Therapist Warns Yoga Teachers of Possible Serious Hip Problems

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. intensive / ɪnˈtɛn sɪv / (adj) – using great force and effort

    The five-week intensive training prepared me well for the marathon.

  2. modify / ˈmɒd əˌfaɪ / (v) – to change some parts or details of something

    I asked my trainer to modify the exercise routine to make it easier for me.

  3. suitable / ˈsu tə bəl / (adj) – appropriate for something

    Jogging is suitable for people who are just beginning to do cardio exercises.

  4. burden / ˈbɜr dn / (v) – to cause someone to deal with something difficult

    She needed time to relax because she was burdened with stress.

  5. anatomy / əˈnæt ə mi / (n) – the science dealing with the structure of the human body

    We studied bone structure in our anatomy class.


Read the text below.

Leading British physiotherapist Benoy Matthew warned yoga teachers against permanently damaging their hips because of intensive yoga practice.

Recently, an increasing number of yoga teachers have been seeking treatment for serious hip problems. Most of them ask therapists for advice on how to modify yoga positions to avoid injuries. However, some have developed advanced hip problems that require treatment and surgery. According to Matthew, these problems happen when people frequently do yoga poses that are difficult for their body structure. Because people have different body types, not all yoga positions are suitable for everyone.

Yoga teachers run the risk of developing hip problems as the demand for yoga classes increases. One instructor said that the high demands are causing some teachers to burden their bodies with heavy workloads. Some instructors even have to teach five times a day, while some hold classes even on weekends.

Matthew said that because instructors do yoga quite often, they tend to disregard other forms of exercise like cardio or cross-training. He suggested adding a variety of exercises to lower their injury risk.

In addition to this, Matthew also recommended that new yoga teachers undergo physical assessment. This will give them awareness of their body type and help them identify what types of yoga positions are appropriate for them.

Pip White, another physiotherapist, emphasized the importance of understanding personal limitations to practice yoga safely and fully enjoy its benefits. UK yoga practitioners may seek help from the British Wheel of Yoga, which governs yoga groups in England. The organization offers programs that include anatomy lessons that can help students and teachers modify yoga positions.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In your opinion, should yoga teachers still be allowed to go back to teaching after being treated for a yoga-related injury? Why or why not?
• Aside from yoga, what other forms of exercise should people be cautious of (e.g. running, swimming)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think everyone should undergo physical examinations to make sure that his or her body is fit for a certain exercise or sport? Why or why not?
• Aside from physical examination, what are the things that a person should consider before trying a new exercise or sport? Discuss.