This is the best response to the William Broad article Yoga Can Wreck Your Body I’ve read – How the NYT Can Wreck Yoga by Rick Bartz.
Broad is a ‘senior science writer at The Times’, and though his article is heavy on anecdote and slim on science, I agree that the increasing occurrences of injuries in yoga should not be discounted or taken lightly. Still, the temptation to argue Broad’s article paragraph by paragraph is hard to resist: for example, yoga teacher Glenn Black’s repeated, incorrect use of the word ‘ego‘, or the need to go back to the 1970′s to find examples of strokes caused by yoga. The case of the college student who kneeled on his toes for hours ‘praying for world peace’, causing nerve damage, begs the questions: what was he more influenced by; yoga, or Christian penitence? And does one need to inflict suffering on oneself in order to bring about peace? The teachings of Yoga would claim just the opposite.
There are a couple of obvious reasons why there are so many injuries in yoga (which we must acknowledge do on occasion occur, as they do in every physical activity). The nature of the injuries and the way that one responds to an injury also varies greatly. However, Broad did not address this issue, he addressed the most sensationalistic aspects of injury, and this is what I wish to respond to.
Read the whole response. Later he states his concern about “the lack of balance in a report of genuine importance—risk of injury while practicing yoga.”
Me too. Maybe context and more balance will come from others over the next few weeks.