Yes, Kino’s injured. The yoga-lebrity of the Ashtanga world, the seemingly invincible asana goddess, the Instagram queen, the 4th-series practitioner…is injured.
Matthew Remski used her injury to spark a much-needed discussion about extreme asana practices and the role that social media may play in encouraging practitioners to contortionist extremes.
Matthew Remski knows his shit. He’s logged thousands more hours of practice than I have and is a true-blue Yoga Therapist. He’s written a couple of books (self-published, but still), and even name-drops Slavoj Žižek (which makes a theory nerd like me pretty happy). His reporting is much more solid than anything I do on this blog. In the world of internet yoga voices, his is a roar and mine is barely a peep on the sound register. He’s no joke.
So I’m taking a big, fat risk by saying that I don’t totally agree with his “Kino’s Hip” article. Yes, Kino talked with him, and it sounds like they had a nice, open, friendly interview. Yes, he brings up an important discussion. Yes, he also interviewed another advanced Ashtanga teacher, Iain Grysak, and former Ashtangi Diane Bruni to get counter-perspectives. Yes, he questions some of the facets of yoga in the postmodern world that I do, such as Instagram challenges.
There are a lot of good things there, and I highly suggest you read the article yourself. All 4,000 words of it.
But I can’t keep my big mouth shut, so I also hope you read all of what I have to say, which is mostly this:
Why do we assume that injury is “bad” when it comes to our asana practice? Why are we judging? Is Kino’s injury anyone’s business except for Kino’s (and her medical team)?
I come from a family of professional ballet dancers. Both of my parents had international performing careers before settling down to teach at the university and performing-arts high school level. One of my brothers danced professionally for ten years before retiring to become an astrophysicist (yes, really, and he’s excited about it).
I never danced beyond little-girl ballet lessons, but it’s been part of my life since before I was born. My mom claims that her fouettes were never better than she was pregnant, because the extra belly gave her more momentum, so I’ve been participating in movement for as long as I’ve had a heartbeat. Dinner conversations included discussions of choreography, dance history and pedagogy, and concerns with upcoming performances. One of those concerns was injury. It seemed like every performance brought at least one student injury. I ask my dancer friends today “how’s the hip?” or “how’s the back?” before I ask how they are. The only people I know who talk more about injury than yoga practitioners are dancers.
But there’s a difference. Injury is considered par for the course in dance. My brother had terrible shin splints. My mom has had both knees and hips replaced. My dad has carpal tunnel of the elbow.These aren’t positive things. But they happen.
Anyone who does something physical every day, from athletes to construction workers, deals with mechanical failures and breakdowns of the human body. I dabbled in competitive distance running in my mid-twenties, and I wound up with a torn labrum in my hip. My coach and I went over my (meticulous, obsessively so) training logs multiple times, but we could never find a workout in which I did something wrong.
Injuries happen when you run, just like they do when you swim, cycle, dance, or play football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse. Why do we expect asana to be an injury-free zone? Why is there an attitude that yoga should never cause physical harm?
Don’t misread me. I’m not saying that getting injured is good, or that it should be part of what we know as yoga today. Injury sucks. We should do everything we can to avoid it, such as practicing with deliberateness and intention, listening to our bodies, and following a teacher’s instructions.
What I’m suggesting is that we reconsider the narrative we’re telling ourselves about injuries in yoga, and especially about practitioners who get injured.
There seems to be an attitude of–to borrow an overused term–shaming when it comes to yoga-related injuries. Real Yoga Selfies, a project I typically like, posted a photo of Kino’s oversplits on their Instagram page, calling attention to it as an example of how people can get injured. Matthew’s article avoids direct shaming, but definitely hints that there may be something wrong with the way Kino has been practicing. The shame is lurking around the edges, in the placement of section breaks, like the one after his conversation with former Ashtangi Diane Bruni, which closes with her hoping that she can save students from the “agony” of her injury, and in language like “coming clean,” a phrase which is used twice.
What is there to “come clean” about? These practitioners aren’t guilty of anything. They haven’t hurt anyone except themselves. While I may not personally enjoy or engage in barraging social media with photos of myself in extreme postures, and I wish that wasn’t the direction contemporary yoga seems to be going, it doesn’t make those who do so complicit in a crime.
It is possible to safely conduct contortionist-like poses such as oversplits, or deep backbends like Kroukachasana (full front splits while reaching up and over to grab the back ankle). I sure can’t. But someone who has been training for years and developed the necessary mixture of sthira and sukha may be able to do so without getting hurt.
Or maybe not. I know from my own practice that a pose that feels good one day can feel terrible the next. Practice shifts and changes every day, even every minute. The body-mind is such an intricate, complex system. We may never fully understand it. Even the most experienced practitioner can get injured.
It doesn’t mean they’ve done something wrong. It doesn’t mean they need to fundamentally change anything about the way they practice or teach.It doesn’t mean that they should be publicly called on the carpet to explain their injury. It definitely doesn’t mean that they should be shamed.
Any injury, and all of its causes and complications, is ultimately between the practitioner and his or her teacher and doctor. When Peyton Manning was dealing with his neck injury and subsequent surgeries, no one told him that he should have been listening to his body more, even though there are hundred of news articles about it. When my husband took a wrong step and sprained his ankle while he was running, his coach didn’t tell him to be more mindful.
Why is it okay to title an article about the concerns of extreme practice after a practitioner’s injury? This makes Kino the poster-child for “dangerous practice,” whether Matthew Remski intended that or not. His using her as an example does exactly that: uses her. Turns her into an example instead of a living, breathing, human being. You could argue that I’m doing the same thing by titling my own article with her name, and I acknowledge that. Sorry, Kino, for talking about you without asking your permission. Kino is famous enough that she may be ok with this, but I know I never enjoyed it when they made an example out of me in high school (which happened a lot, because I was a seriously misbehaving kid). So again, apologies to Kino.
In yoga, we practice ahimsa, or non-harming. We often apply this to the physical body and say that part of ahimsa means avoiding injury. However (and this isn’t going to be a popular opinion), what if injury is part of the path? What if a physical injury leads to spiritual or emotional growth that wouldn’t happen without it? I would have never found Ashtanga if I hadn’t gotten hip surgery in 2012.
