Educating Future Yoga Teachers About Working With Students Who Have Preexisting Conditions In Their Practice Of Hatha Yoga


All of the topics below will require much additional study on your part, but for now, let us quickly go over some often asked questions and answers relating to children that require more support in the classroom.

This past weekend I met up with a student who is interested in Yoga and is in her early twenties (maybe 23 or 24). She is currently one trimester along with her third pregnancy. Can I relax, or do I have something to worry about?

I have attended to Yoga classes before where there were clearly pregnant women, and I remember that the teacher paid extra attention to the rules for them.

Regarding the first three months of pregnancy: As a result of the fear of being sued for negligence, many of us have rethought this, and I now recommend that my students see a prenatal specialist. Pregnant students should only practise Yoga if they are taking a class taught by an experienced instructor who specialises in teaching pregnant students.

A student (now in her fifties) had hip replacement surgery roughly 14 years ago; this brings up another point concerning these operations. Is there anything I should tell her to be careful of or about how she can improve?

As for your question, I would advise doing extensive research on the topic of yoga for hip replacements before attempting to instruct this student. Many people cannot have hip replacement surgery for various reasons that depend on the type of surgery performed.

It is smart to request medical documentation from a student who has had a hip replacement, such as a doctor’s note or recommendation.

It is crucial to know the specifics of the surgical method her doctor used. For instance: Have you completely changed it out? Where in the body did you put the implant, the front or the back? Because of the unique nature of each of these scenarios, certain body positions will need to be adjusted or abandoned altogether.

While we are on the topic, I should mention that my neighbour in her late 40s underwent neck surgery approximately 6 years ago, and as a result, she has restricted mobility beyond the collarbone. Do any worries exist?

A: There are many worries, that is for sure. As she already has a cervical spine injury, any Yoga poses that aggravate her condition should be avoided.
Due to the nature of the surgery and the underlying issue, her prognosis is contingent on medical guidance. Any movements that require her to bend or twist her neck extremely should be minimised or eliminated. No student, regardless of their physical condition, should ever perform a neck roll or a neck hyperextension.

It could also hurt to bend or twist even slightly. The situation calls for her to stop pushing through the discomfort. Those who already have back problems should be careful not to aggravate their discomfort.

When working with a student who has a history of illness or injury, yoga instructors should proceed with caution and offer gentle direction. Teachers of Yoga have an obligation to send their pupils to a Yoga expert when necessary.

Paul Jerard, a yoga teacher with an extensive resume that includes 500 hours of training and certification, is an expert on the subject. A co-owner of Aura Wellness Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts, he also serves as the center’s Director of Yoga Teacher Training.



2022-10-03 12:45:00