Yoga Side Effects - Help!


Dear Forum Members and Yoga Lovers,
Please, I’ve subscribed to this forum to ask for help!
I’m 48 year old and strated practising Yoga since when I was 11.
I’ve started using books and manuals. Unfortunately during all my life after some months of practice I had to stop due to some side effects:

  1. axiety;
  2. spontaneous breathing issues (lost of regular automatic breathing, breathing stops, very slow breathing, sense of lack of air, etc.)
  3. tingling and needling in the hand and feets;
  4. slight vertigo;
  5. insomnia (very few h sleep very deep - about 4 h per night);
  6. difficulty to sit dwon long hours at the desk;
    I’ve started again practicing yoga a couple of years ago and very intensively during last couple of months (1.5 - 2 h every morning at 5 am).
    I’m starting to have these effects again, but on the other side I feel very well! Full of energy, in perfect health and very strong.
    What do you think?
    Is there anything I do wrong in my practice that leads me to these effects?
    Is there anybody able to share similar experience and give advise?
    Many thanks!


Yoga causes our Prana to flow and it often hits our impurities. When this happens we can often have some unpleasant side effects but that is part of those stored impurities being washed away.
I practiced yoga too much and too intensely for a while and although I too was enjoying it very much I eventually became imbalanced and suffered side effects for a while.
I would recommend having balance in your activities, and finding a source of faith and strength.
Find a real Guru if possible and get a mantra to practice, it will help keep you balanced.


Luca B,

It looks like certain health issues were probably dormant in your body-mind system, before you took to yoga. It is difficult to say whether you need medical attention, but that’s why a good teacher need to watch your yoga practice.

Yoga starts working on the physique, and then (if so desired) the psyche, the intellect and the soul. SadhakTed is right in observing that yoga does internal cleansing that may not always be pleasant. But, unless you push it too hard or do it on & off, yoga would hardly create its own harm.

There is another positive difference. Many medicinal pills would simply act as agents to bring about the desired physical effect. Stop the pill and the effect is lost. Yoga, on the contrary, brings about internal change so that any cleansing effects are temporary and good results are permanent.

But the key to sucess in yoga is three-fold: consistency, conscious practice and willingness for a behavioral change.


Hello Luca,

It’s an interesting picture you paint.

You’ve listed the effects but have omitted anything about practice.

I’m curious what is it you might have been doing before you stopped and/or after resuming.

I think what Suhas said is possible though.

It looks like certain health issues were probably dormant in your body-mind system, before you took to yoga.
I think this is common with a lot of people. I came to yoga with a slight imbalance.

I’ve started using books and manuals.
It sounds like you’re doing really well but there could still be pranic blockages there that still need flushing out and more cleansing needed on all levels.

What is your “practice” in the broadest sense of that word ?

You say things have got better which is really good.What you want is things to continue to improve that way.


Hello Luca,

Welcome to the community. It is wonderful to have new members.

I would like to reply to your inquiry however you’ve not outlined what you mean by yoga practice. As a result I don’t know if you are only practicing asana, huffing and puffing through an identical sequence each day and doing so in a room at 100? or if you are engaging a robust practice with asana that is quiet, mindful, feeling, and differentiated based on your mind, mood, age, body, and environment.

If you would expound on the nature, style, frequency and purpose of your practice that would be infinitely helpful.



Dear Group Members,
Many thanks for your replies.
Please find some more details about my practice:

  • I started 37 years ago with Andree Van Lysebeth books and with the Sun Salutation and the 12 basic postures, making also deep breathing and complete yoga breathing exercize;
  • I took some astanga yoga classes and added some postures to the basic ones;
  • I’m detailing you the typical practice I’m doing now:
    I start at 5 am so I need few minutes warming and light stretching then:
    Sun Salutation
  1. 5 Namaskar A
  2. 5 Namaskar B
    Breathing practice
  3. Kapalabaty (about 40 breaths) with Kumbaka with muladhara, and jalandhara bandha
  4. Anuloma Viloma
  5. Shirsasana with variations
  6. Vrschikasana
  7. Saravangasana
  8. Halasana
  9. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
  10. Matsyasana
  11. Uttana Podasana
  12. Pashimottanasana & variations
  13. Kurmasana
  14. Purvottanasana
  15. Chaturanga Dandasana
  16. Vasisthasana
  17. Navasana (3 x 5 breaths)
  18. Buhjangasana
  19. Shalabasana
  20. Dhanurasana
  21. Urdhya-Dhanurasana
  22. Harda-Matsyendrasana
  23. Harda-Padmasana
  24. Padmasana
  25. Tolasana
  26. Eka Pada Sirsasana
  27. Mayurasana
  28. Bakasana
  29. Tittibhasana
  30. Buhjapidasana
  31. Adho Mukha Vrksasana
  32. Vrikshasana
  33. Natarajasana

Shavasana and deep relaxation

The flow is always slow and the postures are kept from 5 to 10 breaths, longer for Sirsasana, Sarvangasana, Harda-Padmasana, Mayurasana, Bakasana, Tittibhasana
The final relaxation is about 10 minutes.
The place is very silent, at 5 am there is not much traffic around.

