Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
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Six Reasons To Ignore The 'New York Times' Yoga Article

That New York Times Magazine's article on the dangers of yoga has made a lot of people mad. It didn’t really make me mad—I do too much yoga to get mad, though I do still sniff disdainfully—but I did want to address why many of the arguments in it are totally lame.

1. The Times' health coverage often gives way to local news-flavored hysteria. You can’t expect the Sort of People Who Tend to Read The Times to freak out about Amber Alerts and Child Molesters. The readership simply isn’t concerned with anything that has no direct effect on them, unless that thing is cool (design), epic in scale (Nicholas Kristof) or risible (Tom Friedman). About the only thing that will get upper-middle-class coast dwellers into a frenzy is the idea—the word 'fact' is so black and white, n’est-ce pas?—that Some Day They Are Going To Fucking Die. Like to exercise a lot? That might MAKE YOU DIE. Do you just like to walk leisurely? Is that what you enjoy? Too bad for you, because if you don’t get your heart rate to 96 percent capacity, fourteen minutes a day, eight times in a 15-day cycle, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE. Guess what else? If you don’t have hot sex enough with someone who also loves you and pays your bills and who has the same values as you (good luck with that one!), your brain will stop secreting a certain hormone and you WILL DIE. If you do not make this beet green pasta dish like Mark Bittman made and get this special trace mineral found in beet greens that’s the only thing that feeds your liver oxygen, YOU ARE ALSO GOING TO DIE. This yoga article—actually, an excerpt from a book by Times reporter William J. Broad—is in this tradition. It finds subjects with genuine, perfectly reasonable things to say and a few suspect anecdotes and by the time a little Science (said in Thomas Dolby voice) is thrown in (some of this science is from 1972!) everyone has run away screaming at the top of their lungs: "Yoga, noooo! I’d be better off smoking crack and turning tricks outside Benito’s."

2. Yes, you can get injured doing yoga; you can also get injured walking across the street. People tell you all kinds of crazy shit about how they hurt themselves. "I was taking out the trash," "I was raking leaves," "I was vacuuming with a vacuum cleaner I don’t normally use.” The cures are often even more ridiculous than the causes. “I got a new pillow filled with millet." "I got a dog leash with a wider strap," "I did a watermelon basil enema—and it’s gone. No, not my entire asshole, dummy, my hip pain!" Who in this world has not been flat on their back and suddenly gotten a check for 5k or a promising phone call from someone hot and leapt up, miraculously cured, ready for shopping and hand jobs? Which is not to say that no one ever gets hurt in yoga. Of course they do. I have pulled a groin muscle, a shoulder muscle, a pectoral muscle. (I once got a nasty sore throat yelling at Jivamukti’s assistant manager when she let someone else take my vintage Pucci tights out of the lost and found.) But seriously. What is life but a series of mundane moments, punctuated by hazards? Someone once told me he ruptured a cervical disc reaching out to pick a piece of lint off a friend. The Times headline for this would have been “When Sweaters Are Not Just Warm.” And yes, this person was gay. I’m certain the gesture could have been a bit less operatic.

3. Let's let this one speak for itself. “In one case, a male college student, after more than a year of doing yoga, decided to intensify his practice. He would sit upright on his heels in a kneeling position known as vajrasana for hours a day, chanting for world peace. Soon he was experiencing difficulty walking, running and climbing stairs.” Oh my god. That is so weird! I can’t believe someone would sit for hours a day, days on end, in one position and get hurt. That reminds me of the time I sat around in my house eating Twinkies for hours and hours, chanting for world peace. Soon I was experiencing being really fat.

