in the last 24 hours, i’ve been inundated with clients, friends, family, and strangers emailing me this link:
How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body
By WILLIAM J. BROAD
and if you teach yoga in the western hemisphere, i assume it’s come across your email a time or thousand as well…
but on the off-chance you missed it, the article argues, in a nutshell, that yoga can basically disable, paralyze, or otherwise lead you to a slow and painful death. cited are a few very random, very extreme examples of people who lost certain capacities or encountered strokes, apparently as a result of their yoga practice.
and the statistics he uses to demonstrate his point are staggering! in 2002, there were a frightening 46 emergency room admissions due to yoga…up from just 13 in the year 2000! 46! out of tens of millions of practitioners, many practicing 2-3 or even more times per week…46 emergency room admissions in an entire year. really?
i would assume there are more home crafting emergency room visits than that…you know how dangerous those scissors can be! oh, and i suggest you get out of that kitchen. do you know how many people burn themselves trying to cook even the simplest dishes?
this is yellow journalism at its finest. taking a very popular activity–yoga–and trying to discredit it, cause a controversy, and, yes, draw more eyeballs to the new york times at a time when newspapers are floundering for readership and readers devour anything and everything having to do with yoga. (i almost hate to feed into it by posting this)
listen, if you’re coming to yoga to heal an injury, i agree that arm balances, inversions, and other extreme poses aren’t the route for repair. but these more intricate poses provide a venue for healthy people to align their bodies and their minds to face up to challenges in a calm and controlled manner. a different kind of healing. life healing.
yes, be smart about the classes that you choose and find the one that serves your particular needs, but i wouldn’t worry about how yoga can wreck your body. be smart and you’ll be okay.