Yoga Poses Not for a Hiatal Hernia

by Christine DiMaria

About Christine DiMaria

Christine DiMaria began writing in 2001. She has written for Blue Mountain and various online publications. DiMaria is pursuing an Associate of Arts in health-care administration from the University of Phoenix.

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Having a hiatal hernia does not mean that yoga is completely out of the question. However, it does mean that you must alter a yoga routine around your condition since certain poses should not be performed. According to the neurologist and yogi Julio Kuperman, M.D., the main positions to remove from your yoga sessions are the ones that place pressure on your abdomen.

Beware the Cobra

To assume the Cobra Pose, you begin with your body inclined with your legs and your tops of your feet stretched. The tops of your feet, thighs and pubis should be planted firmly on the floor. Your hands should be on the floor directly underneath of your shoulders. On the first inhale, straight your arms so that you lift your front half off of the floor. This position is dangerous for you if you have a hiatal hernia. This position places pressure on your abdominal region. Since your stomach is already pushing upward, being in a yoga position that is stretching your abdomen upward can risk an increase in injury if you already have a hernia.

Say "No" to Bow

The Upward Bow also known as the Wheel Pose or even just the Bow should not be performed if you have a hiatal hernia. Basically, the upward bow is a position that has you in a back bend. Your hands should be planted firmly on the floor with your fingertips in the direction of your feet. This position is usually held for about five to 10 seconds. Even that short amount of time can cause added pressure to your stomach that is already through your hiatus. This is because you are stretching out your abdominal region.

Get Out of the Boat

Navasana, also known as the Boat Pose, is a yoga positions where you have your body shaped like the letter V. During this position, you lift your back up to a position where you are slanted. Then you raise your legs in a slanted position as well. Your hands should be supporting your legs. According to Kuperman, this position should not be attempted if you have a hiatal hernia or umbilical hernia. This is another position that stretches and pushes on your abdomen.

Stay Right Side Up

Inversions should be avoided if you have a hiatal hernia. This is because these positions require you to have your legs in a position above your head. Ultimately, this can cause the acid that is in your stomach to enter into your esophagus. If you have a large hernia, it is possible that you already are experience this and it will only make it worse. Some examples of inversions include Halasana, more commonly known as the Plow Pose, Salamba Sarvangasana or the Supported Shoulderstand and the Adho Mukha Vrksasana, also known as the Handstand.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.