4. Did yoga really cause that stroke/aneurysm? One example in the article comes from 1972. A woman went into wheel pose, in which she rested on her head, and then had a stroke. Another guy did headstand every day and had a stroke. Well, a lot of people suffer heart attacks having sex or running, but isn’t this because their hearts are already fucked and they have sex or go running and their heart’s like, Okay, here we are, it’s go time? Isn’t it very likely that the moment that these people were doing these things was the moment that they had a stroke, and if not, well, why aren’t classes just full of people having strokes? I’d also like to add that my aunt died of a stroke too, and no one wrote an article about how eating Stouffer’s creamed chip beef and being married to a drunk asshole with orange hair causes strokes. Sometimes people just have strokes. My sound medical opinion on this is, “Better you than me.” And you know, if these people did get strokes from yoga, they were putting extreme amounts of weight on their head. There is an easy way to avoid this. Do kundalini yoga, which is headstand-free. Or merely do not do headstand. You will miss about .001 percent of what goes on in the average yoga class.

5. This article is actually more about how no one should go to a bad yoga teacher, but, you know, who would want to read an article about that? This article focuses on Glenn Black, a yoga teacher whose own injuries forced him to evaluate both the teaching and practice of yoga. He mentions “teachers jumping on people, pushing and pulling and saying, 'You should be able to do this by now.'” Well. I don’t want to go to class with any of these people either, but the existence of bad yoga teachers comes neither as a surprise to me nor some sort of proof that the practice itself is flawed. I have never been shocked to come across bad teachers, bad policemen, bad psychologists (are there any good ones? Please let me know), bad dry cleaners or bad restaurants. I’d rather go to a bad yoga class than a bad restaurant. At least you can take a nap. There’s a way to avoid doing stuff you don’t want to do in class, and it’s called 'having boundaries.' If your yoga teacher looks like they might jump on you—and whimsical hair style, body odor and overuse of the word "magic" would all be danger signs—approach them before class and ask which side of the room is for people who dislike being jumped on.

6. What’s wrong with yoga is not yoga. According to Paramahansa Yogananda, author of the yoga classic and all-around great read Autobiography of a Yogi, Kriya Yoga was well-known in ancient India, but was eventually lost, due to "priestly secrecy and man’s indifference." If we lose yoga it will also be a one-two punch, from different forces. One will be because we let the idea that we don’t really know our limitations—this is a core idea of yoga—translate into fantasies about how we can do a backbend even though we’re fifty and kind of fat, because hey, to believe it is to be it, etc. Combine this misuse of yogic philosophy with our capacity for senseless competitiveness and fear of being old, or ugly, or anything but the best, and yes, you’ve got a good recipe for injury. But if you think of yoga as a great way to breathe more, well, you’re not going to get hurt.

I'm sure Glenn Black is a great teacher and a great guy. And hey, I’m not about to trash some guy who just had his vertebrae fused. But I do marvel at his account of having put himself through 18 years of painful backbends. How did he do yoga for so long and think that doing a freaking backbend was really so important? If I lost my legs and arms and was being dragged around on a skateboard, I would still do yoga. To quote the Bhagavad Gita (and yes, I got this from Wikipedia), yoga happens when we are "[o]ffering inhaling breath into the outgoing breath, and offering the outgoing breath into the inhaling breath." Whether you hate the word Universe or love it (I have mixed feelings) I assure you it does not give rewards for enduring physical pain. It does, however, seem to give some rewards for learning to recognize yourself as a mere speck in its enormous scope and yet somehow representative of its totality while also seeing the same in others. Which is why it would kind of make me sad if people read this Times article and decided that the elliptical was a better way to unwind after work. Not that I have anything against ellipticals—though I have a sneaking suspicion the Universe may actually frown upon them.

You don’t have to stand on your head to see what’s left of you when everything else is gone, and it's something you should really take time to find out. Just in case The Times is onto something with this whole death thing.


Related: Why Yoga Can Be So Irritating (Although You Should Go Anyway!)


Sarah Miller is the author of Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl, which are for teens but adults can read on the beach. She lives in Nevada City, CA.

Photo by Dmitriy Shironosov, via Shutterstock.

68 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

I know I laughed.