I wouldn’t have discovered the importance of finding the full inhale and exhale if I hadn’t strained a chest muscle that prevented me from doing full vinyasa between poses. I wouldn’t have learned how to engage my bandhas in backbends if I hadn’t felt lower-back pain that kept me from dropping back for a few days.
Those injuries weren’t comfortable, not at all, but they weren’t “bad.” When I strained that chest muscle, I wasn’t forcing, or practicing through pain. I was just an eager, new practitioner whose body was adjusting to daily practice. Placing injury on a spectrum of moral judgment doesn’t make sense. There’s no inherent “goodness” or “badness” to injury.
Again, I’m not saying that injury is always a positive force, or that injury should be part of asana. I’m just trying to suggest that we should think about the judgment we place on the practitioner who gets injured.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve never had a yoga-related injury that was anything more than a nagging ache that resolved with a few days or weeks of modified practice. Maybe my opinion would be different if I’d experienced something as debilitating as Diane Bruni’s hip-rotator detachment, but I hope not.
Physical injuries can happen anytime anyone does anything physical. It seems foolish to assume that yoga, given its very physical manifestation in the west, is any different.
Thanks for writing long and thoughtfully, without drama about this. It conveys what I and many others feel is odd and uncomfortable about using a public figure’s own news update and use it against them.
Thanks, Maria. I was worried about posting this, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt like it needed to be said.
I think you missed a big difference between dance, running, other sports and yoga. Sports are competitive, and their focus is to push the body to do new extreme physical things. Yoga is not a sport, and it is not competitive. It is meant to be therapeutic. Thus, while injuries are to be expected when pushing your body in sports, injuries should not occur when correctly performing physical therapy, such as yoga. At least that is my definition and practice of yoga. <3
Liz, thanks for your input. I totally agree with the fact that yoga is non-competitive. However, it’s very possible to get injured even when you’re not pushing yourself competitively. Thanks again for reading and commenting. It’s always good to hear opposing viewpoints.
Err… In case you hadn’t noticed, dance isn’t a competitive sport, it’s “art”. It’s very similar to yoga, in fact. There are far more people who want to make a living out of dance than there are livings to be made – that’s where dance is brutally, harshly competitive – a lot like yoga. It’s also a big part of why dancers get broken so often. Companies can afford to have them rehearse in whatever conditions they like, do as many performances in a row as they like, put their bodies through whatever insane choreography they like, because there’s always another dancer happy to take the gig. Studios do the same to yoga teachers. I know any number of yoga teachers who moved over from dance because the two are so similar and yoga used to be less competitive. I even know one who started teaching under an Indian name and swapped being a little known dance teacher for jet setting around as a yoga guru telling people their problems are all in their heads and can be fixed if they just do this pose like this…
Dance is an excellent comparison, this article is valid in the comments it makes based on that comparison, and there is a whole lot more to learn about yoga (and where it’s going) from the comparison.
I too was uncomfortable with the tone in Matthews article, but couldn’t express it as well as you’ve done here. Kino seems a delightful person who puts out some quite inspiring and realistic advice, a genuine service in a sea of internet garbage, and people troll her for many unreasonable reasons that I think she largely rises above to the benefit of many of us. I don’t look at her photos and think “oh, I’ll just go and do that tomorrow/next week/next month,” I look at them and think how dedicated and inspiring she is and look to the future of my practice, whatever that is, with renewed attention to what I do now. I’ve been injured a few times and it is a process to cope with it, and I applaud her being open about her process, because it seems sound while being true to all the other stuff she has said. Thank you for pointing out some of the hypocrisy of people in judging this so differently from other athletic endeavors.
Thanks, Michael. I agree that injury is indeed a process!
Agree that this is not a simple issue but I did not read his article as an attack on Kino’s practise (she was even described as exemplifying the balance of strength and flex, and always as the devoted ashtangi that she is). After all, she was injured assisting, not doing yoga. To me it was more an article about instayoga, contortionism, ego rituals taking over the less outwardly flashier sides: ahimsa, meditative practise and getting closer to god. Kino’s injury is a vehicle to start talking about this.
But it is totally possible that I am way too naive Prefer to stay that way though.
Pami, my intention wasn’t to say that Matthew Remski was attacking Kino, so it’s my fault if my article makes it sound like that. I agree that ego, instayoga, etc., are all topics that need to be considered, and he does a nice job of that. I’m also wondering why we consider yoga to be outside the realm of injury, as if the practitioner who gets injured must be doing something “wrong.”
Thanks for reading and commenting!
A lot of people will often project their own insecurities, and injury often doesn’t match what yoga is ‘supposed to be’, whatever image that is.
I once had a training with Govinda Kai and his approach was radically uncompromising, saying pain is a gift because it is a break in the normal patterns of awareness. Personally I don’t go that far, but I heartily agree that there is a lot to be learnt from injury.
Thank you for reading and commenting. Govinda Kai sounds like an interesting teacher! I don’t know that I can go that far, either, but that’s a thought-provoking conception of pain.
Hi Emma —
I’m really glad you took the time to respond to the interview and analysis in such a thoughtful way. I’m also glad it came through that I was trying to steer a broad path away from ad hominem and shaming, which is difficult in the yoga world, because practice feels so personal.
There are a few things I’d like to address.
Firstly, in the 30+ articles I’ve published on the path to this book I have never suggested that injury in asana is entirely avoidable, that asana is more dangerous than any other physical activity, or that practitioners don’t learn from pain and injury in ways that they aren’t grateful for. My project is much more about how pain and injury are moved towards, felt, and rationalized, and the ensuing paradoxes.
Secondly, to your question: “Is Kino’s injury anyone’s business except for Kino’s (and her medical team)?” I reply: as a public figure who teaches 270K YouTube subscribers how to “open” their hips with dozens of videos featuring passive stretching exercises, the potential implications of those exercises are a matter of public interest. Scrutinizing what MacGregor encourages people to do is not really any different from scrutinizing the opinions and suggestions of Dr. Oz on the Oprah show.
