Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Yoga is good for you!

Did you see The Sunday Times this weekend? In the 'Style' magazine there was a four-page feature flagged as: 'Is yoga doing you more harm than good?' Apparently William J Broad, the New York Times senior science writer, has a book coming out: The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, which the ST claims 'has set the fitness community alight'. Really? Can't say I'd noticed.

My initial reaction was not very yogic. Oh no, I thought, not more sloppy, uniformed journalism. I was prepared to be infuriated - but actually it was a very rational article, the conclusion of which was that the harm only arises if:
  1. you have a poorly qualified teacher, and
  2. you don't listen to the instructions and, importantly, your body. 

Couldn't have put it better myself. As one who has done the British Wheel of Yoga 500-hour teaching diploma it rankles when I see adverts for courses that claim to turn people into a yoga teacher over a weekend. And yes, we teachers can preach precautions and prohibitions until we're blue in the face, but ultimately responsibility must lie with the students themselves.

This makes an interesting juxtaposition to the news that San Francisco airport has opened a yoga room for passengers to chill in while waiting for their flights: read the full story here. Speaking has someone who hates the whole dreary business of flying, I welcome this - not that I'm ever likely to fly to SFO to try it, of course!
And relax.


  1. Any form of yoga relaxes the body, and makes you feel an all round better person I think Julia.

  2. I'm glad you think so. Do you practise? I sing in a choir and for the last couple of weeks the musical director has asked me to warm everyone up before we start with a couple of yoga stretches and some deep breathing - which has had a mixed response from my fellow songbirds!