Practicing yoga with back pain is one thing. Practicing yoga with a herniated disc is something completely different! Differentiating between the two is a big guessing game for most yoga teachers. It’s difficult because the symptoms of either back pain or herniated disc overlap.
Here I discuss the recently published article by William J. Broad in the New York Times, titled Women’s Flexibility Is a Liability (in Yoga) which provoked a strong response from many in the yoga community.
I was recently asked a question via email. Can yoga fix scoliosis? It’s certainly not the first time that I’ve ever been asked about scoliosis and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s a seemingly simple question but it bends in a direction that makes me wonder about our larger expectations for our yoga practice and our desire for a simple answer to what seems like a simple question. The truth is, it’s neither a simple question nor a simple answer.
It is disheartening to see the New York Times come out with yet another article that seems to completely miss the point of yoga. I think this one is worse than the last, which described a woman going to yoga and eventually realizing that cross training would lead to smaller sized clothing than if she only did yoga. I can only imagine how these NYT articles are put together and why. Picking quotes and statistics that fit the agenda of the author perhaps? What is the point exactly of this article, to warn people to not try or practice yoga? Is it to break up certain myths surrounding yoga? What does this really say about yoga injuries?
As a preface, there was an original question asking if someone could explain what nutation and counternutation actually were and how it might relate to backbending type postures such as ustrasana, kapotasana, and urdhva dhanurasana.
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