While it’s true that no one can prove that over-splitting or practicing outside of recommended practice times is an exact cause of any particular injury, the injury rates for dancers (70% end their careers because of pain) and gymnasts is very high, as everyone knows, and the general consensus points to repetitive stress at end-range of motion.
Why is injury in asana a problem? When asana in general and the primary series in particular is framed and marketed as “therapeutic”, or “healing”, its teachers position themselves as de facto health-care consultants. In the more than 100 interviews with injured practitioners I’ve conducted, a significant number had to get over their shock and shame that the practice they’d been told and believed was healing was actually harming them. Many got into yoga drawn by a promise that ballet never presumes, as you point out.
So your comparison to ballet is poignant, but I think it omits this crucial fact: nobody goes into ballet for healing, except that kind of healing that comes through expression, and which is understood to have a physical price worth all of the magic and beauty. (And calorie restriction, and dysmorphia, etc.)
Far from shaming MacGregor or anyone else, I’m uncovering the shame that prevents people from admitting that their aspirations have hidden costs, that they’ve narrativized pain as a spiritual virtue, or that they’ve been overwhelmed by charismatic instructors more interested in traditions than people. There are many yoga teachers who hide not only their injuries, but the fact that they are in chronic pain. They must, because the performance of yogic health is the root of their professional presence. Things get really sticky when that performance bolsters the assumption that advanced postures equal functional movement, psychological ease, and even spiritual advancement.
I think my writing is triggering because it reveals the shadows of what many practice as a religion. So far, the history (marketing, really) of modern yoga has been been written, as they say, by the victors.
Thank you so much for reading and replying. I value your input and appreciate many aspects of the “Kino’s Hip” article and your thoughtful comment on my response (as well as your other significant contributions to the yoga community). I agree with much of what you say above, especially the part about teachers hiding injury or chronic pain to fulfill some “performance of yogic health.” I think we’re on the same page there. That type of shame about injury is exactly what I would like to see disappear from the yoga world.
I think you uncover an important point that I did indeed omit: the fact that people come into yoga for healing and sometimes end up hurting themselves, which feels counterintuitive. That’s a tough one. I still don’t think that injury is necessarily “bad,” even in that case. It may be unpleasant and uncomfortable, maybe even life-changingly so, but I don’t see morality factoring in.
Even though your knowledge and experience is far superior to mine, and I should probably keep my mouth shut, I hold to my original concern. You are not directly shaming anyone, which is excellent, but you do seem to be curating (in this article at least) other people’s experience in order to set an anti-injury tone that I hear echoed throughout the yoga world. “If you’re doing yoga right, you’re not going to get injured. If you get injured, it’s because you’re doing something wrong.” That sentiment, more than your actual text, is what I am railing against. You say that you don’t suggest that asana is any more dangerous than any other physical activity, but I don’t hear an acceptance that asana is a physical activity and thus has inherent potential for physical problems. The yoga community shares your articles and, perhaps out of context, uses them as examples of the “you shouldn’t get hurt in yoga” mentality.
All of that said, I’m thrilled that your forthcoming book is taking on economic and political issues of contemporary yoga as an asana-centric marketing machine. I’m looking forward to reading it.
Emma! We’re on the same page, really. I’ve gone into some detail on how statements like “If you’re doing yoga right, you’re not going to get injured. If you get injured, it’s because you’re doing something wrong” are neither true nor helpful. Here’s a summary of how I’ve approached the issue. Warm wishes from Toronto!
I’m looking forward to reading that! Thanks for following up, Matthew, and thanks again for your initial reply.
Cool! Keep up the great work!
There it is.
The moment the man’s relational power gets doubled.
The moment that the powerful man’s secrecy about his experience/expertise gets mis-read as extremely developed experience/expertise.
So, the humble, female yoga teacher who is open about her exact training, and her exact daily practice, and her exact credentials/accountability structure says:
“Even though your knowledge and experience is far superior to mine…”
… and you, Matthew. You let the pedestal stand. But your responsibility, Matthew, is to STEP DOWN. To divulge exactly who is Matthew Remski, what is your daily practice, what is your training, what is your accountability structure, what it is like in YOUR BODY, how many hours of experience you have, and how you are no more expert than she.
This, Matthew, is the way to undermine the conventional structure of power. Because conventional power is white, inscrutable, secretive, male, charismatic, and very slippery with words.
But for now, the power asymmetry tips even further in favor of the charismatic, white man who says he’s all about undermining traditional structures of power.
Let’s look very closely at how that works. And how he works it. This is one way to become an expert in internet yoga land.
But we can all, as practitioners, resist this sort of disempowerment. We can require the same transparency, respect, and vulnerability in relationship that we ourselves offer.
Jai Emma. You do know your shit.
Yikes Angela. I notice quite a few ‘problems’ in the article ‘Leave Kino’s Hip Alone’, and I did notice all the ‘female deference’ going on. Whatever you want to label it as. This person expressed herself. Do we really need to FIX her?
Angela, thank you for your thoughts and insight. You’ve given me a lot to ponder. The male gaze is ever-powerful, no? I’m really interested in hearing any responses to your comment. Jai!
I didn’t really know how to respond to the praise, so I just skipped it, as I often sidestep projections both positive and negative. I also didn’t see any invitation to describe my personal life, and I’ve come to see such impromptu confessionalism online from people like me as a form of mansplaining or self-justification.
But I can see your point. I can say now: I’ve never met Emma, but I’m sure she has profound and intimate knowledge of what she does, communicates it well within her community, and I wouldn’t know how to compare it to my own.
As to secrecy, you can visit my bio page to see how much I have to say about training, etc. Today I did some asanas in the morning, sat in meditation for a while, worked on some presentation stuff, and just came back from a swim. Practice for me also means interviewing people, writing about my bodily experience regularly, and my childhood, and my general background — my entire upcoming book threads itself on personal narrative. I don’t know many inscrutable people who publish entire books about their daily family/food/sex life, as I did last year. And before that a book of poems that traced how I’ve been Catholic, Buddhist, and Hindu-identified, and all along the rosary has stayed the same.
