A recent article in Time Magazine pondered some of the reasons as to why we are beginning to see many injuries as a result of yoga. The article stated that with more than 14 million people practicing yoga or tai chi nationwide, up 136% since 2000, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and chiropractors across the country (U.S. figures) are dealing with the increasing fallout from yoga gone awry. 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...and certainly, in conversation with several Canadian sports physicians, it appears that statistics are similar here in Canada.
Alarmingly, it appears that hands-on 'assists' from teachers of yoga are thought to be one of the major causes of injury. 'Helping' students to go deeper - physically - and ultimately breaking the first 'law' of yoga - non-harming (Ahimsa in Sanskrit.)
This Time-ly article definitely gives plenty food for thought - and a great topic for discussion in our next Yoga Teacher Training session here at our studio. As a yoga teacher, and educator of yoga teachers, and after having been most fortunate to study with world renown teachers Erich Schiffmann, Angela Farmer and T.K.V. Desikachar, I wish to comment that each and every one of these gurus place just as strong a focus on spirituality as on postures. The term 'yoga' is so not about just the physical postures!
Maureen Rae, RN, ERYT
Maureen Rae's Yoga Studio, Toronto Ontari