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You may have perfected the lotus, the half tortoise or even the sleeping hero.
But yoga may do more harm than good, research reveals.
The risk of pain is said to be ten times higher than feared – while the practice causes as many injuries as sports, scientists have warned.
Celebrity fans of the exercise regime, said to boost physical and mental wellbeing, include Beyonce, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and David and Victoria Beckham.
But a study found it causes musculoskeletal pain – mostly in the arms – in more than one in ten who use it.
It also worsened a fifth of existing injuries, found academics in Australia and the US.
Professor Evangelos Pappas, of Sydney University, said: ‘Yoga may be a bit more dangerous than previously thought.
‘Our study found the incidence of pain caused by yoga is more than 10 per cent per year – which is comparable to the rate of all sports injuries combined among the physically active population. However people consider it to be a very safe activity. This injury rate is up to 10 times higher than has previously been reported.'
Yoga involves achieving a series of postures and movements designed to increase strength, flexibility and breathing. It is an increasingly popular complementary or alternative therapy for musculoskeletal disorders. Classes are now commonplace in leisure centres, hospitals, surgeries and even schools.
But the study of more than 350 fitness fanatics at yoga classes in the US found that it may be causing the same kind of pain it is trying to ease.
Pappas said: ‘While yoga can be beneficial for musculoskeletal pain, like any form of exercise, it can also result in musculoskeletal pain.'
The study also found yoga made existing injuries worse in 21 per cent of cases – particularly in the arms. More than a third of injuries kept a yoga fan out of classes for more than three months.
The research found that most ‘new' pain was in the upper body – including the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand – due to postures like the so-called downward dog that puts weight on the upper limbs.
 Pappas said: ‘It's not all bad news, however, as 74 per cent of participants reported that existing pain was improved by yoga, highlighting the complex relationship between musculoskeletal pain and yoga practice.' He recommended that anyone thinking of doing yoga discuss other exercise options with their doctor or physiotherapists beforehand. Yoga teachers should also talk about the risk of injury.
The study was carried out with Mercy College in New York and published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. Some experts say regular yoga practice can help combat high blood pressure, heart disease, lower back pain, depression and stress.
The NHS says most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count towards the 150 minutes of moderate activity, as set out by government guidelines.
© Daily Mail