Last March a Hong Kong woman was attending a yoga class when her instructor placed his hands on her hips and tried to adjust her position. He twisted her hips to the right. There was a loud crack. Pins and needles shot through her right leg. She went dizzy. 'I didn't see him coming, and I didn't invite him to come and touch me,' the woman said. 'And they call it an adjustment.' The woman, a journalist who wants to remain anonymous, says the instructor told her the pain was normal and would go away. But it didn't. The pain got worse. She has spent thousands of dollars on medical bills to correct muscle pain and pelvic problems, injuries that may one day require surgery. She wants the yoga studio to pay for her medical bills - but all she has received so far is the runaround. 'There's nobody that I can go to and say, 'Are the people who are teaching [there] properly certified according to Hong Kong government standards?' There's no one I can go to and say, 'I was injured by a ... yoga instructor and they're refusing to meet my bills although it's a genuine and reasonable claim', the journalist said. 'What standards can you hold them to for me as a taxpayer and resident? Nothing.' The studio 'purports to sell well-being and health, and yet it's all done without any level of responsibility, and I have absolutely no legal recourse without it costing me more money, and more time and more risk that I won't get my money back', she said. She is not the only person in Hong Kong who has been hurt while practising yoga. And she's not alone in wondering why a local governmental agency or a professional body is not overseeing the activity and the instructors who teach it. A number of physiotherapists and chiropractors contacted by the Sunday Morning Post revealed that dozens of Hongkongers have been hurt while practising yoga this year. Yoga has caused new injuries, exacerbated old ones or triggered conditions patients did not even know they had, these experts say. Physiotherapist Tim McCosker has seen about 15 to 20 new yogarelated injuries since January. 'For something that's supposed to be therapeutic or good for you, I think that's a bit much,' he said. His patients' injuries mainly include spinal injuries, and pulled and strained muscles. 'If you pay a fee to consult a professional, you expect that professional to take care of you. The onus is on them to not injure you. There should be some sort of registration or professional qualification before you go and teach it,' he said. Kary Lam, a Central chiropractor, says 10 per cent of new patients seen by her office this year have had yoga-related injuries. That's slightly more than last year, she says. It's a lot, 'especially when you think of yoga as something that's good for you'. Dr Lam thinks the government, before considering regulation, should ask the city's yoga industry to create a self-regulating association so the public can file complaints, find out more about instructors and stay informed about the activity. Ramesh Ahuja, who runs Life Management Yoga Centre in Kowloon with his wife, Sangeeta, believes there should be some form of government monitoring to protect students. Mr Ahuja estimates there are hundreds of teachers and more than 100 studios and clubs. 'Injuries should almost never happen,' he said. 'Instructors should assess people's ability before conducting difficult asanas [poses],' added Mr Ahuja, who ahs even heard of yoga centres having students perform headstands on the first day of class, a danger since beginners can lack focus or flexibility. Claudia Ng, a chiropractor in Central, says her patients are yoga newcomers. 'It's about once a month that I see a new case. Usually it's typical sprain, strain injuries.' Dr Ng, however, sees yoga as a sport, comparable to dancing or swimming - pursuits that are not overseen by the government. 'I don't have any agenda. But I'm not sure regulation would stop or reduce these injuries. You do sports; you get injured,' Dr Ng said. 'If you look at rugby - loads of injuries; soccer - loads of injuries. I don't think that the government will regulate them. It doesn't make a lot of sense.' An information officer for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department said it did not 'have the authority to recognise or formalise different streams of yoga'. Asked about yoga injuries, the Department of Health said a working group on injuries and alcohol misuse had been set up this year to tackle alcohol and injury related problems. 'The working group will review statistics and local data to identify specific needs and make recommendations accordingly.' The regulation debate in Hong Kong is less heated than in the US, where some states have told yoga schools they must have a licence if they want to teach instructors, according to a New York Times report. Priscilla Poon, vice-president of operations for the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association, said it was too early to say whether there should be government intervention here. Ms Poon talked to 10 Hospital Authority physiotherapists, and found that only 10 patients in total had visited them since January. Even so, Ms Poon said 'we have to keep a close eye on it [yoga] because it's getting more popular'.