Take care before you start yoga classes IF YOU are thinking of taking up yoga in the new year I would urge you to be careful.

Two years ago I attended an ‘all levels’ hatha yoga class, and now I have a chronic lower back problem.

I was pushed further into a back bend position by the teacher that I shouldn’t have even attempted in the first place.

And because of the effort being put in, you don’t have the strength to say “no”. I have since been told by a physio that there shouldn’t be ‘all levels’ classes, there should be smaller classes for beginners, improvers, and then advanced, so people can get individual attention and move up when they are ready.

I was an improver at best, going to classes around the city inconsistently for a few years, with no previous back issue.

It has accumulated in pain since then, daily intolerable stiffness simply for standing/lying for too long, or sitting in a slightly awkward position.

And I’m now taking more pills than I ever imagined, and I’m about to see a pain management specialist.

And, irony of ironies, yoga and pilates is supposed to help with these kinds of conditions!

This is an industry that needs to be regulated.

Stephen Smith, Sunningdale Close, Acomb, York