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Hiatal hernia

ualkaren2010-07-04 22:14:14 +0000 #1
I was wondering if a hiatal hernia would be aggravated by yoga asanas on the stomach (Cobra, Locust, Bow etc) and/or asanas that involve chin compression (Standing Separate Leg Head to Knee, Rabbit, Head to Knee etc.). I've been practicing Bikram yoga for 2 years and recently been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. I am hoping yoga will help this condition but some of these poses seem like they could be counter-productive. Thanks.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 22:25:08 +0000 #2
Hello Karen,

This is a very good question. As a teacher who places safety at the top of my priority list I appreciate the thoughtfulness applied here BEFORE moving forward. This sort of mindfulness often reduces suffering.

In fact the question is so good it should be posed directly to the teacher(s) you've chosen to guide you along the path of Yoga. Since you have been studying for 2 years in the Bikram system you undoubtedly have a close relationship with your teacher(s). Certainly you have picked that path for its empowerment in moving you closer to your Self, your soul, and the reason it is in your physical body. Therefore it is both respectful and logical to ask within your lineage.

How would I respond to such a thing in the Purna Yoga construct?

The asana practice would be tailored, shifted, changed, or transformed (whichever word works best for your consciousness). That shift would be toward a more Yin set of poses specifically intended to support your healing of the hiatal hernia. I do not believe a "one-size-fits-all" asana practice is appropriate. It is presumptive that every student is served in the same way by the same process.

The diet and lifestyle would be examined and refined.

Then the larger work of handling the emotions that have potentially manifested this protrusion or inside thing wanting to get outside.

How your teacher(s) will address it I do not know. If you are not deeply nurtured and satisfied by the answer(s) then I would advise looking beyond that system to find ones that are.
ualkaren2010-07-04 22:26:02 +0000 #3
Dear Inner Athlete,

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and prompt reply. I had initially felt I should ask the Bikram organization but was discouraged by my local instructor, as he thought I would not get a reply. He suggested Yoga Forums.

However, I will try.

Thanks again for your very helpful ideas.




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