London, Dec 24 (ANI): Performing yoga on a regular basis could hurt your knees, an Indian orthopaedic surgeon has warned.
Dr Ashok Rajgopal said that he has seen a higher incidence of joint and bone ailments among the followers of the practice and has performed knee replacement surgery on a number of leading yoga gurus.
His warning has challenged those who say yoga, which is now a multi-billion pound global industry, can ward off the effects of ageing and leave devotees feeling fitter as well as stronger.
Some of its most charismatic teachers, like India's Baba Ramdev, who has built a worldwide empire through television appearances, believe its breathing exercises can even cure diseases like HIV Aids and cancer.
But Dr Rajgopal said that the extreme stretching exercises at the heart of the discipline cause severe stress on joints, leading to arthritis.
"Yoga is wonderful provided it is done in a controlled environment, and people are trained and built up to doing such postures but putting the public at large through these extreme yoga postures can create problems for them," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"Many yoga gurus had to undergo knee surgeries, they had been affected by yoga postures.
"Extreme postures like acute deep knee bends, particularly for people who are not used to doing these postures, it is definitely harmful to them in terms of the abnormal stresses, and damage to cartilages. In that respect it is harmful," he added.
He said he had seen particular problems among people who had practised yoga in classes of more than 100 people.
"We see a significant number of people who have been not trained adequately to get into yoga and harmed themselves. The vast majority of people have to build up to the level where they can actually take to such postures without harming their joints," he said. (ANI)