A few final thoughts on what has surely been the craziest week for yoga in the media in my career:
The now infamous NY Times “Wreck Your Asana” article has prompted counter after counter, and counters to the counters. It can be dizzying, but I feel like the following are “must reads”:
Glenn Black, who is at the center of the Times’ article, gives a longer, clearer interview to Huffington Post. My teacher and Black student Jill Miller wrote two responses, one for Equinox, one for Gaiam.
My two favorite flat-out rebuttals: my student Mary McMannus writes “I was wrecking my body before yoga.” And Leslie Kaminoff’s video (at the bottom of the post) is certainly worth the ten minutes.
There was a smaller kerfuffle as this went on about New York based teacher David Regelin, due to an article in New York Magazine (his rebuttal is here). I’ve liked the classes I’ve taken with David and use some of his ideas sometimes, but beyond that I have no real opinion about this one. That said, I loved the line in David’s note: “Yoga is in it’s disco era, and it is a little depressing when you are trying to teach to people who just want to boogie down.” I wouldn’t let teachers off the hook; this one deserves to be chewed on…
Finally, I’m reading Deiskachar’s Heart of Yoga, a major work by yoga legend Krishnamacharya’s longtime student and son-in-law, and a pioneer in yoga therapy in his own right. (If you’ve not heard of Krishnamacharya, you’ve heard of his other two most famous students, who founded the Iyengar and Ashtanga asana practices). Years before this outburst, Desikachar wrote the following about Krishnamacharya’s (and his) approach:
“An intelligent approach to yoga practice means that, before you begin, you are clear about the various aspects of the asana you wish to practice, and know how to prepare for them in such a way that you reduce or negate any undesired effects.”
Sounds about right to me…
The Kaminoff lecture is below