Report: Yoga Appears as Safe as Other Exercise

The study aimed to determine the frequency of adverse events in controlled trials of yoga Photo courtesy Thinkstock
<p>The study aimed to determine the frequency of adverse events in controlled trials of yoga. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock.)</p>

Yoga is safe.

That was the conclusion of a recent report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology examining randomized controlled trials of yoga. The study, which aimed to determine the frequency of adverse events in the trials, was led by Dr. Holger Cramer of the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Cramer found that two percent of the yoga participants experienced adverse effects during the sample period from 1975-2014, which accounted for 94 randomized trials and included 8,430 participants. Some of the participants who experienced adverse events already had severe diseases, the report notes.

"Findings from this review indicate that yoga appears as safe as usual care and exercise," Cramer's abstract reads.

The abstract said the adequate reporting of safety data in future randomized trials are crucial to conclusively judge yoga safety.

Cramer identified 301 randomized controlled trials of yoga, but only 94 reported on adverse events. 

A widely circulated New York Times article from 2012, "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body," written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist William J. Broad raised concerns about yoga's safety. 

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