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Sirsasana and Sarvangasana for people with myopia
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November 1, 2009 - 8:30 am
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I have been suffering from myopia since I was 17 but never had any operation on my eyes. I wanted to start doing Sirsasana and Sarvangasana but before I do that I want to make sure that it is not contraindicated for me as most of the sources on yoga advise against it for people suffering for eye problem. Sadly, the sources on internet just say eye problem but there are many eye problems around so it is hard for me to know if myopia is serious one and could prevent me for doing Sirsasana and Sarvangasana.

Many thanks for your response and time in advance.

God Bless You!

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November 1, 2009 - 5:50 pm
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Namaskar Foxcode,

Most of the inversions that are contraindicated for eye conditions are related to the pressure of blood and fluids being directed toward a weak point. In the case of glaucoma, a person could be blinded by preforming inversions.

In the case of myopia this is an eyesight abnormality resulting from the eye's faulty refractive ability; distant objects appear blurred. Often called nearsightedness, the eye ball is too long for the focusing power of the eye.

There are at least 7 forms of myopia and different degrees of them. The fact that you didn't have surgery should be a sign that you can do inverted yoga asanas. But please speak to your doctor because he or she knows your case better than I do.

Best of luck,

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November 1, 2009 - 8:01 pm
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Namaskar Yogananda,

Thank you for your response. I will check my doctor first before getting into doing inversions.

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MSook

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November 2, 2009 - 12:41 pm
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Namaskar!

This is a good question and good information. As Yogananda mentioned Myopia can be caused by an eye ball that is longer than usual. It can also be caused or by a condition that prevents light rays from focusing on the retina. It is good to discuss this with your doctor, but I'm reasonably sure you will get the "go ahead. Please let us know what your doctor says.

Peace,
M Sook

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November 3, 2009 - 11:43 am
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My understanding restrictions with inversions have to do with retina health, imparticularly retina detachment issues. This is easily viewed in an eye exam and your doctor can tell you if your eyes are healthy or not. I have had myopia since I was a kid and do inversions without any problems. If you experience flashes of light or any discomfort you should discuss them with your doctor but I would think you are good to practice inversions. Jeanette http://www.yoga-yingo.com

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November 4, 2009 - 2:53 pm
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Hi Everyone,

I agree with Jeanette. It never hurts to talk to your doctor, but inverted asanas should be avoided by those with a retinal detachment or narrow angle glaucoma. In addition to that, a retinal detachment can be caused by high blood pressure, or an air embolus, both of which may be affected by the increased circulation of an inversion. However, myopia isn't likely to be affected by inversion.

Peace,
Steph

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November 4, 2009 - 8:24 pm
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thank you all for your responses :)

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February 8, 2010 - 4:27 pm
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Hi

Back to Myopia - It hasn't got a thing to do with Yoga hampering your practice. This was a good question, but some students are looking for any excuse to call it quits. I don't want to hurt my students but some of them need a swift Bikram kick in the pants!

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February 9, 2010 - 6:50 am
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Kick in the pants aside, it's good for people to know the truth when they have concerns over Yoga contraindications.

Yoga Contraindications for Pre-Existing Eye Problems

Is it true that some yoga positions have been medically linked to pre-existing eye problems? People take gratification in the knowledge that medical professionals are giving sound, but people with pre-existing eye problems should be careful with inversions.

Inverted yoga asanas (positions) like a headstand and semi-inversions, like the "downward dog" have been linked to pre-existing eye conditions due to the pressure, which can worsen some medical problems.

Yoga injuries have caused quite a stir in the media lately. Increased medical attention and some high risk minded individuals are bringing quite a bit of bad attention to a normally safe activity these days.

People that are injured while performing yoga do not earn an exercise honor badge nor does this preferred yoga routine indicate that the person is committed to the yoga Asana teachings. The medical attitude is that yoga training is completely misguiding individuals with the training.

Yoga teaching training programs should completely provide asana safety education to all of their interns concerning risks that could lead to injuries and risks that can make pre-existing medical worse if students continue high-risk asana training.

Certain yoga poses, straining during defecation, squatting, various acrobatic and gymnastic maneuvers have been medically linked and identified to stimulate or trigger (IOP) temporary increased intra-occular pressure bilaterally, which has to be avoided with people that have glaucoma, macular degenerations, increased myopia, tears in their retinas bilaterally, and detachment disorders in the person's retinas bilaterally as well.

Practicing yoga without the inversion sequence poses has been compared to a person being married only to themselves and not having a spouse around, making lemonade with other fruit besides the necessary lemons or having a human body without blood circulating through a human heart--All of these comparison views are missing their essence for life.

Asana inversion poses allow yoga exercise regimens to be set apart from other exercise disciplines available. The yoga inversion poses allow the yoga group to visualize things from a different angle from a psychological standpoint. Yoga guides the energy of creation and personal power towards the center of the human body and its heart, stimulating exploring themselves and promoting inner growth emotionally. Yoga poses also allows stimulation to both immune and endocrine systems in a person. This nourishes the brain and other vital organs. If a person does the yoga poses correctly, the poses may release tensions in the entire spine regions, the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar areas respectfully.

So the the casual question about the dangers of inversions for eye problems, heart problems, high blood pressure, neurological disorders is now more than it appears. To get the most reliable information you should speak with your doctor. Most yoga instructors are not qualified to make a statement of medical fact.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks of performing yoga inversion poses? Individuals will have to decide this for themselves - Yoga, as well as any other physical discipline, has pros and also cons. If a person knows that they actually have glaucoma or any other medical condition listed before signing up for the yoga regimens, please consult with your yoga teacher and your medical physician before beginning the program. As yoga instructors most of you already know the danger of inversions, but it's important that every yoga teacher training program educate its interns about the facts.

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