Okay, so I stole that heading from Marshall Hagins, but I loved it too much not to use it. So here’s the article that has gotten so much attention lately…
And here are the responses…
- Washington Post: Yoga Gurus go to War
- How the NYT Can Wreck Yoga (by Marshall Hagins)
- My 2 Cents about “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” (by Leslie Kaminoff)
- The Guardian: ‘Yoga can damage your body’ article throws exponents off balance
When I first read the article I wasn’t as worked up as some yogi’s. I took it with a grain of salt knowing that the flaws in anything can be taken out of context and made believable. Yes, it’s unfortunate that the article may scare some people away from yoga. But I think that Leslie Kaminoff said it so well that I just have to use his words… “This article said ‘shoulderstand, plow, and head stand are dangerous.’ It didn’t say, when certain people do it who have certain things going on in their body in a certain way, it can be dangerous. That’s a big fat ‘duh.’ I mean, who didn’t know that?”
The reason yoga is held so high and has so many health claims is not just simply because of the poses. It’s not simply the activity. It is the state of mind that you fall into while breathing deep and stretching your body in such a way that it feels good. If you go so far that it doesn’t feel good, you shouldn’t be there. Simple as that.
“When there is a great potential for making money, quality is usually the first thing to be sacrificed. Fast food, anyone? It is unfortunate that this is exactly what we are facing now – yoga has been McDona-fied. It has been reduced from a practice that traditionally demanded dedication, discipline, sacrifice, humility, surrender, love, devotion, and self-investigation – and yes, suffering through rigorous practice – to something that one can now learn to ‘teach’ in a weekend. Or, more popularly, in a mere 200 hours you can become a bonafide, registered yoga instructor. 200 hours is spit. It is a joke. And it is a joke that is leading a tradition – one which, granted, has even in India been subject to ridicule – to an even greater harm. We have an opportunity, in the West, to bring these transformative teachings to places where they will result in the greatest good. It is true that this is already happening – in schools, prisons, hospitals, with veterans, and as well with people who simply walk into a class off of the street – but it is also true that a rotten apple can spoil the barrel, and the yoga industry apple is a mighty big apple.” ~ Marshall Hagins
We shall see what The Science of Yoga book has to bring. Hopefully not so many inaccuracies.
Happy and healthy practice to you,