Sunday, January 15, 2012

NY Times and Fear-Mongering

Via my Twitter pal Claudia, a new articles from the Daily Bandha: Co-activating the Gluts and Abs in Chaturanga Dandasana: Ray and Chris don't even mention the hated NY Times article on the dangers of yoga, but they slap Times writer William Broad hard:

Sociopathic corporations and individuals often resort to this form of asatya when they realize that they lack the ability to compete fairly or are afraid that someone else will gain power; they fear losing control or influence over others, mainly for monetary gain. Consequently, the fear monger acts out of fear and heads down the slippery slope of asatya. For example, they might exaggerate or fabricate scientific data to cast a false light onto something or someone they fear. Ironically, in the process, they often succeed in exposing and encouraging their own fears. An entity exposed for abusing its position of trust by deliberately misleading others will lose that position. That’s how the spiritually bankrupt become, simply, bankrupt.
That should be clear enough. Contrast this to the Kareem quote on the benefits of practice.
"I believe that yoga is one of the reasons that I was able to play as long and as healthy as I did… Yoga is somewhat hard to quantify in terms of benefits because you see them in all the injuries you don't get… For me, I noticed improvement in my posture—that was key for me because I had been having lower back problems... After I started doing yoga positions—asanas—all that changed. My health greatly improved overall."
I also like this quote from "Amy" in the Times comments:
I am appreciative that this article brings potential yoga asana injuries to our attention and reminds us that yoga is not about competition. However, I am appalled by the lack of research and comparative studies as well as the sensationalism and the misleading photos . In a former life, I worked for the flagship news show of a major network and, although, often the research did not reach the TV screen, it was always there to back it up. In a print article of this length there is the space, and certainly there must be the editorial support (NYTimes, really?), to include supporting data. I now teach nonfiction writing and I am considering using this article as an example of what not to do.

As an avid runner and Nordic skier, as well as small time farmer, I am grateful to the benefits that yoga asana practice has recently brought to my sport and work stressed body. As a mother of three teens running my own business, yoga brings calm, focus, and a positive attitude to each day I practice. My intention is to heal, not to damage, body and mind. I would be very interested in knowing how I can prevent yoga injury from a well researched, data supported, and multi-source paper.

Bringing this all back home, literally, I am visiting my dad who has been in hospital/rehab for a month. My mom asked me if yoga is dangerous, as she heard on the radio. Didn't remember any details as to how its dangerous or who said it was. But was concerned. My dad is hospitalized in large part as a result of a sedentary, meat-eating life, but yoga is dangerous... Context is ironic.

I gave her my rap: Advanced poses that your body has not been prepared for is dangerous, not listening to your body is dangerous, not having a teacher is dangerous, being competitive is stupid, not understanding it is a practice of self-awareness is risky, etc...

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