YOGA- NOT FOR EVERYONE!!!!

The New York Times published a very true to life article on yoga (here).  Many people, especially many of our patients, may be offended by this article as seeing it as very “negative” towards yoga or “anti-yoga”.  We at BCC do NOT agree.  What yoga has become in our country, especially in the metro-Detroit area, for a great part has strayed from its roots in self exploration and respect.  Here is our take on the article and yoga in general:

  • Yoga, just like any exercise is NOT for everyone.
  • Some poses of yoga are very restorative to INDIVIDUALS, but this again is dependent on each person’s needs. No two people are the same, so their yoga will most likely not be either.
  • “It’s ego,” he said. “The whole point of yoga is to get rid of ego.” – We very much like this quote from the article.  Yoga is not about how far you can get into any pose, but how you can understand what your body needs, and most of us need the help of a skilled, safe practitioner to help us with this understanding.
  • People need to understand who developed yoga- Indian people who were adept at squatting deeply and moving differently than our “modern American posture” which includes hours a day (for most of us) sitting at a desk/working on computer/driving. Postures that these people found easy and restorative will most certainly need to be modified for our more sedentary people.
  • One of the most important aspects of yoga (not mentioned in the article) is the focus on breath at the center of movement. Not just any breath either, but instead diaphragmatic, abdominal breath in all planes of motion.

Just to clarify, we do often prescribe yoga positions as therapeutic movements for our patients, but not until we have evaluated the patient and seen their specific needs.  Your BCC Doc would love to help show you what postures can be good for you individually.  Dr. Stuart McGill sums it up very well: “There is no perfect exercise.  Only the right exercise, for the right person at the right time”

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