book here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

P.S. You can subscribe to her Youtube Channel for breaking news, television appearances and more.
Follow US

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  • Caroline Barringer


  • Danielle Heard

    Looking Good Erin!

  • Chuck Bluestein

    Some of the hot yoga classes are hotter than they should be. Also Indians have it in their genes to handle hot weather. Whereas I heard that the hottest that it gets in Ireland is 85 degrees. You can do Bikram yoga at home and make the temperature anyway you want. Bikram wrote a book on his yoga with pictures.

  • Brenda Dyson

    fast paced does not sound like a Bikram class. My favorite yoga is Iyengar style because the teachers are well trained in body mechanics. I haven’t found Iyengar classes in St. Augustine, but I have given Bikram a try. I find that if I am well hydrated, I do well with the heat. I do think that our studio here is kept a bit cooler than some other Bikram studios because it is in Florida. I do have to keep my Iyengar yoga knowledge with me,however. I find that the teachers generally repeat the monologue but do not necessarily have good training in body mechanics. Some of them do and they are my favorite Bikram teachers. I agree that the slow paced yoga is the best. I do find Bikram classes to be a slow paced class. Not sure why you find it to be fast paced. I wonder why. Poses are held for quite a bit of time. I actually started to go because it is good for killing the spirochetes of Lyme Disease but it may have been too much in the throws of Lyme for you. I started after I was nearly fully recovered. I also find the heat helps to prevent injuries. It is possible for people to over-stretch. It is important to stay connected with one’s own body.

  • Broehe Karpenko

    One issue we have in yoga is that often we are not conditioned to notice how our body naturally is, how to read pain signals well, and we are taught to push through pain and struggle to attain an advanced yoga pose, even if we are beginners, meaning several years in. This is not the spiritual way to practice yoga. In a true yoga, we are present to how our bodies are. With knowledge of the truth of our bodies, we learn when to push and when to accept and just be with where we are at, and not striving for a more advanced version of a pose that our body is not prepared for. We often expect perfection from our bodies, yet we are still learning how to start with accepting ourselves where we are at. Barring accidents, congenital issues, unhealed injuries, new injuries from yoga are prevented when we have learned to put down our egos. Its the hardest thing.

  • Broehe Karpenko

    I took Bikram classes 4 days a week for a year and a half and progressed well. I like that the poses are held for a long time and repeated, as the body memory kicks in and starts to organize well around a healing pose. As a beginner it took 4 sessions before I could do the whole class without laying down. I believe it is very detoxifying and my body needs to adjust. I credit the work to helping my health. I did get injured however; at home at room temperature I wanted to stretch and my body memory put my leg in the position it knows it can stretch. Unfortunately my body only knew how to stretch into that position at 100 degrees, and I tore a groin muscle which took over 5 years to heal. So I don’t do Bikram anymore only because it separates my yoga/stretching time to only doing it in a Bikram or hot yoga class or sauna and that’s just not real life for me.