10 Yoga Poses You Should Avoid

On Fire Fitness & Physical Therapy has one mission: promoting fitness, health and lifestyle changes we all need to stay happy and healthy well into our senior years.

The human body has a natural ability to heal itself. Yoga is an ancient tradition that uses poses, breathing techniques, and meditation to help the body heal. It is important for yoga practitioners to know which poses they should avoid in order to prevent injury or pain. These are 10 of the most common ones:


This inversion pose is one of the most challenging yoga poses. It should be avoided by anyone with high blood pressure, glaucoma, detached retinas, or severe migraines. People who have had recent back surgery or disk problems should also steer clear of this posture.

Absolute contraindications for headstand include heart disease, cervical spondylitis, and cervical spine instability.

Shoulder Stand

This pose is performed by lying down and then raising the legs above the head so that they rest on a chair or other raised object. While not dangerous for most people, it should be avoided by pregnant women or anyone with neck pain.

Shoulderstand can also cause eye problems for people who already have them, so practitioners with glaucoma are advised to avoid this pose.

Bow pose

This pose is performed by lying on the stomach with the arms stretched out, then lifting the chest and legs off of the ground. This pose should be avoided by pregnant women because it can cause pre-term contractions in many women.

Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Performed by resting on all fours and then slowly raising the upper body into an upright position while keeping both feet flat on the floor. This pose puts a lot of pressure on the lower back for anyone who already has back problems or osteoporosis. People with these conditions are advised to avoid this posture altogether.

Wheel pose

This is a backbend performed by lying flat on the stomach with the arms at the sides. While not harmful for many people, it can cause problems for anyone who already has low blood pressure or back pain. Many yoga practitioners with bad backs avoid this posture completely to prevent aggravating their condition.

Half Moon

 This is a yoga pose that involves sitting in the lotus position, then raising the arms above the head. It is a mild backbend and should not be performed by anyone who has an existing back injury or spinal problems.

Camel pose

Performed by kneeling on hands and knees, then lifting one leg to rest on top of the other thigh. This pose can be harmful to people who already have neck instability because it requires them to tilt their heads backward significantly.

Locust pose

This posture involves lying face down with both legs lifted off of the ground so they are parallel with each other and perpendicular to the floor. The locust stretch also requires significant movement of the head from side to side, which can be especially problematic for people with neck injuries.

Pigeon pose

This is a yoga posture that requires practitioners to sit on the floor, then raise one leg until it is vertical with the hip flexed and knee bent ninety degrees while keeping the other leg extended in front of them. People who have any lower back issues should avoid this position because it can aggravate their existing problem.

Sun Salutation

This is a yoga routine that involves several poses performed in sequence. It’s challenging for people who have knee problems because it requires them to jump into the air repeatedly, putting unnecessary pressure on their joints. Some yoga experts recommend avoiding this series of exercises altogether so as to avoid doing further damage to already injured knees.

Sun Salutation should also be avoided by people with heart disease or glaucoma because it places an increased workload on the cardiovascular system and has been known to trigger irregular heartbeats in some individuals. People with insomnia should also stay clear of Sun Salutation because they may find themselves unable to fall asleep after performing it.

We hope you enjoyed our list of 10 poses that can cause injuries if done incorrectly. Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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On Fire Fitness & Physical Therapy has one mission: promoting fitness, health, and lifestyle changes we all need to stay happy and healthy well into our senior years. Starting small, focusing on one behavior at a time, and support from others can help you achieve your exercise or other health-related goals. Making a lifestyle change can be challenging, especially when you want to transform many things at once. But we know, the hardest step in climbing to the top of a mountain is the first one.

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