Friday, March 30, 2012

Can yoga wreck your body?

     Yes, if you're not mindful.  There was an article recently in the New York Times about the "dangers" of practicing yoga.  While I've taught yoga for several years and have praised its benefits, I have seen my share of people who have been hurt practicing it.  I've had my own injuries ranging from shoulder to hamstrings to knee.  I now work regularly with a qualified teacher, in a small class setting, to find proper alignment in these poses to hopefully prevent further injury.  It's important to me as a yoga student, and teacher, to constantly be learning.
      And no.  The NY Times article goes on to discourage a yoga practice for most people.  Here is where I completely disagree.  I believe yoga can be a healing practice for anyone who seeks it.  Once again, mindfulness is key.  There are so many styles of yoga, from therapeutic to gentle to hot and sweaty power yoga.  If you find you are hurting yourself in your practice, something needs to change. 

Yoga Support for Cancer Survivors Class

     There is an article I saw recently that really spoke to me.  Arturo Galvez, a yoga teacher in the San Diego area, replies on this same topic:  '“I don’t recommend to them, ‘don’t do yoga.’ I recommend to them to go find a smaller class and a teacher who has the experience to handle their problem,” Galvez said. “Find someone who can give you the attention and that has the experience, and if that happens then it can be great.”  Galvez suggests the way yoga is currently marketed to Americans and the way it is increasingly practiced is the source of such risk and injury. The problem lies not in the practice of yoga itself, but in the increase of large classes taught by inadequate teachers to a constantly changing group of practitioners with the main focus of yoga as an exercise."  To read more of this article, click here.

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