HiredGoons (#603)

@HiredGoons: and as terrible as this sounds… if Yoga classes were full of people having strokes… I might join a Yoga class.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@HiredGoons lol

cherrispryte (#444)

@HiredGoons Never change.

I loved this.

I was with you until "vintage Pucci tights."

But in all seriousness, thanks for this–my takeaway from the Times article was more or less your #2: "If you think that yoga's completely harmless, you're wrong. You can get hurt doing it like you can anything involving physical activity."

@Setec Astrology Whilst I was working on a Physical Wellness book I was surprised to learn that a surprising number of common, low-level yoga poses were considered THINGS TO NEVER EVER DO IF YOU LIKE YOUR BACK. (also learned that everything causes cancer).

That stupid article didn't even mention the number one yoga calamity – bacteria encrusted yoga mats.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@NotAndersonCooper i know

HiredGoons (#603)

@NotAndersonCooper: 'other people.'

C_Webb (#855)

@NotAndersonCooper Nor did it address the most important question: will yoga get my kid into college?

melis (#1,854)

@C_Webb "Full disclosure: Glenn Black and I share an osteopath."

stuffisthings (#1,352)

I'm not into yoga, but if the Times ran a health-scare article about some activity I thought was really great (and knew to be safe), I can't imagine I'd care that much to not be enjoying it in the company of the kind of people who stop doing something on the basis of a Times health scare article. Just sayin'.

sajrocks (#2,067)

VinYESa!

Tulletilsynet (#333)

"What's wrong with yoga is not yoga."

What's wrong with ____ is not ____.

I'm hearing a meme in the making here.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@Tulletilsynet "What's wrong with the things white girls say is not the things white girls say."

Xanthophyllippa (#204,144)

I misread every mention of "Glenn Black" in this post as "Glenn Beck." Different kind of inflexible.

@Xanthophyllippa Me. too. I was like "There is no WAY Glenn Beck does yo . . . oh. Woops."

@Xanthophyllippa
Haha – I almost called him that to his face by accident this past summer when working for him… ;-0

Sooo good! Thanks for making a situation that is slowly twisting way out of control very very funny!

The Times article overstated the issue, but I've been taking yoga for a number of years, and as it's proliferated, so have the number of instructors who don't know squat. It's not so much forcing into poses these days, as instructors who don't have a solid background, and assume, for example, that if 100 degrees is good, 110 must be better. Ya know, 80 is just fine. There are also a lot who train with one kind of yoga–Bikram, Ashtanga, whatever–and blindly follow that style, regardless of the needs of their students. I have been doing yoga long enough that I can monitor my practice and avoid injury, but I worry about those who are young, getting started, and can do a lot of stuff because they are flexible, but may not be doing it right, and are never shown the correct way.

susala2 (#204,187)

@Jackie Keer@facebook While I don't think the Times article overstated the issue, I also worry about young students who have no idea how to modify or monitor their practice. But it's the same in any large group classes and almost every sports activity. Alignment is really the key, the most important consideration. Along with yoga, I do Pilates, Free Weights, Swimming and Kayaking….and you can get badly hurt in any of these activities….and there are typical injuries in each of them. I did not care for this Hairpin article, but I have expected some feedback from yogis. If this Times article had been written about swimmer or kayaker injuries….I doubt if Hairpin would have responded, maybe it's because swimmers and kayakers don't claim any particular religious affiliation….but we have the same joy in movement and love of the enviornment…but maybe different injuries.

@Jackie Keer@facebook Any instructor that doesn't mention, multiple times, that you must TUCK THAT DING-DANG OL' TAILBONE: you are terrible and I will not be returning to your class. Also, if you insist that my legs be straight and my heels be down "as far as possible!" in downward dog, I will also tell all of my friends to avoid your classes.

alliepants (#204,157)

Or they could have just said "OVERTRAINING IN ANY SORT OF ATHLETIC ENDEAVOR CAUSES INJURY."

