Monday, January 07, 2008


Apparently some people are getting hurt in yoga class.

From a piece Sunday's "Iowa City Press-Citizen":

Many people such as Miller suffer injuries from yoga, but instead of quitting they alter their practice. There are a variety of ways to explain the pain, such as matching the wrong technique to your body’s needs, as in Miller’s case. Others suggest the problem is rooted in inexperienced and overzealous teachers and participants jumping on the yoga bandwagon.

Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 14 million people practice yoga or tai chi in the U.S., which is up 136 percent since 2000. With that surge, there have been an eye-popping number of injuries. The commission reported that 13,000 Americans were treated in a doctor’s office or emergency room for yoga-related injuries over the past three years.....

.....The recent “yoga craze,” as Footner describes it, has cast a spotlight on this ancient practice and exposed yoga as a way to care for people’s bodies, which is a good thing, she said. But it also has opened the door for injuries due to ambitious but insufficiently trained instructors and participants.

“There are a lot of untrained people teaching yoga,” Footner said. “When they don’t know what they are doing, people can get hurt.”

But wait, there's more:

Tips for finding a good yoga instructor

 How many years have they studied yoga, before becoming a teacher? Where did they train to become a teacher?
 Do they practice daily outside of their class?
 Ask them about their continuing education.
 Ask them about their certification: How long did it take?
 Watch if they are paying attention to what you are doing. Are they moving around the room in order to observe and assist, or staying in one place?
 Did the teacher ask you about any injuries or physical conditions, such as recent surgeries, high blood pressure or pregnancy?
 Is the teacher demonstrating how to do a posture or expecting you to just follow along?

The question they neglected to include is Why did they decide to become a yoga teacher?

The best answer is, "My teacher asked me to."

Depending, of course, on who the teacher is.

The full piece is here.