on February 13, 2012
I have been a "consumer" of yoga for over 20 years. I enjoy it immensely but I have never pursued it to extreme levels.
As I have a scientific background, it always bothers me about the claims that yoga teachers often parrot out about the benefits of yoga. Everything from weight loss to curing every disease to " yoga is the greatest total work out there is". Often they preface "scientists have found that yoga blah blah blah". The latest was last week when a Birkram teacher informed us "The standing Bikram series is the equivalent to running for 40 minutes at 4 mph." I understand this to be nonesense.
I really appreciate the second chapter of William Broad's book about the scientific research on yoga. Like any other form of exercise, yoga has strengths and weaknesses. Let's focus on yogas strengths and to get the cardio, we can do something else to get that. Let's cut the BS and love yoga for what it is.
I think yoga consumers should start a movement to hold these teachers to task who claim unproven benefits of yoga. Too many of them sound like modern snake oil salesmen. It is difficult because we are supposed to respect our teachers but William Broad's book gives us a new approach to this discussion.
on March 22, 2015
Excellent review of the potential for injury when doing hatha yoga while still recognizing its benefits with the proper teacher.
I found an excellent instructor who recognizes that it is important to be gentle yet precise. She gives excellent classes in backcare and for seniors. She has produced some audio CDs that are available online. Her name is Kumari and is based in Aylmer, Quebec. Her maiden name is Catherine Gillis. She will be giving teacher training at the Sivanada Yoga Ashram in Val Morin, Quebec, Canada from April 13 to 20, 2015.