Yoga, the invisible killer?

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For a long time, yoga is my favorite way to keep slim and healthy. However, days ago I saw an article on a Chinese website and claimed that yoga was an invisible killer which would cause invisible harm to our body. I was shocked.
However, was the claim true? Or was yoga evaluated in an unscientific way?
In the article "Yoga can damage your body", the author said that a lot of people, including some yoga teachers, used to get injured while doing yoga. She claims that some yoga positions are actually harmful. Her evidence is the story of Naomi Harris, who used to have a really good time with yoga, yet was harmed by yoga.
In the second article "Is yoga really bad for you? Om, not sure." The author claimed that harm that is caused by yoga is due to bad ways of practicing. "Yoga is a tool", and misuse of any kind of tool will cause damage.
The final article "Is yoga bad for your health?" tells the similar thing. The author claims that people who do yoga should always listen to their body to reach the goal of practice.
Comparing the three articles, the claim of the first article seems pretty invalid. The evidence of Naomi isn't really supportive the claim that yoga is harmful because Naomi came to the conclusion that her harm was due to too much yoga practice. Just as the second article said, the misuse of a tool couldn't prove that the tool was actually bad. On the other hand, Article #1 doesn't put any other valid evidence to support the claim. This contradict the principle that is called replicability because no scientific study have reported the same finding.


Yoga can damage your body
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/14/yoga-can-damage-body-row

Is yoga really bad for you? Om, not sure:
http://www.tipsonhealthyliving.com/diet-and-fitness/is-yoga-really-bad-for-you-om-not-sure

Is yoga bad for your health?
http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthyperspective/post/2012-01-17/is-yoga-bad-for-your-health/605743/1

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This is interesting. My room mates and I decided to pick up a new form of exercise and the agreed upon choice was yoga. From personal experience, I typically enjoyed yoga in the past, the one room mate is athletic but not flexible, and the other room mate was not athletic at all. The room mate who is not athletic struggled and constantly complained that the poses found to be the most relaxing for the athletic room mate and myself were hurting her. Upon watching her do the movements carefully we had learned that although from a glance it looked as though she were executing the same movements she was actually putting strains on the incorrect muscles and only succeeding to cause harm to her body.
Upon looking at an article from the New York Times it made a point in the demographics that used to practice the ancient art of yoga to the current demographic, that demographic being urban working class citizens that believe they can simply step into the studio a couple times a week. The article reiterates the point you had mentioned regarding the idea that it is something that is a tool and can be used incorrectly, but if used correctly can serve a greater purpose. Many of those who spoke throughout the article spoke of the hurtful qualities as well as the healing properties of the practice. It all comes down to the common factor that it is either used incorrectly or at inappropriate times when it has caused a yogi pain.

This is interesting. My room mates and I decided to pick up a new form of exercise and the agreed upon choice was yoga. From personal experience, I typically enjoyed yoga in the past, the one room mate is athletic but not flexible, and the other room mate was not athletic at all. The room mate who is not athletic struggled and constantly complained that the poses found to be the most relaxing for the athletic room mate and myself were hurting her. Upon watching her do the movements carefully we had learned that although from a glance it looked as though she were executing the same movements she was actually putting strains on the incorrect muscles and only succeeding to cause harm to her body.
Upon looking at an article from the New York Times it made a point in the demographics that used to practice the ancient art of yoga to the current demographic, that demographic being urban working class citizens that believe they can simply step into the studio a couple times a week. The article reiterates the point you had mentioned regarding the idea that it is something that is a tool and can be used incorrectly, but if used correctly can serve a greater purpose. Many of those who spoke throughout the article spoke of the hurtful qualities as well as the healing properties of the practice. It all comes down to the common factor that it is either used incorrectly or at inappropriate times when it has caused a yogi pain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine/how-yoga-can-wreck-your-body.html?pagewanted=all

This was a very interesting post to read. I have always assumed Yoga was good for you as it promoted mental health and flexibility, so when I read the title of your post I was intrigued. However, after reading your post, I agree that because no other studies have been able to replicate the first studies findings, it is not valid due to replicability. I am interested to learn more about the first study and how they came to that conclusion. In reality, I feel all sports are mostly good for you, but have their drawbacks, just like yoga. Swimming, for example, is a great form of exercise. But, if you overdo it or swim too much, you can potentially pull a muscle or hurt yourself.

I agree that this story or blog was very interesting to come across. People nowadays here through the media that Yoga is great thing to do to keep one limber and lean. Those statements might be true although this new findings on Yoga actually potentially being bad for you is something that shocked me. Since all this positive news about Yoga is constantly around it is weird to hear something different. Although, I can now see where the researchers are coming from. Yoga is a way of intense stretching to simply put it and if one stretches too hard, they can potentially hurt themselves. This is where I can see te comparison between Yoga and getting hurt. People just need to worry about doing the exercises correctly for anything otherwise every exercise is going to be bad for you.

Honestly speaking, the topic is pretty attracting from the first glance. Yoga has became a really popular way to keep fit and help them to build good figure through everyday practice. But I believe that we should separate the issue into two parts. The right amount of time practicing is still brings benefit to our body. As long as we try not to overdo it, it will not hurt ourselves and be the invisible killer.

Wenmeng, I totally agree with your first reaction! I was so alarmed when I read an article about this last month in the New York Times !!!

Huiwen, Heather, and Clara: I think you are exactly right in your responses--anything that is strenuous or unusual for the body can cause damage if you don't pay attention to where your physical limits are and when to push them! I think one of the reasons the "dark side" of yoga is being so blown out of proportion is because it has so long been vaunted as a cure-all (or "panacea"), so it seems especially alarming.

However, as a long time practitioner of yoga, I have often thought that yoga instructors contradict themselves during practice; on the one hand, they will sometimes remind you to be careful and take it slow, but more often than not it is treated as a mind-over-matter activity. Instructors everywhere should back off of this approach, and I bet yogis everywhere will get hurt less! One thing they always say in yoga class is true: "get your Ego outta here, it doesn't matter if you go as far as anyone else!" :)

The few times I have done yoga, the instructors would always say "Listen to your body." I never really understood that completely until reading this. Nice post!

I also agree that this is an interesting blog to read. Yoga is almost always thought as something that is very good for your body. But if you don't do it the right way, just like everything else, it can be harmful for you.

This was an interesting article about something that I don't know much about. I noticed how you used the points from our textbook and lectures to come to the conclusion that there was not enough evidence presented in the first article to prove that yoga is bad for ones health. Now I know that if I ever want to do yoga I don't need to worry about it being dangerous

Your blog about yoga caught my eye right away! I think that yoga is an art and that it's a relaxing way to exercise that is also very difficult and requires a lot of strength. Just like you argued, yoga is a tool that can be used to stay slim and healthy, but it requires specific techniques, not to mention safety precautions. I think that it's fairly common for people to over-exert themselves when they're exercising. If they push themselves too far and try to do a stretch or position that is beyond their ability, they will most likely get hurt. Yoga is only effective and helpful if it is used properly, just like any other sport or activity. It's not fair to say that yoga is an invisible killer when it has helped many people who exercise carefully.

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This page contains a single entry by gongx109 published on February 5, 2012 11:16 PM.

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