Yoga and Osteopathy, a Complementary Relationship

As an Osteopath and yoga teacher I believe that it is possible to use a sequence of yoga postures tailored to a patient’s abilities to address the maintaining factors of their dysfunction, improve their practise and their rate of recovery following injury.

Empowering the patient to take an active role in their own recovery is essential if they are to understand the mechanism of their particular injury; this decreases the probability of repeat injury and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

Treating people within the yoga community has been most rewarding; understanding where they are in their practice and which postures they are having difficulty with is an invaluable diagnostic tool.

As yoga practitioners many of us have experienced the consequences of visiting busy GP’s with a musculo-skeletal problem, perhaps causing us difficulty achieving one posture or another, but as long as we can demonstrate a ‘normal’ range of movement with no pain, we are just advised to stop doing our yoga practise until it gets better.  Osteopaths look at this in a very different way, firstly examining and then diagnosing the problem; and in my case, as an osteopath and yoga teacher, I would want to see the posture demonstrated, assess the patient’s ability and prescribe a variation of the posture to take pressure away from the offending tissue causing symptoms.

In many cases a small number of treatments with some simple advice is all that is needed to get a patient back on the matt.

For more information about how Osteopathy and Yoga can help you please email me at

A recent trial by the university of York concluded that Yoga can help improve lower back function in patients suffering lower back pain.