On the Cover of The New York Times: How Yoga can Wreck your Body.

Via on Jan 5, 2012

A nice moment: first time I remember seeing yoga front-and-center on the home page of nytimes.com in four years of blogging.

Featured in this Sunday’s NY Times Magazine, and on the cover of nytimes.com at present, is a feature on how yoga can mess us up.

We’ve been saying this for years*: all yoga is not yoga. Yoga is not an exercise, merely. Without proper alignment, you will hurt yourself sooner or later. Without breath to relax and naturally align, you will hurt yourself sooner or later. Without drishti, without training by teachers who were themselves properly trained…yoga is bad for you.

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*elephant turns 10, this summer!

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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7 Responses to “On the Cover of The New York Times: How Yoga can Wreck your Body.”

  1. omiya says:

    Doing vajrasana for hours every day is silly, yet they use this as an example of why yoga is bad for you. Moderation people!!

  2. Michele says:

    This is why the yamas and niyamas are the first 2 limbs and asana is 3rd.

  3. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    i would be cautious about simply dismissing this or wanting to find a common sense answer to the riddle…. also the reliance on a deeply intoned "alignment" as some kind of engineering code that just works may be fallacious.

    many highly experienced and well trained long term yogis and practitioners have been seriously injured and/or needed surgery and i know people who were very badly injured by aggressive adjustments from none other than pattabhi jois…

    glenn black is along term serious and thoughtful yogi and bodyworker, like richard freeman he ended up having spinal surgery.

    the main thing i got from the article was that certain aspects of traditional yoga, practiced correctly as taught by "masters" are in fact not great for the body long term and can even cause short term acute injury.

    i never teach headstand and make shoulderstand optional for this reason.

    i also think that the culture of acrobatic impressive cirque du soleil "he/she has a strong practice" is probably not sustainable and wreaks havoc on the joints…

  4. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    fair comment though – yoga does far more good than harm – i just have observed in almost 20 years teaching that it is a dirty little secret how many teachers and advanced practitioners have long term injuries specifically from yoga OR that yoga is not helping but perhaps perpetuating….. it's why in my teacher training i emphasize learning anatomy and understanding pain syndromes so deeply… rather than touting some authoritatively handed down master plan of "correct alignment" as if it is a cure-all.

  5. ditto says:

    As long as you are doing it int your in your underwear, it must be good for you.

  6. [...] main yoga teacher cited in the article, Glenn Black talks of the tradition of yoga and that it wasn’t designed for classes en mass or [...]

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