Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can yoga wreck your body?

Have you seen the recent stories in the NYT Mag (Jan 5, 2012) and elsewhere about how killer yoga is?

Apparently yoga is not for the faint-hearted and you have to be in good shape to even do it.

I went to an ashram nightly in the 1970s—yoga is more than bending into a pretzel or standing on your head. It’s meditation, chanting, breathing, centering—these don’t require physical prowess, though they can improve your physical well-being.

Beginners should go to a reputable place—the articles allege that some teachers are taskmasters—bending hapless students this way and that. I have had a teacher gently press my back or something—not torture.

Apparently, more yoga casualties are going to ERs and docs these days. They have pulled muscles and ligaments. Pop!

I know of one pose—which used to be called the Wrestler’s Bridge—with the back flat and top pf head on the ground that is really not very neck friendly.

Ramesh Bjonnes offers some tips:

Easy does it. The term asana (pose) means easily held.

Combine yoga with meditation.

Listen to your bod..pain means stop.

Yoga is not competitive.

We had some pretzel people in one class, I recall—I did not try to emulate. Now, I am such a mess I probably could not even walk in.

Time passes. It sure passed me.

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