They should have put this better, but the impression I got from the article is that the most serious practitioners of yoga think that it's not possible to do too much yoga. If that's untrue and they are like "oh hey don't overdo it" – then good! Keep on keepin on, yogis. But I do hear a lot of "oh you don't understand, yoga is the MOST HEALTHY THING IN THE WORLD. And if you can't touch your toes it's because your EGO is in the way."

Sidenote: most of us don't admit this, but the serious pursuit of ANY sport is spiritual. Yoga is just more upfront about it (and also spiritual for beginners, too). I mean, distance running is basically meditation for some people, but they don't think that if they run 75 miles at a time they'll achieve some sort of inner peace.

It seems like the guys who practice yoga all day every day and twist themselves into overly difficult positions regardless of their joint health are like ultramarathoners who don't realize their knees are going to go to shit by 60 (depending on genes of course).

/yoga rant from a former college athlete who can't touch her toes but is quite well-adjusted thank you very much.

sharilyn (#4,599)

I loved this and could not agree more. I think there's and interesting/infuriating syncretism occurring as (UMC white?) Americans get into yoga – like they are applying the A#1/superachiever/competitive spirit to what is essentially some guided breathing with a stretch or two.
I once had a yoga teacher berate me until I attempted an inversion, after which I burst into tears. A couple of years later, after some injuries had occurred in her class, she apologised to me.

vespavirgin (#1,422)

@sharilyn I had a yoga teacher (highly experienced, long-time teacher) try to shame me in front of the class when I couldn't do a balance pose. She pointed to an elderly man in the class and said, "Even this 80-year-old man can do it!" And I said, "But he's Indian!" So unfair! You can't compare a 30-something Hispanic girl with a neurological disorder to an 80-year-old Indian guy. He's gonna win every time, except maybe in a sass-off. I stopped going to her class. She was mean

virtual@twitter (#204,183)

Yoga asanas are physical exercises, and yes you can get hurt doing them. The yoga community shouldn't be overly defensive about this point. One can easily come up with reasons why safety is an issue when doing yoga asanas. Here are my Top 7 reasons:

http://virtualsatsang.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/7-reasons-why-safety-is-an-issue-within-yoga/

parallel-lines (#13,150)

I will say this: the proliferation of teaching programs in yoga studios have meant an abundance of teachers who have no idea what the fuck they are doing. I've spoken with people who've been practicing for six months who go into a quickie training program – sorry, no. You have no business being a yoga teacher. And I've been in classes where these inexperienced yoga teachers give students instructions that are bad or tell them to push through discomfort, then scold people for not trying hard enough. I'm glad I knew better to not listen to them, but pity for my classmates who didn't.

hedgehog (#15,866)

What's wrong with yoga is self-righteous yoga people. I had unholy glee at that headline, and it wasn't because the article was any good or because I think much of the NYT health section.

dharmation (#204,218)

That's a funny and wry response. But in all seriousness – and I've been kind of quiet about this, seeing all the buzz from yogis going about, I've almost felt like a crazy dissenter – I have to say I didn't think the article was totally off the mark. It was too alarmist, but from personal experience I had to agree with a lot of it. Despite all the years of training as a dancer, all the hours logged in anatomy and kinesiology, all the training I did with some of the best Iyengar teachers – basically relying on all the knowledge and body awareness that I had accumulated over 20+ years, (i.e. I was not some fly by night yogi who up and decided to teach without knowing my ass from my elbow) – my back hurt constantly during the years I taught and practiced daily. Specifically my left Si joint. It got to the point where I could pop it in and out of place. I tried everything to heal it. I modified poses, stopped doing others, did PT and acupuncture, consulted with my teachers. I kept looking for the one specific thing that was causing the pain, but I couldn't find it. It stopped hurting when I stopped teaching and stopped practicing asana daily. Now I just do a little and only what feels good and I do it however I please with no hard and fast rules. I have really come to believe that many of the poses aren't for everyone (and not just the crazy galavasana type poses, but many bread and butter poses), are not a panacea for health (or spiritual) woes and sometimes – not always, but possibly – can do more harm than good. I was totally in agreement about the headstand – I've felt that way about it for years. It is not an appropriate pose for many people – especially people like myself with a long cervical spine that makes it almost impossible to achieve an even base. Anyway … just a personal perspective from someone who at one time one of the biggest advocates for all the healing benefits from a solid daily practice.

