This is a radio interview with some yoga authorities in USA debating an article that was published recently around the idea ’ how yoga can ruin your body&life’.
I listened with great interest ( after reading the article mentioned, a week earlier) what will they comment about. And it is fascinating to me, that all those yoga experts,who practice for decades,as they say, had no better answer then to discuss the postures! How a yoga posture can harm body and cause one to suffer pain, injury, etc. It is all about a pose,pose,pose…briefly they mention breath and meditation and even that in such context as being of minor significance to a yoga practice. They do not emphasize, that is a teacher who should be knowledgeable and experienced enough to guide the practice, so there are no injuries. Today new yoga teachers are emerging faster then a chicken can lay an egg. Receiving certificates after two weeks training in some exotic resort by the beach! What do they really know about yoga? Anyone can practice yoga,but not anyone should be teaching yoga! There was a time when a yoga master would refuse to accept a student, rightly so! Because the master knew what are the consequences to teach someone that does not have right qualities, attitudes and practices in daily life - a potential - to be a devoted and truthful carrier of the knowledge received. It was a primal task of a teacher to select only those students who would be able to carry on the tradition. Today, all around the world there is no selection among those students nor teachers, there is no concern about to whom the knowledge is passed on, the focus is on how much money can be made by teaching yoga! Needless to mention that this attitudes are completely in contradiction with what all ancient texts on yoga are teaching. There is no practice of yamas,niyamas, devotion,…What is the idea to have 50 people in a yoga practice class? A teacher can not oversee every student in such class. So, what is the purpose of having a class like this? Only financial benefit for the owner of the studio! I think it is of vital importance that a teacher knows how to deal with conditions of a student and adjust the practice accordingly. That can never happen in a group of 50! Such group is not homogeneous so the practice would be suitable for all. As told in the interview people come in with different body/mind conditions. So they have put the blame on a student who takes a yoga lesson that is not appropriate, instead of taking responsibility as a teacher. Easy,isn’t it?!
I am very happy myself that I have learned in my yoga training how to address such issues. Because I have people coming to my lessons with conditions of arthritis, reuma, back pain, neck pain, injured thoracic vertebras,osteoporosis,heart condition,breathing problems,obesity,anxiety….I need to know what posture and practice is good for them and what is harmful. And among those are also students who are fit and flexible enough to go to more advanced practice. I have to serve them all within same class, so they all benefit and go home happy with the experience of what yoga really can do for them and not how much profit per student the studio will earn. Truly, yoga is not about the pose you can strike, but about the effect and function of the pose on the body and mind. Yoga is dealing with the energy of the body, a teacher should be aware of this and more importantly know what to teach to achieve a state of yoga( tranquility, equanimity of body, mind and breath) for all within a class. I honestly question the quality of practice of all those who are involved in this interview. They all are ‘into yoga’ for 30-40 years! Wow, they should be able to ‘float on the air by now’! Yet, they are involved in a discussions about a pose! How sad.
The author (Jason Crandell) of that published article is coming to Amsterdam to give a weekend workshop. Surly, I will have some questions for him!!!