When Yoga Harms

More than 15 years ago I was injured in an alignment based yoga class.

It felt like a betrayal.

Yoga was supposed to heal, not harm.

Alignment was supposed to prevent injury, not cause it.

I was confused. I started to think the problem must be something inherent with me.

I wanted answers so badly that I spent 2006-2011 completing prerequisites, then getting my doctorate in physical therapy. It was a new career, yes, but it saw it as an adjunct to my yoga teaching. Getting my DPT involved massive sacrifice and was a total slog.

To be honest — and this felt embarrassing at the time — even that wasn’t even enough.

When I took or taught asana classes, there were phrases and cues that I used or heard that I did STILL couldn’t reconcile with any anatomic or scientific evidence (despite trying earnestly).

The kicker? I suffered ANOTHER yoga-related injury.

The last decade and a half of my life has been dedicated to getting to the truth about yoga asana, alignment, movement science, and what REALLY matters when it comes to our long term wellbeing.

That combo is the unique perspective that I bring to teaching yoga anatomy. And by anatomy, I mean everything evidence-based that we can apply to asana and pranayama and movement.

It is way more popular to put out empty promises in our messaging as yoga instructors.

The “likes” roll in when you speak authoritatively about the healing power of particular poses.

But the truth is way messier. Some things we do in asana don’t make any anatomic or physiological or functional sense.

When we look at an evidence-based yoga practice, and when you are truthful about what the evidence shows, you quickly realize that we need to stop telling the world that yoga will fix everything.

It can’t. It won’t. That mindset — while great for marketing your yoga program — causes more harm by distracting yoga practitioners from things that will help: physical therapy, strengthening, and a more balanced approach to asana (not repeating the same thing daily! remembering the texts!).

These are things that I teach and discuss extensively in the Online Yoga Anatomy Mentorship program I have led since 2015. (It starts again in September.)

I’m not pedaling a particular yoga style, or a dependency on my [insert branded amazing insights into alignment].

I’m not creating a guru culture, where you should feel obligated to hang on to my every word. I’m not telling you how to practice or even what poses are good or bad.

In that program, I will teach you fundamentals of anatomy, movement science and physiology.

We go deep on how this all relates to yoga, how yoga cues can harm or help, why we need to think beyond the poses and critical thinking skills that I don’t see anywhere else in the yoga world.

I’m teaching you how to unthink and how to think about this thing called yoga.

Mentees get access to the live calls with me for as long as I run them (since 2016 so far!).

The Most Repeated Word in the mentorship’s reviews and testimonials? CONFIDENCE.

Mentees consistently remark on the confidence increase they feel while going through and after completing the program.

I only open enrollment twice a year. And once you are in, you get lifetime access to the course materials (even as they are improved) and the calls.

So, keep it on your radar. I would be so honored if you joined.

Click here to learn more about the mentorship (or to sign up).

Image from Pixabay

Originally published- 03/10/2022