Physical Therapist’s Thought on Yoga

Yoga is a widespread practice for many reasons. With all the benefits yoga offers, it is no question why these practices have been rapidly growing. Studies on yoga’s effects on health show that it may be more beneficial to certain conditions than others. Being a Physical Therapist, I have tried and been introduced to many types of exercise. I enjoy yoga and engage in hot yoga classes. Here are my thoughts on yoga through a physical therapy lens:

Great for Mobility and Strengthening through Range of Motion

Yoga is great for increasing mobility and strengthening throughout various ranges of motion. Having a lot of motion is one thing; CONTROLLING the range of motion is another. The flow class is my favorite because it helps strengthen parts of the range of motion rather than just focusing on stretching through the end range of motion. If someone can move more, they should be able to control that range of motion which is why strengthening throughout the whole range is essential. Isometrics and holding positions in the end range are so important. To increase strength throughout the entire range of motion, yogis could add strength training 1 to 2 times to their weekly routine. You can also increase strength by doing slower movements to get into and out of poses. You can increase your strength and intensity of the pose by using slower tempos to get into and out of the poses.

Listen to your Body

Stop if you experience chronic pain after any exercise. Do not “suck it up,” and don’t listen to the “no pain, no gain” mantras in your head. Please don’t continue to do something that hurts your body due to peer pressure or because it is what everyone else does. In any sport, serious injuries can happen from poor form, poor supervision, poor strength, flexibility, or performing a stance, exercise, or stance your body isn’t ready for. I typically recommend people stay 3/10 or lower for pain intensity on the NRPS (numeric pain rating scale). While yoga is a great way to improve your posture and flexibility, it can also cause injury. Your body is more intelligent than your brain. Your body is trying to communicate with you about chronic pain. A friendly physical therapist in your neighborhood can help you translate.

Pay Attention to Quality

Big classes have affected the quality of instruction. Make sure that you work with an experienced instructor. Talk to your instructor to learn more about their education and training. Yoga classes are often crowded and can result in poor instruction, attention to form, and detail. It would help if you tried to find a class with fewer students or enough to give you some attention to your form while practicing. The Foundry does a great job keeping their classes smaller so as not to sacrifice attention to detail. In addition, their instructors are experienced, and I know I get high-quality instruction when I step in for a class.

More Relaxing, Less Stressing

The world (especially today) is chaotic. Yoga can help you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Meditation techniques can be used in some yoga styles to calm the mind. Practicing yoga with a focus on your breath can help you relax. Every time I leave the yoga studio, I feel clear-minded and ready for the rest of the day.

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Dr. Tyler is a physical therapist and founder Scottsdale Physical Therapy & Performance in North Scottsdale, Arizona. He see golfers, MMA athletes and active adults. His focus is offering one-on-one sessions for 1 hour focused on developing individualized programs to get you back to your goals.

If you have any questions about online programing or want to stop in for a visit, please reach out by hitting “request appointment” in the top of the page.

– Dr. Tyler PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, TPI-2


Dr. Tyler Sinda

Tyler’s specialty is helping golfers, athletes and active individuals in Scottsdale find ways to allow them to continue to workout while rehabbing from injury.

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