cherrispryte (#444)

…..Am I the only one who found this remarkably insufferable? Between the disdainful sniffing, the operatic gay, the vintage Pucci tights, and the "experiencing being really fat,"* I'm not sure why I kept reading.

I don't do yoga because people who are super-into yoga usually wind up sounding like this.

*Please note, the use of this phrase in this context is total fucking bullshit, and I've already deleted two rants on the topic, because clearly, no one cares.

dham (#4,652)

@cherrispryte Amen.

@cherrispryte As a yoga enthusiast, I'd like to add that I can't stand when articles come off this way because "oh my god, shut uuuuup, you're making us all look bad!" The "people who do yoga are like…" statements drive me up the wall. As does the expensive gear…it's all totally unnecessary and I just want to scream "stop strengthening the stereotypes!"

Brave New World (#204,274)

I thought the article was well written and well researched. And I bet most of the comments are from yoga teachers afraid of losing $2. You can get seriously hurt doing yoga. Yoga in the west is all about money and ego. When practiced as a form of exercise, it is fine. The problem starts when schools try to make it a spiritual practice. If schools and teachers are honest and advertise only as exercise, there would not be a problem. How can spirituality exist when you sell $150 designer yoga pants and $30 yoga classes. Bravo to the NY Times!!!

darthchewie (#12,569)

The problem is not inexperienced yoga teachers–it is yoga itself. Even the most experienced teachers are not doctors. Read the work of Dr. Steven Stark. He is a doctor with decades of experience running studies on human flexibility. He has documented the nerve damage caused by many of these movements, damage that often does not show up until much later in life.

It is predictable, though, that Broad's article inspired such rage. Yoga practitioners view their hobby as a morally superior form of exercise. This is really a clash between science and new age philosophy. Do you want a trainer who is a doctor or DPT, or do you want a "teacher" who has some kind of certificate from a new age institute?

@Brave New World Yoga, as traditionally practiced is not simply a form of exercise, that is the Westernized version. For many, including myself, it is the the practice away from asana's (movement) that are the most beneficial. Western yoga is already so different from traditional yoga, but the core idea – that it is a spiritual practice rather than a fitness practice is true for many. In direct contrast to your statement, I have found the teachers that bring the most spirituality to their classes are also the practitioners with the most experience, both personal and professional training. I know some equate yoga with new age practices – but its ridiculous to call a documented process that 500 years old "New Age" – and to assume that something is wrong with it.

To quote the article – The problem with yoga (in the United States) is not yoga…

Namaste.

i love my cereal (#204,337)

I admit it, they got me. I read that article and I was questioning my very existence.

HyperbolicHeather (#204,356)

I think I love you, Sarah Miller. Drive down to midtown Sacramento and practice some yoga with us, eh?

sarahpm (#13,702)

@HyperbolicHeather sure i'd love to. I practice at wild mountain with Jai Dev, Kamala Slavonic, Suuzi Webb Amanda Dozal and Alexandra Epple…they are all amaazing teachers…what's your place? maybe I could do a kundalini workshop or class sometime. find me on facebook gideon rayburn

gloriawandrous (#204,360)

@Namaste … a lot of this mania springs from post-adolescent fascination w/ "Being Flexible." past a certain age, unless you were raised beaten by a gymnastics &/or figure skating coach (ballet dancers have a difficult time w/yoga), all the effort is probably for naught & injuries will result. #yoga

