I don’t expect lululemon athletica soon to set a design team on this one:
After class, I asked [Sankalpah Yoga instructor Glenn] Black about his approach to teaching yoga — the emphasis on holding only a few simple poses, the absence of common inversions like headstands and shoulder stands. He gave me the kind of answer you’d expect from any yoga teacher: that awareness is more important than rushing through a series of postures just to say you’d done them. But then he said something more radical. Black has come to believe that “the vast majority of people” should give up yoga altogether. It’s simply too likely to cause harm.
The above is one key quote from an article that is said to have created quite a buzz in the so-called “yoga world.”
I have no reason to doubt that it has done so, and a Google search of “Yoga wreck your body” brings up a lot of news hits, but it’s worth keeping in mind just how big that world is – big enough to absorb a lot of buzzing without much lasting effect. Still, the article generated reaction far and wide: Film critic Roger Ebert, who may or may not ever have tried a pose, tweeted as follows:
I read a political blogger somewhere who took the line: “That does it, everything is bad for you, even yoga!”
Blogger and WYC graduate Heather Matinde took a more balanced approach:
Yoga is a beautiful practice but like anything, it can be misused and abused. When most people picture yoga they think of asanas, the incredible, pretzel poses that seasoned yogis can twist themselves into. However, the intended purpose of yoga is not to twist oneself into a pretzel. Yoga means to yoke or unite. Some people out there do experience a unification of the mind, body, and heart when they engage in complex pretzely type poses but many people just hurt or frustrate themselves trying. When a person is caught up in ego and is pushing themselves through poses or comparing themselves to others, they are not being mindful and when mindfulness is absent it is easy to get hurt. When yoga postures are practiced without awareness they are not yoga.
Hard to disagree with Heather, but Glenn Black said something more, and, in saying that something more, reinforced a belief about yoga at odds with hers: That it is that pretzel-y and dangerous thing that he says “the vast majority of people” should give up.
I’ve heard rumors that Scott Miller may soon have something to say about that idea.