October 05, 2007

When Yoga Hurts

A short piece in this week's Time Magazine. Some bullets:

* Over the past three years, 13,000 Americans were treated in an emergency room or a doctor's office for yoga-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

* Though the Yoga Alliance, formed in 1999 and now based in Clinton, Md., has set a minimum standard of 200 hours of training for certification, only 16,168 of the estimated 70,000 instructors in the U.S. have been certified.

* ....most of the injuries he sees are sustained by "weekend warrior" baby boomers who begin yoga without realizing that their bodies are no longer what they used to be. "They think that yoga is an easy way to start exercising, so they go to class once a week, not stretched out at all, and they get hurt."

An interesting warning; I know I am high on yoga for lots of reasons. But I ramped up to my current practice slowly, through 16 weeks of intro classes, and then months of gentle and all levels classes before I grew into the hot and power classes.

I do, however, disagree with this comment: "And while yoga has been shown to alleviate stress and osteoarthritis, it doesn't develop the muscle-bearing strength needed to help with osteoporosis." - because when a 200 pound person can balance and support her weight on her head, her arms, or one leg, there is muscle-bearing strength involved.

No comments: