The Science of Yoga

For all its unique joys and benefits, yoga is not unlike most other physical activities or sports: it carries with it significant risks if not practiced carefully. William Broad’s 2012 book, The Science of Yoga, explores the practice of yoga from a science- and research-based point of view, and includes a substantial–and controversial–portion on “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” (an excerpt of which was printed in the New York Times last January). Last Thursday, the New York Times Magazine ran an article reflecting on the reception of the aforementioned portion, stirring up controversy anew. In my reading of the book, the reflection, and readers’ comments, I am reminded just how important it is to a) find a teacher your trust and feel comfortable with, and b) listen to your body. Yoga can help us take our bodies to places we never expected, and often don’t quite understand–but above all, I believe yoga should help us to be become better listeners, respecting and responding to where our bodies, minds, and breath are, and what they are capable of. Read the full reflection (and leave your own comments) here!

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