Can I see the poses I select? Is there a definition of conditions I’m not familiar with?
You can see a picture of each pose by clicking on it. The contraindications for it are listed just below it. Click on the contraindication and you’ll see a definition. There is also a glossary of yoga poses and medical conditions. We’ll be adding new ones over time.
Does YIP give yoga poses with therapeutic benefits for the conditions
Yes. We have added therapeutic poses to help with each condition for which there is genuine evidence that yoga helps, and for the other conditions, stated that there is not good evidence of yoga's benefit for those conditions. We then give explanations of why that pose is beneficial for that condition, and give the reference. There are frequently also pictures or short videos intended to help people use the information to benefit people with the condition.
Does this site help with work-arounds, for example, if someone has a frozen shoulder and wants to do Warrior I?
YIP does this in three ways: If you’ve clicked on a pose and see its contraindications listed below it, just click on the contraindication and you’ll see 1) a description of the contraindicated condition, 2) an explanation of why that pose is contraindicated for people with that condition, and 3) Work-arounds for each of the contraindicated conditions for each pose. In a few cases, where the contraindication is absolute, like headstand with glaucoma, or twists in late pregnancy, no workarounds are offered.
How can I use this with a class I'm teaching? There are many students with different conditions.
You can enter all the medical conditions of all the patients at once, and then look for "Safe Poses." All the poses that come up can safely be done by everyone in the class. Alternatively, if there are, say, three different groups with several different complaints in each group, then you can put in each group of complaints separately, and then look for the safe or unsafe poses for each group, and then separate the classes and give each group different poses. For a single patient with many conditions, just put them all in, and then seen which conditions are safe, which are unsafe, and then you can put in the conditions one at a time and see which poses are beneficial for each of the conditions.
How did you decide which poses to include?
We used the poses required for the first few Iyengar certifications, and added others we felt were important. We are willing to add just about any yoga pose that is suggested.
If a person has more than one condition, is it necessary to go through the look-up for each condition?
No. YIP can take any number of conditions at once, and give you the poses that are not contraindicated for any and for all of them. For example, if you’re seeing someone with a total knee replacement, herniated lumbar disc, and glaucoma, put all three conditions in before you hit “clear all filters,” and you will get the poses compatible with all three conditions. Virasana (Hero Pose) will not show up because of the total knee replacement, Paschimottanasana will be absent because of the herniated disc, and Sirsasana (Headstand) will not be there due to glaucoma.
What happens when new evidence comes around proving or disproving the benefit of yoga for some specific condition?
That’s the living aspect of YIP: We are always ready to look again at the contraindications, explanations, work-arounds and therapeutic poses. Things change, and we know we are not infallible.
What if I want to add a pose, or a picture, or disagree with a contraindication, or want to add one?
Please write to us at Info@YIP.guru. If you want to add a condition, we’ll go through the poses and see which poses are contraindicated for it. If you think you have a better picture of any pose, please send it to us with the name of the photographer and the person photographed; if we agree it’ll go right up, and the names will appear in the Acknowledgement section.
What is the Yogatherapedia?
The Yogatherapedia contains the descriptions of the 70 conditions, the beneficial poses for them, the explanations why they are helpful, the references attesting to their actual benefit, the lists of safe and unsafe poses for the different conditions, the benefits listed for the poses themselves, and the blogs. Soon we will be adding videos that should help people apply the suggested poses, and describe some yoga-like maneuvers that are also valuable.
Who reviews suggestions?
Dr. Fishman, Victor Oppenheimer, and Carrie Owerko. We will call upon further medical and yoga specialists and experts if needed.