View Full Version : Bikram Yoga Post-Op?

hopeful one
05-10-2010, 05:04 PM
Wondering if there are any yogi's out there who have had surgery and were able to return to yoga following surgery. If so, I would love details of postures/asanas you were able to do pre-op that you are no longer able to do post-op (and vice-versa)? Also, has anyone done Bikram Yoga, specifically, before and after surgery? Thanks.

05-22-2010, 07:21 PM
Don't know about Bikram, but one top surgeon's office specifically told me "no yoga after surgery" in a completely definitive voice. I do quite a lot of extreme stretching now including yoga and gymnastics but I didn't even get to a description before this response was forthcoming.

Personally, I'd assume it depends to an extent on your fusion length and location, but as mine is to be T4 to pelvis, I figure there is no hope to return to this activity if I go ahead with the surgery.

Sometimes, I'm afraid, the answer is just: NO, especially when it's not a matter of specific sports, but rather training which targets flexibility in particular. Strength too, but flexibility as a step to strength training.

Since you asked, I imagine this is as much bad news to you as to me, but I must say I didn't find it surprising. Let's face it, our spines are going to be frozen in one particular position for good - the part that's fused! These limitations are some of the dismal aspects of the surgery to me. I'm very flexible and have good core definition which I figure will be a thing of the past. Not being able to dance is another downer.

OTOH, hopefully I'll be able to stand and walk! :) Without a walker, at least...Things have gotten pretty rough around here. I did most of these exercises on the floor or with support.

Good luck! :cool:

05-30-2010, 11:11 PM
Well, I can answer this question from the perspective of someone who has done yoga recreationally (but I'm no expert so I can't really give you many details lol). I don't really know how Bikram Yoga is different from other types, but I don't see why you can't do yoga after surgery as long as you have given yourself adequate time to heal. Once you are completely fused, I don't think it's hazardous. You might have less flexibility and more difficulty doing certain poses, and might not even be able to do some poses at all depending on your fusion, but it doesn't mean you can't do it at all. In fact, my surgeon actually recommended it. Some poses that I found I couldn't do after surgery that I could do before surgery include the Half Moon pose, Cobra pose (I can do that somewhat, but can't arch up as much), Half Locust and Boat poses (I guess I can sort of do them but it hurts a lot), the Bow pose (again, I can do it somewhat but can't really arch), and the Half/Full Shoulderstand (I've actually kind of managed to do it but it hurt way to much to hold it...the higher your fusion, the harder it is to do I am guessing). So as you can see, there aren't many where doing them at all is out of the question. With some poses, you are just a bit...limited after fusion.

Hope that helped a bit! :)

05-31-2010, 05:11 AM
why do any exercise that "hurts a lot"??

i'd be really careful with that!


05-31-2010, 12:46 PM
Don't know about Bikram, but one top surgeon's office specifically told me "no yoga after surgery" in a completely definitive voice.
Are you certain that this is "no yoga for the rest of your life" vs. "no yoga for some amount of time after surgery"? I notice you said "surgeon's office" as opposed to "surgeon." It's possible that someone misspoke, so I wouldn't take this as gospel until it's verified by the surgeon. I've met several patients who have returned to yoga, and at least one of the surgeon's I work for, actively encourages it.


05-31-2010, 12:48 PM
why do any exercise that "hurts a lot"??

i'd be really careful with that!


Absolutely. It's one thing to have typical muscle pain a few days after exercise, when the muscles aren't accustomed to being used. It's quite another thing to have back pain (or radicular arm or leg pain) during exercise.


06-03-2010, 05:34 PM
I know, I know, it's probably not a good thing to keep doing things that hurt. I guess I should add to what I wrote above not to do anything that hurts. I'm sort of in the bad habit from dance to force myself to do things even if they do hurt (with recital dances, for example, it's not like I could pick and choose parts of the dance to sit out on...I've since stopped dancing at a studio, so that isn't really a problem anymore though).

Don't follow my lead, however. At the very least, you can experiment a bit with poses and see what your body can handle since everyone is different. If it starts to hurt, then you know to stay away from that pose.

07-04-2010, 05:11 AM
I had a full thoracic fusion done when I was thirteen – Harrington’s fusion with no compression rod – once my healed and given clearance to return to normal actives - I have not curtailed my activities - I have gone bungy jumping, done pilates (a couple of back based moves I can’t do – end up like turtle on it’s back LOL), yoga, competitive dance, net ball, soccer and pretty much anything I want.

The most important thing is to listen to your body - you will know when something isn't going to be in your range of motion.

Completely unrelated hypermobility in my ankles and elbows has had a much bigger impact on my activities

01-23-2012, 06:02 AM
I do hot yoga now to prepare for surgery. Yoga can typically be done after surgery if your doctor clears you. You will not be able to do twists and other back bending poses I imagine.