Many thanks for your feedback and help!



How is your nutrition?


You are working things out, opening channels, and tuning things up.

My advice would be to moderate and balance your activites around the ‘classic’ eight limbed system. Demphasize the asana a bit and do more of the other.

Try a little more study of books if that suits you.

Jnana. + hatha/(tantra/mantra/yantra) + Raja + Karma + Bhakti = smooth sailing.


Hello Luca,

There are four things that come forth for me from your outline of the practice you’re engaging.
And since you are asking about some undesirable effects from the practice I feel a bit more latitude to comment.

The first is that you’ve selected to learn a practice which requires teacher-student contact hours through a static source.
As a result, the practice itself cannot bend to your nature. In other words when something emerges in you from that practice the book cannot respond.

The second is that in adopting that practice you’ve incorporated a powerful pranayama technique.
That requires an aligned body so that the power of the work vectors into the appropriate channels of the body.
It can agitate and harm the nervous system and cause anxiety, illness, and mental health issues.
Additionally, that pranayama is very risky for those persons of a vatta constitution.

Third, I personally do not see an order in the sequence you’ve outlined.
Now that could mean that I’m ignorant, or that you’ve got a purpose which has not been revealed.
Or it could mean the sequencing is assembled based on taste rather than the art/science of yoga (personal preference).
The residue of the practice is directly related to the construct of the poses, individually and collectively (alignment, actions as well as sequence).

Obviously there is an absence of standing poses and of course standing poses are a way we as human beings make connection or foster relationship with the earth.
It is how we ground, connect to the mother that supports us and provides us life.
This is a rooting part of asana and brings the practitioner out of the clouds and firmly into the physical body.
It also allows for the energy of the earth to feed the pelvis and subsequently feed the diaphragm and heart.
Other than Vrksasana you don’t really seem to do standing poses (with the exception of whatever A and B are in Surya Namaskar).

Fourth, it feels to me like the number of poses is too much.
This is just a feeling and I can’t give you a rational reason other than the feeling I absorb when reading it.
It seems very taxing, very long, and not at all something that results in calm but something that would result in twitching all day long after doing.

The effects you list typically equate with two things.
The first, a practice without proper safety mechanisms such that the nerves are impinged in the cervical and lumbar spine.
The second, the agitation of those nerves as a system and their larger function, to allow the student sympathetic/parasympathetic functionality.
However it sounds like your nervous system is only performing one of these even though you’re not being chased.

This is my view only and other may feel differently.
I have no need to be right, only a need to help provide you some direction.
In so doing I hope that YOU may find a practice that is the genesis for joy and light and the effulgence that is yoga and therefore life.



hi luca,

The symptoms which you have mentioned are very normal to any sadhak who want to achieve
every thing in quick time without mid course correction to his practices depending on the symptoms appearing on the body.
there are a few thumb rules one has to follow.

1.consult only traditional literature on hatha yoga and NOT books written by fly by night types ready to make quick buck by copy pasting. don’t consult only one translation but a number of them as every one has his own translational skill. take a call depending on your personal experiences.

2.The first step which is very important is to ensure that your Ida and pringla are balanced. If not and you continue with the regime like you follow, you will lend up in trouble. one nadi will become stronger than other, resulting in exactly the same symptoms you have mentioned.

  1. some telltale marks on your body if the nadies are not balanced:-

a. There are half moons at the base of all the nails, whitish in colour.
If they are not of the same size specially on both thumbs, your nadies are not balanced.
b. ida and pringla criss cross at the chakras. you might notice blemishes on alternate sides. for example if you have more gray hairs on your right temple, you will have similar effect on right side of your chest and the like.
c. you breathe alternatively from your left or right nostril for an ideal durations of ninety minutes, it varies from person to person. if one takes more time from one than the other, your nadies are mismatched. also as a thumb rule, you must be breathing with your left nostril at sun rise and right at sun set. this has to do with the nature of the nadies like being cooler or warmer. there are methods to correct this.
d. During balancing postures like natraj, you may be more balanced on left foot or otherwise.
some methods to correct it:-

  1. you must do your sadhana twice once when your pringla is active and once when ida is active. that why it is advised that sadhana should be done at sun rise and sunset, as a thumb rule. as in morning it is ida and in the evening it is pringla which is active.
    2.kumbhaks from both nostril must be of same duration. ttime it.
  2. exercise postures should be proper on left and right side and for the same duration. use a mirror.
    i could go on, but to begin with the above is enough.


