Lately, yoga’s gotten some bad press. First there was William Broad’s article (and his forthcoming book) about injuries related to yoga. And last month, John Friend, founder and head of Anusara Yoga, left his post amid allegations of financial impropriety and other misconduct. And don’t even get me started on the idea of yoga competitions.
All this just breaks my heart. Over a decade of yoga practice and several teacher trainings have changed my life profoundly in innumerable, positive ways. To paraphrase the immortal words of Donny Osmond, I urge you: please don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole buncha yogis!
Needless to say, yogis were up in arms (literally and figuratively) about Mr. Broad’s article. It’s important to note that Mr. Broad himself is a long time yoga practitioner. And he states in the piece that: “[Devotees] celebrate [yoga’s] abilities to calm, cure, energize and strengthen. And much of this appears to be true: yoga can lower your blood pressure, make chemicals that act as antidepressants, even improve your sex life.” It is true! I am sure many of the nearly 20 million practitioners in this country would gladly attest to these benefits and many more.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone should just asana their hearts out with abandon. In any fitness DVD – including those for yoga – there are qualifiers up front encouraging people to check with their physician before beginning a new regimen. Why should we expect something different for yoga? Two years ago, I had excruciating tendonitis…from my elliptical trainer! Where was the drama then, I ask you? You know what helped? Yoga.