Titania (#8,471)

The article in NYMag on David Regelin that was published this week was an interesting counterpoint to the NYT article too, I thought:
http://nymag.com/fitness/features/david-regelin-yoga-2012-1/
It's basically the same "don't go to a bad teacher" argument, except that lots of people also seem to think that Regelin himself is a bad teacher in certain ways. I think the most important message in both is to know and respect your personal limits–yes, yoga, is to a certain degree about pushing yourself, but it's also about knowing yourself and paying attention to your body, and if you know that you're in a shitty fitness-oriented Vinyasa class at your gym where no one is going to make adjustments and help you work into the poses, maybe don't do that headstand and don't go as fast as the teacher always wants you to go and when your wrists hurt, sit back in Child's Pose. Removing ego from the experience is an important message; trying to "win" at yoga is always a mistake.

Ruardt Prozesky (#204,534)

Brilliant! Thank you for putting things in perspective and articulating it so well!

This article made me so happy, mostly for the sanity and compassion pulsing through its humor. And I say that despite the fact that though I continue to try yoga, its hard for me not hate it, and I find it as difficult as the average person would find, say, pole vaulting. Thank you.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@Gen. Smedley T. Butler if you don't like yoga don't do it. Go for a walk outside …who cares if you like yoga. I hate like, so much shit. I love yoga tho.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@Gen. Smedley T. Butler or don't go for a walk outside. watch frontline or eat pears. the point is to enjoy life. It is so short.

I also suspect that an article about "how eating Stouffer’s creamed chip beef and being married to a drunk asshole with orange hair causes strokes", to be A)believable and informative, and B)more worthwhile than most advice from the NYT….. One of y'all, git pitchin….

This is like, the fourth defensive rebuttal to the NYT article I've seen today. Which pretty much sums up every reason why I bolt out of yoga before any yoga people wake up from savasana and start talking.

People still read the Times? And those that do believe it? Humm… gotta bridge for sale, any takers?

Shiv (#204,662)

If loving Sarah Miller is wrong I don't wanna be right! Such a refreshing cuss-word filled response invigorates ma chakras; ignore the haters Sarah! I wish you were my yogi :-)

Shiv (#204,662)

PS also had problems with the Glenn Black / Glenn Beck thing…

Shiv (#204,662)

Hmm. This is my first time posting, love the fact you have an alarming countdown on the opportunity to edit a comment. Did I *realllly* mean it, or did i just drink too much??? 5-4-3-2… you're full of shit!!!

sherwyn8de (#204,353)

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I'll certainly be back.

Well, Sarah Miller, maybe you should try a little yoga to cool your jets…then maybe you won't feel the need to drop the f-bomb every other word.

sarahpm (#13,702)

@Sharon Westey@facebook f bombs is like the stupidest fbombing word in the whole motherfbombing world.

SeanP (#4,058)

@sarahpm How many times am I allowed to push the fbombing "thumbs up" button?

Your article made me laugh a lot !
I did yoga this past summer at Omega with Glenn, and I liked his classes. However, they were pretty challenging for me, and I don't think I'm that ready for his level.

I started to realize more recently that there are certain poses I don't need to be doing cause they neither help me, nor strengthen the muscles that are aching (from being too weak). So now I modify in class. When the teacher is instructing in a pose that doesn't fit my body, I focus on exercises to build my muscles up, rather than hyper-extend them.

Overall, most teachers I've taken class with always say at the beginning of class, this IS YOUR Practice, and I have taken that to heart more and more so recently. I think people have such busy lives, in Yoga class they just want to let go, and let someone else lead them. However, that's not always great, because you can overdo it. Just like you can overdo anything.

Sometimes – in Bikrams specifically, I've come across teachers who push and push, and say – "if it doesn't hurt – you're not doing it right". Sometimes I follow the leader, and sometimes I listen more to my own body – and I've come out of either of those classes either feelin' better than I have in 15 years, or sometimes, with painful back injuries that take weeks to heal.