But for all this confession, I don’t believe anyone will know me fully through these pixels, anymore than I know you from Inside Owl, as compelling as your writing is. Practice and language are performative to the other: we’re only guessing at what’s inside.
If we deconstruct Angela’s comments, we see that she is addressing someone. We don’t learn who, exactly, until Angela says: “…and you, Matthew…”. So, the first part of Angela’s comment is directed at Emma. Without saying so, in a straight-forward way.
Then, Angela uses the voice of a fault-finding male voice (we’ve all been there?) … and you! you, you, you little twerp, how dare you? Laced with privilege and authority. Angela puts on the mantle and lets it fly.
I find it ironic that many of the vocal white female yoga teachers today are just plain vicious toward white male yoga teachers, especially if these white men are not participating in yoga the way these white females want them to.
The white men are taking some heat. Even if these white men are or are not part of traditional Indian teacher student relationships (which often these women seem to demand for themselves). Is there a need for a male teacher of authority –to follow– Is this often part and parcel of the white female practice?
I find it ironic that Angela is talking to Emma, as if she wasn’t even there –early on in Angela’s comment it;s like she is talking to herself and then to a ‘bad’ little boy. Emma gets tossed in the salad.
Emma doesn’t even matter, since this isn’t even about Emma, right? Emma is just the victim who is being ‘used’ to make a point????
We do indeed have some work to do.
I don’t feel like a victim. I’m glad that this post is sparking so much discussion.
Hi Emma. I’m sure you don’t feel like a victim.
Angela, in my opinion, USED you as HER EXAMPLE of the female victim of a patriarchy. You had to be her straw-woman. You –who must be deferential to men/authority.
Anglela used you: So she could BASH Remski as someone who was allowing you to remain a victim of sexism. Remski didn’t CORRECT your gushing all over about him. This just got Angela into 4th gear.
Good. Bad. –and then it got ugly.
Allise, I can’t say I agree with your interpretation. I’m interested to see how this will all pan out, and I hope for hostility to be as minimal as possible!
Thank you for your reply.
I have been urged to respond to your recent article, but refrained from reading it. It’s not my job to put energy into reading your prolific work, though I do appreciate your beautiful language when I do.
I’ve stayed off any Facebook comment threads on it so as not to make much of a stir and make you feel bad. (Like many women, I have been trained to put a lot of concern into caring for the emotional comfort of powerful men.) I’m not trying to do you harm here. I’m trying to bring light to some of the mechanisms by which your sexism operates. If you experience the inquiry as painful, I am sorry.
It’s become increasingly obvious to me even from a distance that there is an issue in your present work of what I will call “asymmetry of intimacy.” Brave, vulnerable, trusting women share openly about their bodies. You are extremely kind to them. You make them feel really appreciated. They fall a little bit in adoration with you (one to the point trolling comment threads to try to deflect useful criticism like this; you don’t need a bully to defend you or limit your work in this way). And, while showering them in attention and understanding and care, you address your interviewees’ experience from the guarded stance of an expert. Before you go expose them as exhibit A, B, C or X in the story you are telling.
What role are you playing here? A confessor. Your exact training, hours of experience, teachers, credentials, and accountability structures – upon which all expertise is built in professional settings – are unknown. Behind the confessional. You want to say these things do not matter. You’re just the facilitator.
But Matthew, your readers seem to be under the impression that you are a highly experienced yoga therapist.
Are you a yoga therapist?
How hours of classroom teaching you have logged?
What is your exact training in yoga, and your exact training in physiotherapy?
If one of your interview subjects, yoga therapy clients, or readers encounters a serious ethical issue in your work, to which teacher or institution can she go to file a complaint and ask that you be held accountable?
As for these pretty deflections about the impossibility of knowing the other, leave that to the poets. Give us facts. Yoga therapy is not poetry.
I’m hoping this reply slots into the correct place, below Angela’s second comment.
Thanks for the response. A good critique of what I’m doing would never make me feel bad.
But I think a conversation between you and I can go farther if there’s a little more clarity about what I’ve actually written. If you’re willing to critique my reporting without actually reading it, I’m not sure how that can happen. (“It’s become increasingly obvious to me even from a distance…”.)
The interview with MacGregor was open, transparent, and she got her message across. In fact, I actually felt she dominated the interview, saying exactly what she wanted/needed to say. She approved the draft and even complimented it.
I can’t psychologize her in the same way you’re psychologizing my other subjects — whose accounts you haven’t read — but I did not get any impression that she was in my thrall or needed to confess out of some gendered need to please. I could be wrong, but I assure you that I’m sensitive to the issue, and do everything I can to be aware of my male privilege and gaze. I’m using Mulvey and everyone after, for example, on the themes of how visual media in yoga disrupts interoception, as well as doubling-down on the gaze.
The post that has received the second-most attention in this project has been about Diane Bruni, ex-Ashtanga teacher. She is certainly not my confessee. We’ve been colleagues for years; she had a story, and I had a platform.
Ethics: I have asked every single one of my interview subjects whose words I have used for permission and approval. When the book rolls around every source will be re-contacted and given drafts for approval. This project runs on good will, and I will lose it if I abuse the trust of my subjects. I would be very concerned if a source no longer felt comfortable with interview details. In fact, this has happened in one circumstance: a subject wanted to disclose, and then had second thoughts related to privacy and safety, and so we agreed to withdraw the material.
Gender stats and themes: my current research is flawed in many ways. One flaw is that my subjects are almost equally divided gender-wise. This does not actually reflect the demographic of MPY in the Global North+West, which is 80% female. I’ll be opening the book with an account from Victor Van Kooten about an injury sustained under B.K.S. Iyengar. You can also imagine I’ll be giving full coverage to the other (slowly changing) patriarchal pyramid schemes of MPY evangelization, which have often communicated an Indo-Anglo mashup of old themes of reforming and disciplining an unruly and feminine-identified prakriti. Being a survivor of two cults led by charismatic men makes me particularly sensitive to such dynamics.
