Yoga and Herniated Discs

by Melissa West on September 30, 2012

Today’s question comes to us via e-mail from Maria. She wants to know if she can still practice yoga with a herniated disc.

Hi Melissa

I have a Disc Herniation in L5S1 and hiperlordosis ( my sacro is very horizontal) also I have a little of osteoarthritis in my lower back.
Can I do your Yoga practice?

Dear Maria

Yes you can still do my practice. You just need to follow some guidelines for your disc herniation in particular. With herniated discs you want to avoid bending past ninety degrees with straight knees both standing and sitting. This means no seated forward bends. They cause the herniated disc, which is basically a bulging disc to bulge out even more. Because a herniated disc is a bulging disc you want to avoid rounding your back. If you find a pose causes pain as in sharp electric pain, tingling or numbness then stop the pose immediately. If you follow these guidelines you should be fine to practice yoga. In fact a lot of yoga practice will help your herniated disc. Backbends like cobra and upward facing dog will help to bring that disc back into alignment.

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