Saturday, January 14, 2012
Actually, that isn't true. The New York Times is a corporation, not a person. So how could it hate anything really.
Anyway, the North American yoga world has been a buzz over a recent New York Times article that isn't terribly flattering to yogaland. It's one of those pieces where intelligent points are swimming in a sea of muckraking and designed drama production. It's true that asana practice can lead to injuries if done without attention and care. Furthermore, it's also true that there are too many poorly trained teachers out there who are treating yoga like the perfect power fitness routine, one that couldn't possibly, in their minds, have any precautions.
However, to move from there to suggesting that "many people" are basically risking potentially life-changing injuries every time they practice is ridiculous. The article cites an increased number of yoga-related injuries appearing in emergency rooms, and all I can think of is how yoga's popularity has exploded over the last decade. In other words, it's no surprise at all that there are more injuries. Frankly, moving your body in everyday activities is risky. Picking up a heavy box without considering the alignment of your body is risky. Swinging a tennis racket hard for the first time after a long layoff is risky. To often, this article read like the mind of a person who believes airplane travel is more dangerous than driving, never mind that far, far more people are injured or killed in car accidents annually.
Let's face it, though. A more accurate, balanced article about yoga injuries just wouldn't have been that hot and controversial. That's what makes the big bucks most of the time. At the same time, there has been some good discussion stirred up around the issues in the article. Here's a taste of the online discussions.