Accountability: Everything I publish is openly available for critique in the strange peer-review process of the internet. I respond to every substantive criticism as best I can. In the process, I’ve gathered a small army of trusted critics and informants who hold my feet to the fire. I have no formal, lineage-based accountability structure behind me, because I’m a two-time college dropout and two of my spiritual teachers were cult leaders, and the other ones I haven’t kept up with, because life. My certifications in asana, yoga therapy and Ayurveda are run-of-the-mill commercial and inadequate, and frankly, less important to this project than my skill as a reporter/journalist and cultural critic. This project doesn’t involve diagnosing and recommending treatment plans to my interview subjects. That’s for their health care providers.
Beyond my trainings, I am an autodidact who reaches out to scholars and authorities for help and guidance when I’m over my head, which is often. For this project: feminist scholars, Sankritists (even if they’re, in your words, “junior scholars from Britain”), somatic psychotherapists, a feminist historian of wellness culture. It is irritating that more of my neurology and philology contacts are male than female, but that seems to be the landscape. My editorial board is mostly women.
Interestingly, a good friend of mine just emailed me this morning saying that someone had contacted him expressing similar concerns to your own — that because I don’t claim any lineage authority, she wondered how I would be held accountable if I were doing something unethical. I invited him to be an accountability person for me, and I’ll be very interested to hear what her concerns are, and change directions if need be.
If you’d like to be an editorial consultant for the book, I would value your feedback, and in that sense, make myself accountable to you.
What I’m trying to say, really:
Is that Angela sees Matthew as —using Keno, near as I can tell.
Although Angela is some passive or passive aggressive in her comment, Angela uses –you– (Emma) to show disgust/anger (somewhat passively, ?like a woman?) toward Matthew (because since he isn’t correcting your deferential comportment) (although she is having no qualms in correcting HIM ’round the back way).
Under it all, it appears to me, that Angela is finger pointing –twice– ‘at’ Matthew. Once for not ‘correcting’ a ‘power imbalance’ with you (Emma). Then again, for duping Kino via another powerful male gaze during interview.
Angela is angry at what ‘he’ has ‘done’ to Kino but uses your blog post to ‘out’ him, while essentially telling you (indirectly) that you sound ‘wrong’ (and bad?).
And around we go…. It’s hard for us all to escape the ‘male gaze’, as you say Emma. It’s in our dreams, in our waking life, and in our yoga practice, dance practice, and certainly in the male genius/artist. Which we hear others say all the time about Remski.
He’s a GENIUS. Notice how he never corrects them!!! HAHA.
Over the past months, I’ve listened to critiques of my position wrt to my bio information, and agree that it should change. So here is my new “about” page: http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/about/
Because Jamison so frequently links to this article, I will leave one more comment here to direct readers to my account of the campaign of defamation and harassment against myself and my wife she began before the exchange on this page, and has escalated since. You can find it in the comments under her “review” of my book on Amazon. Thank you.
Matthew, you put a broken link on a now-defunct blog that was never that popular to begin with. Whatever is going on between you and Angela, keep it between yourselves. I’d prefer to be left out of it.
Jamison found it popular enough to link to it repeatedly. The link in my comment is broken because she deleted her Amazon “review” of my book. This is a public blog, but feel free to delete any comments you like. Best, M
I am a yoga instructor and former professional ballerina. I love how yoga and dance have similarities when it comes to movement, but the comparison you make with regards to injury – No. For all there similarities there are just as many differences. Dance is a chosen career (for the few talented) yoga is a practice chosen by thousands for various reasons (sometimes spiritual, often physical) and those thousands don’t always have the expertise or training to discern from what they see on Kino’s YouTube channel (and all the other Instagram pics) and what they then do to and with their own body. Mathew Remski responded with a succinct reply that captures my thoughts exactly.
Thanks for commenting. It’s always good to hear opposing arguments! I used dance as the example because it was simply the physical activity that I’ve known since birth, but I think I could have substituted distance running (which is done by millions, both competitively and non-competitively) to make the same point. When Meb Kheflegizi injured his knee, no one pored over his past race videos and said “that’s why you got hurt–you were running too fast.”
I actually agree with your comment about Insta-yogis not always having the expertise or training to discern between what they see and what they can safely try at home. I wish yoga wasn’t turning into a photography-fest.
— Item left out here is that of injury sustained when the student is adjusted by the teacher.
This area of problem does need to see some ‘making an example’ of, of course? This is ‘dangerous’, no?
How can we say a teacher is listening to a students body, and being ‘more mindful’, and needing to ‘apply’ ahimsa to a human body?
Is it the teachers job to push a student to ever greater accomplishment, even when student seems to (or clammers to ) –ask– for it?
Yes, many of the –arts– have teacher actively involved in the students body. And many sports too, have the hovering and intrusion of those helpers who are interested in the greatness factor, and so putting their hands and encouragements into the hoped for outcomes….
And as you point out, much of this begins at a young age. Before the age of that outcome/s could be – appreciated by that youngster. Can’t we all agree that frailty of many spiritual seekers puts them at risk for believing there bodies need to be punished?
I too was ‘troubled’ by Remski’s article. I think it will take some time to fully appreciate why we are troubled by it’s ‘tone’.
By the end of the article I felt I had been reading a dumb blonde joke. But maybe the ‘humor’ is very sinister indeed. Mental health comes to mind as I set down ‘the piece’ of Kino and her various bodily struggles: ‘Striving’ is such a kind word. Matthew is nothing if not fiercely kind. Maybe he is kind of ‘adjusting’ us. And around we go….
Allise, thank you for your thoughtful comment! I deliberately left out physical adjustments for this article because I felt it was beyond the scope of what I wanted to talk about, but you’re right. They’re part of this whole discussion, too.
Well, as some commenters are pointing to, there’s a big difference between yoga and dance or sports as you’ve written about them – yoga is not a performance like dance or competitive sports are. The focus of the training for performance is to get the body to perform as you want it to – to achieve amazing feats and forms.
