Sunday, January 8, 2012

C'mon, Baby; Let's Do The Twist

There's a fascinating article about injuries arising out of yoga practice, even careful yoga practice, in the Times today. I grew up in the fifties and sixties, when yoga was oft thought of as an alternative to western sports and exercises, integrating mind and body, resulting in spiritual as well as physical growth. The obvious contrast is with something like relentless strength training, the close to 100% injury rate in American football, with its paramilitary gestalt. Turns out you can get a stroke, or a bad spine problem, or other things, if you do yoga. Not always, obviously, but there it is.

The article closes with the words of one of the most prominent American yoga practitioners and teachers:

...‘Asana is not a panacea or a cure-all. In fact, if you do it with ego or obsession, you’ll end up causing problems.’ A lot of people don’t like to hear that.”

That there ego/obsession business, seems to me, could be a problem inside or outside yoga, with any exercise, or, for that matter, just about anything Homo (sic) sapiens does: the idea is to confront ego, transcend it, master the obsessiveness arising out of it, to better appreciate the rest of the universe, those other carbon-based life forms, and your place in and amongst them. You do that, through basket-weaving, solving differential equations, walking in the woods, loving a good woman, anything, you're part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Which brings up Ayn Rand, or would, if there weren't only so much fun you can have in one day...

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