Six Reasons To Ignore The ‘New York Times’ Yoga Article
sarah miller

Yoga most certainly can wreck your body. It is teachers like you who don’t know what pain is and therefore cannot empathize with what others go through. I often watch around me in amazement wondering how everyone else isn’t in pain. This is coming from an avid yogi who recently and objectively realized that not only can it hurt you, it cannot balance imbalances. It just can’t. It exacerbates aching in people with generalized nerve issues. And the body is not made and not supposed to do half of this stuff. Again, this is from an avid yogi who was only healed through Pilates. Not only did yoga do nothing to help my severe postural issue, it made it worse. Something as simple as putting arms up in warrior pose sent my shoulders and neck into flames. Only through Pilates did my muscles start working in harmony, putting the overworked traps to sleep and activating others such as the lats to stop compensatory behavior. Or strengthening the abs to create a sort of magnetic padding for the spine. Yoga can do none of this. People with imbalanced bodies will only feel worse trying to get into headstands and shoulder stands even if supported on chairs Iyengar style. Today, I entered my Pilates studio (which I was referred to by a doctor after suffering with posture-related pain for years on end, being barked at by Iyengar teachers that “your shoulders will only heal when you use your body weight on them” !!!!!!!). How is it, for instance, that Pilates is used at clinics as rehab and yoga isn’t? So today I entered the studio, and, as per usual, exited feeling like a car that had just been to the garage to be tweaked. Then, I went to my usual yoga, did everything with props (ado mukha with blocks, barad vajasana with blanket and strap and block, sharvargasana with chair, shirshasana with two chairs, malasana with blanket, marichiasana with strap and blanket) and now everything, as usual, is spasming out of control. Virsana is a disaster for a knee with even a hint of anything wrong. And the lats and sub-scaps I work so hard on strengthening in Australian-style, top notch physio and Pilates reformer and cadillac machines are vanquished. It’s not out of inexperience, because as you can read, I am experienced. But I find that my yoga teachers (very high-ranking and studied under the Iyengars themselves) have no fundamental physiological imbalances and therefore can never understand why I can’t stay still for 4 hours in one pose or why certain poses will never grow on me. What I find even more idiotic is this personal offense taken by yogis who feel like someone has insulted their son when people come out and say it’s too painful. Spinal health can only be promoted when stretched in the position it was created, as is the case with Pilates and NOT the case with yoga.

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