The underlying purpose of yoga – to increase self-awareness and unravel the layers of your mind that keep you from realizing your true self and reality, is mostly distracted by the egoic persuits of performance and competition, not helped by them. Beyond that, we currently have traditions of both yoga and western medical science that teach us amazing things about how to improve strength and flexibility in a safe and appropriate way….but these wisdoms are often overlooked or drowned out by the loud, fast-paced, exciting world of fitness and extreme yoga marketing.
Finally, if a teacher injures themselves, then it is the business of their students and followers – because these folks are learning from them and often emulating their actions. No one is perfect – we are all human. And hopefully we are moving towards a world where experts will willingly and humbly adjust their teachings and opinions based on new research and experiences. I am a yoga therapist who came to yoga with many dance-related injuries. I am open about my on-going path of healing, and I try to navigate healthy boundaries of revealing my journey and maintaining self-respecting privacy.
Injuries are wounds and teachers in themselves, and shaming is not going to help anyone better understand the wisdom inherent in them. Shaming isn’t helpful or kind. But Kino’s injury, or any yoga-related injury, is an opportunity for learning and self-reflection, because that’s a primary focus of yoga – uncovering blind spots that lead to suffering.
In professional dance or competitive sports, the focus isn’t usually on self-reflection, so they treat the injury in a way that allows for continued performance. Or it’s a career-ending injury and they often live with chronic pain and teach others how to perform in the career they are no longer able to sustain. Which, for me, begs for some self-reflection and teaching others how to avoid suffering that is avoidable.
If I injure myself in my world, I’m going to look at how I could’ve done it differently, or how I can learn from it. That’s my path as a yogini. I would also help any current or former athlete or performer learn how to do their craft more gracefully, and to manage injuries and risks as best they can. Injuries aren’t always avoidable, but in the yoga world they mean something different because yoga is inherently different than dance or sports.
Kino’s injury is a wake up call to the world of unquestioning yoga enthusiasts with no knowledge of the subtler, less sexy, less marketable parts of the yoga teachings.
Thanks for the long and thoughtful response. We definitely have different viewpoints, but I’m glad you shared yours. It sounds like you’re operating under the assumption that injury automatically equates to suffering, and that suffering should be avoided at all costs. Am I misreading you there? If not, I’d be interested in hearing more about that (beyond the fact that physical pain is uncomfortable, of course). I also couldn’t disagree with you more that Kino’s injury is a “wake-up call.” That’s exactly the type of language that can be interpreted as insulting or shaming.
Again, thanks for commenting, even though we don’t see eye-to-eye. 😉
I think the comparison to Peyton Manning’s injury is inapt – or actually, quite apt, but in the opposite way that the author means it. First of all, plenty of folks are saying Peyton should retire, in part because of the neck injury. (Just Google “Peyton Manning Should Retire.”) Second, at this point even the freaking NFL (best-denial-machine-of-all-time) is doing a better job of recognizing the most dangerous repetitive stress injury related to football – brain injury – than the yoga world is doing at recognizing any injury patterns related to Ashtanga and other forms of vinyasa. In a month when the University of Texas alumni magazine runs an article on football and brain injury (http://alcalde.texasexes.org/2015/07/football-and-brain-injury-something-needs-to-change/) but a yoga blogger who discusses a famous yoga teacher’s injury has his motives, his credentials, and his commitment to gender equality questioned, the world is indeed out of whack.
I appreciate your input, Jamie, but I couldn’t disagree more with your implication that Ashtanga produces injury patterns. Thank you for reading and commenting. And you’re totally right–I probably could have found a better example than Peyton.
Emma – It’s not an “implication,” it’s a statement, and if you’re not willing to consider the growing evidence that yoga can produce injury patterns then you’re not paying attention to Matthew’s projects or the hundreds of experts and students he’s interviewed. It’s a growing body of evidence of injury that, from my perspective, is far too powerful to be ignored. But if your living depends on assuming that Ashtanga is entirely healthy, I suppose it’s difficult to consider the alternative. (And when I say “if” I truly mean that – I don’t know your background. But there are lots of Ashtanga teachers who are dependent on the method for their livelihood, and therefore I believe cognitive bias leads them to reject the evidence.)
Jamie, I do not make a living teaching ashtanga. However, I still don’t agree that the sequence itself has inherent injury patterns within it. But that’s really not what I’m trying to address here. That is another discussion for another time. What I’m trying to address is the narrative surrounding injury within yoga. Is it really true that injury is always the bad guy? I’m not sure that it is. But I am just a practitioner who is found a lot of positive change in my life through my practice. Thanks again for reading and commenting.
You’re welcome, and I take your point that you’re making a different point than I. But I’m just going to point out an issue with your languaging on this – I’m not saying “the sequence itself has inherent injury patterns within it.” But the sequence does not exist in a vacuum. It happens in relation to each practitioner’s body, experience, teachers, etc. And many Ashtangis and yogis in other traditions are becoming injured as they practice over time. Matthew is carefully and conscientiously documenting this, and yogis who don’t like the implications of his work are attacking it (and him). Again, I encourage you to really dig into and follow his work and consider its implications as you absorb its breadth, depth and implications. And know that I been doing yoga for over 20 years, I continue to do it on a regular basis, and I don’t know how I could sustain my sanity without it. Yoga has tremendous positive value. But no light exists without shadow, and resistance of the shadow is counterproductive and, ultimately, useless. In my opinion.
The question to ask is, why are you practicing yoga? Is it to make your body look and perform in a certain way from the outside or to function a certain way from the inside out? Each of us has a certain amount of natural flexibility in our fascia (Tom Meyers, Anatomy Trains) and pushing our flexibility beyond that serves no purpose other than to make our bodies look a certain way from the outside. Is there judgement there? Yes, and discernment, which is how we achieve wisdom. Yoga is not dance or gymnastics even though some of the positions may look alike, because the intention of yoga is never how the body appears from the outside. Dance and gymnastics are all about the body being viewed from the outside looking in. A dancer’s worth is determined by how others perceive her or him. A yogi’s worth comes from their realization that they are one with God and the universe and they therefore treat their body with the love and respect it is due. Big big difference.
