Yoga Injury Prevention
To access the Yoga Injury Prevention interactive software, go to
This is a working site downloadable on I-phone and Android.
At this point it has essentially two functions:
- By clicking on a pose, it will instantly give you all the contraindicated conditions. While teaching a class, students for whom that pose is dangerous will know at once.
- By selecting one or more conditions, it will instantly give you all the contraindicated poses, as well as the poses that are all right. In 1-on-1 teaching, you can click on multiple conditions and immediately see which poses are all right, and which are contraindicated.E.g., In a complicated person you’re helping with their back pain, you can click on “Diabetes. Glaucoma, Total Knee Replacement” and see all the poses that make sense for that person. Then select out of them which are good for their back pain.
In the ensuing months we will be adding three sections:
- Why each contraindicated pose is contraindicated by each condition.
- What work-arounds and/or props will enable a person with that condition to practice the pose, or one quite like it.
- Which poses, if any, are helpful for ameliorating, slowing down, or eliminating the condition.
The 94 poses include most commonly done poses, and all those in the Iyengar Introductory Manual I and II.
The 56 conditions are among those commonly encountered in yoga studios with younger and older students.
This site was created by Loren Fishman, MD, B.Phil,(oxon.), Victor Oppenheimer, Taliesin Oppenheimer, and Carrie Owerko.
Victor has been doing yoga for more than 40 years, taught computer science at Harvard, and is past President of the Cambridge Society of Computing Machines.
Taliesin is a computer engineer in Cambridge, MA.
Carrie Owerko is a world-renowned yoga teacher whose creative and playful methods have won her innumerable students. She writes in the Yoga Journal frequently and has been on its cover. Her classes and You tube work is as original as it is clarifying, and her radiant spirit comes through in everything she does, including this working site.
Loren is the author of this website. See the “about” section for more on him.
Review and Refine Webinar: Yoga for Osteoporosis
Tuesday, September 26
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Ellen Saltonstall and I will go over all three versions of each pose, suggesting how to overcome the biggest difficulties people have with each of them. Our intent is to give as many helpful suggestions as possible to promote more effective levels of yoga for teachers and practitioners: raising bone mineral density, and lowering the risk of fracture.
This is the Booster-Session we promised to those taking the Certification Course, but it is, really, for everyone: those who were in the Certification Workshops, people in the studies, as well as anyone doing or interested in doing the Dr. Fishman’s Yoga for Osteoporosis method.
All are welcome.
There is a $50.00 fee.
Joining the webinar is a two-step process:
To register for the webinar:
To pay for the webinar, go to:
Fortnightly Yoga for Osteoporosis Class
Every Other Tuesday
133 East 58th Street
Next time: September 12: 5:30 PM
Dr. Fishman teaches a small class for people wishing to build their bone mineral density through yoga. We use Dr. Fishman’s Method, which was found to actually increase bone mineral density in an 8-year 741 patient study (243 completing the entire 2-year protocol) that was published in a peer-reviewed journal recently:
Qualified applicants with other diagnoses, and healthy volunteers may be accepted.
For reservations and more information, call (212) 472-0077
Workshop at Pure Yoga
New York City
Saturday October 14 : 11:00 – 1:00 PM Scoliosis
Saturday October 14: 3:00 – 6:00 PM Low Back Pain
Sunday, October 15: 3:00 – 6:00 PM Shoulder Pain
With Dana Slamp and Gabriella Barnstone- RYT
Dr. Fishman and Dana Slamp will give the anatomy, pathology, and relevant yoga for these conditions. The three of them, Dana Slamp, Gabriella Barnstone, who’s worked and created with Dr. Fishman for years, and Dr Fishman, will teach the clinical parts together. The early Saturday session will cover what Dr. Fishman’s research papers have shown: How simple adaptations of two yoga poses can reverse scoliosis in young people and the degenerative scoliosis that is seen later in life. The later Saturday session will separate out the seven major causes of back pain. Yoga is now the preferred method of treatment for back pain. Dr. Fishman has found and exhaustively tested yoga’s efficacy in each of them, often with Gabriella’s help. He has also found a simple yoga treatment that alleviates the pain and normalizes range of motion following rotator cuff and similar injuries for the shoulder, and now successfully treated well over 1,000 patients with these shoulder injuries. That will be the focus of the Sunday session.
Dr. Fishman has used yoga to ameliorate these different conditions for decades, on literally thousands of patients, and will share his experience. At the same time Dana Slamp and Gabriella Barnstone will use their skill and resourcefulness to implement them. Both have studied and taught yoga successfully for many years, leaving a trail of grateful students throughout the Northeast. Dr. Fishman’s research on the benefits of yoga for scoliosis, lower back pain and shoulder conditions has been the subject of articles in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and numerous other media.
Good preparatory reading includes Dr. Fishman’s recent Healing Yoga (W.W. Norton) which has chapters on scoliosis, lower back pain and shoulder problems.
Certification Course in the Treatment of Lower Back Pain
Kripalu Yoga Institute
Monday, October 23 – Friday, October 27
With Caryna Wong – RYT
Caryna Wong and Dr. Fishman focus on lower back pain over the week. We will go over the seven basic types of back pain and sciatica, how to recognize them, and how to use yoga to benefit those who suffer from them. Between the two of us, we have over 50 years of experience in treating the disorders that cause back pain with yoga, and have been aided by all the insights and advantages of contemporary medical science. MRI, EMG, and surgery have helped Dr. Fishman and Caryna understand the nature of back pain, and what underlies its chronicity.
Often the biggest problem is starting out people with pain and misgivings along the path to yogic painlessness. Caryna’s genius is knowing where and how to meaningfully and beneficially propel beginners from their first yoga-like remedial pose through to a skillful (and helpful) version of the many poses that are valuable in different types of back pain.