We are Bio-Individuals !!!! Not carbon-copies of the same exact model. So we have to act from that place no matter the method of exercise, or meditation for that matter
;-0
So Long & Thanks for the all the Fish !

Jeez. isn't this great – an Awl article extolling ignorance? Looks like someone struck a nerve.

Some of this article sounds like some environmental lawyer for Dow Chemical arguing whether or not you can tie an entire community's cancer rates to your pestilence-spewing facility:

"Correlation does not equal causation! How can you tell me these people got cancer from our operation? Were they born in a lab?"

This is an extremely disingenuous and exploitative means of using skepticism as a means of attacking serious criticism and exploration of the facts. I mean, Sarah, when you say that "what is wrong with yoga is not yoga" – well, how the hell do you define yoga, Sarah? Are YOU a practicing Hindu? How close are any of us in the West to being able to authoritatively define it well enough to dismiss statements on it that rub you the wrong way, or get in the way of business?

The fact is that there is a dark side to yoga here in the west. We can exalt the Platonic ideal all we want, but ultimately, it's something humans practice, and human beings are fallible. Especially here in the West, we're prone to chasing after the attainment of specific body types as if they were the latest fashion, and there's plenty of marketing in the Western yoga industry that caters to these destructive tendencies. Moreover, yoga is something that is ever-evolving. Suggesting that a physical modality developed in a civilization totally different from our own is inherently perfect is IMO flat-out irresponsible, and, well, ignorant.

@Justin Hampton@facebook

SeanP (#4,058)

@Justin Hampton@facebook Did you even read this? 1) point to me where it's claimed that yoga is "inherently perfect. 2) The point isn't that no one can get hurt doing yoga (in fact, the author points out that you can). The point is that you can get hurt doing a lot of things.

I have been dealing with a yoga injury for more than a year now. It affects everything I do. I can't even say out loud that I got hurt doing yoga because there is such a societal belief that you can't possibly get hurt doing yoga. I thought the NYTM article was a little wacky, not in their usual style, but I do think the strong reaction it has provoked is enlightening. I honestly never believed that I could get hurt this way. I was stretching! I followed all the rules and was diligent with my poses and posture. I had phenomenal teachers! I am strong and active. But on any given day now, I can't step into my clothing, can't easily get out of my car, can't sit comfortably, can't sleep. It has been almost 14 months of pain and now, the prospect of surgery. I wonder how many people have stayed silent because they didn't want to be ridiculed!

saajanroy (#205,652)

Hi friends,
Yoga is not related to any religion,
you hv know yoga from a qualified source,

fbroughton (#206,006)

I use Yoga to gain core strength and flexibility. I do it as part of my warm up and cool down to stretch and strengthen. My body and balance have never been better.

I was cheering you on until you had to get a dig in on psychologists. So you won't dis a bad yoga teacher but you'll dis an entire field? The answer: Yes. There are a lots of good psychologists doing lots of good things and helping lots of people. That was an idiotic thing to say.

Mat Witts@facebook (#207,299)

I don't really see any problem, just get one of those New Yoga Insurance Policies that Provides Cover in the Event of an Outbreak of Oreos… and Other Dangers: http://yogawiki.co/Main/AYogaBook/OreosMightInvalidateYourYogaInsurance

Barbara (#207,573)

I have found that the book, "Oxygen Yoga: A Spa Universe" so helpful. I just love it and I do a series of the poses every eight weeks. I love it.

Haha, the right finally has a chance to fight superstition with science. They must be loving it.

My uncle wrote this article. He has been an avid yogi for 30+ years now. The article was meant as publicity for his upcoming book, the science of yoga, which is 90 % about how GOOD yoga is for you. That article is literally one tiny excerpt from one chapter in the book on some of the risks.

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