Thanks for your comment, Freia. I certainly wasn’t trying to say that yoga and dance/competitive sports are the same thing, just using them as a comparison to question the narrative we tell ourselves about yoga and injury. I do appreciate you taking the time to read and respond.
This is such an important conversation, thanks for all the good points.
I have practiced yoga for 25 years, and taught full time for 15. I have been an athlete and dancer, and have studied embodiment in all forms available to me. What concerns me the most is 1) people injuring themselves by teaching themselves from the internet 2) students being guided by teachers with varying levels of experience (200hours of training is hardly anything to guide human bodies through their unique challenges), and 3) I question the way ‘alignment’ is taught in yogasana.
What Matthew brought up via interviews with non-yogic physical therapists is the most concerning- what if what we have been taught, and have been devotedly, intensely practicing.. is actually detrimental over time to the body?
In Kino’s case, what if, during an assist, not the pose, she passed a threshold of something that has been building (or degenerating) over years? This is part of what happens to ballet dancers, and I have met quite a few who suffered from torn labrums, which is all too common and incredibly insidious.
This is the conversation I am having these days, with friends, students, with my teachers (mostly in the Axis Syllabus Research Community), and with myself~ I have experienced yoga plainly and clearly exasperating my own injuries that came from other things (car accidents mostly)… I religiously went to my practice with ever more frevor for perfect alignment, in order to heal, yet it only made pain worse. It wasn’t until I gave myself permission to get out of perfect parallel, take a break from the repetition of poses I had done thousands of times, and moved in entirely different ways (primarily dynamic and non-linear) did I begin to find freedom from the debilitating pain. For about 5 years in my 20s I felt like I imagined an 80-year-old with arthritis would feel, and now at 37 I feel more balanced and pain-free than I have in 15 years, due to releasing my rigid views on yogasana=ultimate healing. I have also had tremendous results with clients who suffered chronic pain recover their freedom working outside of the asana box.
This is where I am concerned for people. Anyone in the public eye with a big enough influence is a concern, not only Kino. Thank goddess for her to start this conversation!
And to you, Matthew, for your thorough reporting. Looking forward to your book!
I’m with you, Michelle, on your concern about people learning from the internet. As my teacher just said ten minutes ago, YouTube is not parampara. Also, thanks for sharing your experience. It’s vastly different from mine, but there’s room for plenty of different viewpoints. Ashtanga yoga healed a partially torn hamstring and fully rehabbed me after a surgery to repair a torn labrum. I was in physical therapy for months after surgery, but the pain never went away until I started a daily practice.
Different things work for different people. I’m glad that you now feel balanced and pain-free.
There is something empowering in the Asthanga System, as it allows people to work and play with their bodies relatively alone within the context of Yoga, but as soon as someone considers this method more important than themselves, there is a great temptation to try to mold your body into an outside structure without paying enough attention to the signals of your body, consequently injuring yourself.
One of the consequences of Kino´s injury seems to be that some practitioners are questioning this particular style of Yoga, and questioning any outside system, method, philosophy or ideology is usually a good thing, as it brings the importance back to the individual.
I am a doctor with a background in orthopaedic surgery as well as a Yoga teacher, and from my present point of knowledge, the Primary Series is not a well balanced sequence of movements from a physical point of view. It seriously lacks the development of leg strength, compared to the strength of the upper body for example.
Nevertheless, It takes a lot of knowledge to know how to work with the body free or relatively free from a system or to create your own system, tailored to your own needs, it is an art, therefore for most people, as for myself, a set sequence may be a good starting point as long as you keep in mind that this is just a method.
As our knowledge and awareness is continuously expending and the worth of each individual being becomes more obvious and emphasised, it seems only logical that more and more practitioners are questioning this practice and its guidelines also, and in doing so perhaps practicing it in a much safer and beneficial way than they would if they would follow it blindly.
Christoph, that was a thoughtful response. Thanks for that. I think that the discussion about Primary Series as “balanced” or not is a discussion I may address in a future post, given all the comments on this one!
You ask me for accountability, Matthew. Ok. You are asking.
Meantime the friend of yours to who I reached out to (that was me, trying to encourage awareness without hurting your feelings) has encouraged me to use my own voice.
So here is accountability. Here are some facts.
1. You did not answer my direct questions above. How many hours? To whom (not you) do disgruntled interview subjects complain? You have so many words, Matthew. Why not answer the question?
2. I offered you accountability in January 2013 when you were developing WAWIDA. The project had great potential. And then I realized both that you genuinely did not hear my detractions, and that associating with this project would do harm to others. Accountability partners take responsibility for correcting errors in our work. You had errors, and my critiques just did not help. I was unable to assist in the accountability department.
Before I walked away from WAWIDA I learned that you work as a *therapist, with no training, no license, and no accountability whatsoever. Red flag. Red flag the size of Michigan.
I learned that you opened a yoga studio soon after starting your own practice, that there you taught asana without any teacher of your own, and that many of the students you taught in that setting were far more experienced in asana than you. They considered you their teacher, again, even when they had more experience than you. What were you doing in asana, Matthew?
I learned that you had no training at all in social research, but you wanted WAWDIA to be a sort of social research. Thus your request for my help. I shared about my own training in interview-based methods as a sociologist, and said you needed some sort of methodological code that divided your therapeudic/ confessional/ intimate interview style from factual data gathering sorts of interviews. When I learned more about the intimate energy with which you enclose your interview encounters (and the ways that this discourages or erases disagreement with your fault-finding agenda), I said to you that this asymmetry between the intimacy of therapy and the factual nature of social research amounted to “epistemic violence” to your subjects.
This issue of asymmetry of intimacy – of your mixing your already non-accountable and untrained mode of doing *therapy conversations with this new, public, research practice that was geared for high exposure of your subjects – was too much. I drew the line.