This a yoga forums and as second thought, i consider it proper to give more importance to yoga related topics. It is otherwise in this forums. ego wrestling most of the time.
okay lucas.
stretch your hands and observe gray hair in both arms. you are past 40 so I’m sure you will be gray partially. If the grays are more on left than right, your ida is week. minor differences will always b there. if both nadiess are fully balanced than your are in a fit state to go in for raising kundalini in gradual manner. You may observe you mustache, if you keep one. More grays on right side is indicator of a week ida.
similarly half moon with week ida will be less pronounced on left thumb and otherwise. for others watch the fingers and toes of a healthy young man of say 15 years, you will notice half moons on all fingers and toes. we lose them first on little fingers. most of you may have lost it. this happens because the extremities of the nadies get blocked at the surface of the skin first. biggest organ, the skin, is represented by the little finger.
take a deep breath and exhale first with left nostril and do it again with right nostril. device a method of your own to check how far the breath goes out and with what strength. you may feel it with your palm or a paper or a feather, to find out if you are balanced if the effect is the same with both nostrils.
we have three knots in susmana. if like the practices you are following, you may apply enough pressure at muladhar for kundalini to rise and if your nadiess are not balanced and the knots still not cleared, the energy will leak, causing problems related to extreme anxiety, increased sexual urges, excessive fear or jealously and physical condition like the one you have mentioned and much more.
Not adhering to yam and niyam may also causee wrong results of partial kundalini rising.
try to follow yam and niyams and most importantly what you eat. Mitahara is keeping one fourth of your stomach empty. Scientific studies on rodents have proven that without sacrificing nutrients, deceasing the food intake increases the longevity by about 30 percent. check out on the net.
of course vegetarian food is a must.
rest in the next.


Dear friends,
Many thanks for your reply!
The sequence is based on Sivananda’s practice, adding complex poses to the basic 12.
I agree the are few standing ones at the end of the sequence.
Actually my neils still have all the half moons even the smaller fingers even I see it smaller in the fifth left finger. In the other ones there is not a significant difference.
I must tell that during these last days I feel much better and the main left disturbance is just need of making some deep breaths time to time and few yowning.
I feel very well health wise full of energy and anxiety has disappeared.
Even the sleep has improved.
My nutrition is completely vegetarian. I eat little meat time to time in the evening, for the rest is mainly based on Mediterranean diet, with much fresh fruit and salad. I tend to eat small meals and have a very small breakfast, generally only a banana and an apple. I have the tendency to drink too many coffees, 5-6 espressos per day.
I think my berating is Pretty balanced and for the first time during winter I’ve not had single cold!
I will made a treasure of all you advises and wish you all a great weekend!


hi, I posted on another thread about vertigo. I have practiced ashtanga yoga for at least 7,8 years now. In the last year and a half I have developed vertigo, BPPV. I did lots of research, have been doing yoga on and off and have seen lots of doctors in the last year and a half. I have experienced severe vertigo attacks during this time on and off. After I have spoken to the specialist a few times about this and have tried yoga on and off, we have determined that all positions that have my head upside down or inversions, will cause the vertigo. Please keep in mind that this is a medical condition caused in some people by yoga or also car mechanics get it, because they keep their heads backwards for extensive periods of time. This can go away in time, or it can stay. They do not have a lot of research about this. I want to spread the news in the yoga community that yoga can cause vertigo, which is a medical condition. This is BPPV, which the crystals in the inner year travel outside in the ear canal. This causes vertigo because these crystals are responsible for the body equilibrium. So if you get vertigo, try not to do any positions that have your head hanging or have your head backwards in inversion. Not all people get this, just some, but yoga can cause this. It can go away or be persistent. In my case I do ashtanga yoga, but I eliminate everything that has y head downwards or backwards. Maybe it will go away in the future maybe not.


Yoga scriptures call this is Aramba Avasta. Earlier stage experiences. Any yoga practice will start giving you symptoms relating to the stages of Yoga Practice. For Aramba avasta, Pranava Japa is prescribed by yoga scriptures. You can add Pranava Japa to your Practices.


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