Those taking this course are likely to put on some of the wisdom that has come from treating well over 50,000 patients, and determining what works with whom. Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the most common medical reason for taking up yoga. Loren Fishman, MD, lifelong yogi who studied in India with BKS Iyengar, and his colleague, Caryna Wong, outline powerful, safe yogic methods for relieving lower back pain in yourself and/or in your students during this hands-on week-long workshop. Though the modality is yoga, Dr. Fishman’s methods are rooted in physiology and anatomy so that people suffering from lower back pain can heal themselves, with the lowest risk of harm.
Students will learn to interview and observe their clients to determine which of the seven most common causes of lower back pain and sciatica they have. The core of the course are the asana that relieve these conditions, and those that should be avoided. Participants will be empowered to identify causes of back pain and sciatica, and to give the appropriate asana in most cases. The program will be 50% didactic and 50% experiential.
Poses will be modified for the skill, experience and limitations of all course participants. Those people interested in certification will learn to teach the poses to veteran yoga practitioners and new-comers alike.
A curriculum for subsequent teaching will be provided, along with a study manual. To obtain certification, there will be a written and practical exam in the final hours of the workshop.
Certified people will appear on the website “sciatica.org” with their emails and phone numbers if desired. Certification also requires 200-hour teacher certification, and 5 years of teaching experience. Those who pass the tests and lack the 5 years’ experience will be put up on this website sciatica.org as “Registered,” and will be certified automatically when they have 5 years’ experience.
Graduates of the course will also have the option of playing an active part in Dr. Fishman’s future studies in lower back pain and sciatica.
Weekend Workshop for Lower Back Pain
Kripalu Institute, Lenox, MA
Friday October 27 – Sunday October 29:
With Terry Roth Schaff – Certified IAYT Yoga Therapist, E-RYT
With his long time co-therapist Terry Roth Schaff, Dr. Fishman will review the seven major causes of lower back pain, how to identify them, and how to benefit people that suffer from them. This is not a certification course, but is meant to offer the proper yoga to people that have lower back pain and to those who wish to relieve it with yoga. In literally thousands of cases, we have found yoga to be an effective and pleasurable way to relieve lower back pain and to prevent its recurrence. Some of the knowledge is theoretical, but a good deal of it is practical, and requires individual attention, sensitivity, and perseverance on the part of the practitioner. The aim of this course is to help everyone: teachers and students and sufferers alike.
Yoga for Osteoporosis: For students and teachers
Kripalu Yoga Institute
Friday January 19 – Sunday, January 21, 2018
With Terry Roth Schaff – Certified IAYT Yoga Therapist, E-RYT
This 8 1/2 hour workshop will teach Dr. Fishman’s Method, the 12 – pose sequence of Iyengar-style poses that have been shown to raise bone mineral density in healthy people, and reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia in more than 80% of the people who adhere to doing the poses daily. There are three forms to every pose: a beginning version, an intermediate version, and the classical pose. The course is intended to engage people who have no yoga experience as well as yoga practitioners to learn the poses at a suitable degree of challenge and work forward from there. For some, even the beginner level pose is too advanced; Terry and Loren specialize in analyzing the postures and helping people start at even more fundamental places, working up from two or three preliminary exercises for a week or two, and then embarking on the beginner pose.
Terry and Loren: “We love the work. Teaching beginners to begin and advanced pupils to get down to fundamentals is very rewarding. To us, there is no one so advanced that they cannot benefit from returning to the basics, and no one so naive that they cannot understand how to advance.”
Contact Kripalu Yoga Institute for details.
Osteoporosis Certification Course: Dr. Fishman’s Method
Pure Yoga West
Amsterdam at 77th Street, New York City
Friday, March 9th 5pm – 8pm (Studio 4)
Saturday, March 10th 10am – 7pm (Studio TBD)
Sunday, March 11th 9am – 5pm (Studio TBD)
Dr. Fishman, Ellen Saltonstall, and one helper for every 10 people will teach 20 hours in these three days, preceded by 20 hours of online theoretical work with YogaUonline. The goal is to help participants become competent in teaching the 12 poses that have been shown in a large 10-year study to reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia, and build bone in people that do not have these conditions, and do not want them! However, people who do not wish to teach, but seek an in-depth understanding of yoga for osteoporosis, and how to use the poses to greatest advantage are also welcome.
Three versions of each pose are taught: a beginner version, an intermediate version, and the classical pose. Each version has value to build bone mineral density, but the more advanced versions appear to be the most effective. Time is also devoted to the delicate and critical process of safely progressing from one version to the next.
The 20 hours on line were created by Dr. Fishman, Ellen Saltonstall and Eva Norlyk in webinars which describe the physiological principles and actual mechanisms by which yoga builds bone mineral density, with ample references and direct linkages to the practice taught in the workshop. People are encouraged to study and complete the 20 on-line hours before the workshop. They will be most likely to take in the workshop’s detailed teaching with this background. Other preparatory material includes Dr. Fishman’s and Ellen Saltonstall’s book “Yoga for Osteoporosis,” W.W. Norton, 2009.
Although everyone is invited to take this course, people desiring to teach Dr. Fishman’s Method must have two qualifications:
- 200-hour yoga teacher certification.
- At least 5 years teaching experience.
There is also a written exam on-line after the 20 hours of teaching, and a practical teaching exam at the end of the workshop. No one is required to take the exams unless they want to teach the Method.
Anyone in the course is well-qualified to participate in our recently begun dose-response study. Additionally, Certified teachers are able to participate in the study by holding individual and group classes with subjects. Certified teachers and their emails are listed on this website under the “Osteoporosis” tab seen at the top of the home page. The course manual features many pictures and a six-session suggested course that certified teachers may use afterwards.