That was the end of my effort to hold you accountable, Matthew. It seemed that the words “epistemic violence” struck you as pretty poetry, though, because you used them to lay judgement somewhere else online a few days later. You didn’t seem to have gotten my message that epistemic violence is a thing in the workaday conduct of social research. It’s not cool words. That is when I mostly stopped giving my energy to your words. The way you use them is so beautiful, and so beguiling, and when I am in relationship with you I only feel the intimacy you have created with me. Reading you, my emotion of adoration for you dominate my mind. I know other women feel this way as well – it has been said that you have a siddhi for charisma and communication. So although you have written many words in the last two years, and although I truly love reading your work because it is beautiful, I do my best not to my energy to them because I know there is a very serious problem in your training, your lack of accountability to teachers or to institutions that can revoke a license, and in your understanding of how disclosure works. You can’t just tell me to go read all the stuff you’ve written since I put up an ethical wall with you. I don’t owe you all that additional energy.
What I’ve done in this comment thread until now is point to the black curtain of secrecy that you have used to keep exact information about your practice of *therapy and asana teaching a secret from others. I thought having the suggestion that you are hiding something would help future interview subjects evaluate whether they should talk to you. The comment you made here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhvkV_ac7OU&feature=youtu.be about disclosing your biography only in person raised another red flag for me, and spurred me to take this action. If it is only in intimate, one-on-one, offline settings that you tell people you practice on others with no training/accountability, then your charisma can carry the day. Oh, says the hypothetical friend, he’s self-trained? How sweet.
Keeping your (lack of) training and accountability secret does not subvert traditional authority structures, as you claim. It’s the opposite. You are doing this to get power. You are doing this to assume the Expert position. Who doesn’t disclose their position and how they got there; who keeps their bodies out of the conversation? The Wizard of Oz, and the One Per Cent. Thus my comments above about white, male inscrutability. I was asking for information, using an anti-authoritarian rationale you claim to value.
In your work, Matthew, the beauty is there. The truth is not. YOUR truth, perhaps, but social research is not postmodern, and it’s not poetry. As I’ve tried to tell you, it has been about 35 years since professional interview researchers in the social sciences began concluding that postmodern epistemology was untenable in their research. Postmodernism’s still great for poets and the language arts, if you like.
This week week I reflected on the first time I came to love you in a very emotional, and personal way. We had a phone conversation before recording an interview for The Expert Series at Where is My Guru. My god, you were wonderful. We joked about the UM football game I’d be attending later, you heavily complimented my writing and treated me with adoration, and we laughed together. Then a few minutes later, we went live. I described my work as a yoga studio owner, and you made a comment that it must be alienating. Inside I laughed – I have so much more exposure to other people than I know what to do with. Perhaps the greatest area of learning in my work is being ok with how many people are in my life and how much time I spend in community. Your comment made me look a bit pathetic, and it justified the story you were telling about how yoga studios burn out their teachers and ultimately fail, but I didn’t want to disagree with you and compromise the intimacy we’d just created offline. So I softly agreed and moved the conversation forward. I was careful not to mention in that conversation that I’m profoundly happy in my work, and the school we have created here is very successful in every sense. That would not have bene information that made you look like an expert. For me, the new intimacy with you was more important than getting my own story out there in public.
Regarding Diane Bruni, two notes. I’d never heard Diane’s name before you brought her up. So then, I learned a little bit about her from an interview you shared, which she gave a while back in a Toronto yoga publication. My understanding is that this interview was a major inspiration for your work.
I think you’re using Diane, Matthew. She’s not an expert in the field of ashtanga. Experts in that particular field are people who have taught a Mysore program for decades, who have spent years of their lives in India, who have a teacher, and who are embedded in a human network that provides self-care knowledge, professional feedback and long term relationship connections. Diane is not this person. She’s someone whose story is useful for you, so you create this halo of language around her to give her discursive/symbolic power.
I don’t question that Diane’s way of practicing ashtanga series injured her. I’m so sorry to know about her suffering, and send her love. Blessings to her.
The first thing I learned about Diane from her original interview is that she expresses an intense, devotional, all-or-nothing quality. No problem with that. The way she described her interpretation of what she termed ashtanga, and the way she described her born-again interpretation of movement practice: same. The interview does not chronicle a transformation from delusional self-harm to enlightened self-care. It shows a TRANSLATION of a passionate mindset from one field to the next. There is wisdom in the mix in both phases. And perhaps there is also some confusion in both phases.
Second, I learned that Diane is willing to make a damning statement about the body of a prominent senior teacher who I happen to know. This teacher would never harm another’s reputation, the same way he does not harm him self. Diane is willing to attribute self-harm to this man, and in so doing does him harm. If this is the kind of “information” WAWDIA is gathering, then it’s clear my perspective as an advocate of social research, and of ahimsa, does not fit. My approach is more like this:
So this is the best and the very most I will offer when it comes to the accountability you request. I am sorry if I have hurt your feelings, and for my own sake I pray that my true intentions are understood, whatever anger this may elicit.
I’m drawing the line again now. There’s a yoga school here that I love leading, that embeds me in a vibrant/ in-person community, and that requires my best energy. I have a lot to learn in this life yet, and the students here can confirm that my most intensive learning now takes place in mutually accountable and mutually vulnerable relationships with them.
*Following a personal conversation with MR on July 29, the author edited the above comment to change the words “psychotherapy” to “therapy.”
Angela: Thanks for at least making your points openly. Without hiding any longer (under some various kinds of cover).
I do think you want to hurt M. Remski. Even though you say you do not. Do you think you are showing him that he is the emperor and has no clothes, like Sri Louise likes to shout and strut about Remski? I wonder: How much of –all this– is the talk between several women who are just plain pissed off for various reasons.
I remember a few weeks/months ago you told –me– that I was enamored of Matthew Remski, that he must be my teacher I was stuck on, or some such. Basically, you told me in some words I can’t recall exactly, that my support of Remski was a sign of love sick puppy. Yes, you said this at me.
A strange mix of hide bound people have been casting all kinds of aspersions at Matthew Remski. I stood up for him the other day, and —in you came —with your assessment of me!!!! Having never spoken to me, not knowing me, etc. etc. etc. You are a very skilled interview sociologist? No, you are NOT.
I’ve never met Remski, have never spoken to him, and have, actually, not yet sent him a dime. Except tonight. I just paid the 49. and some cents to listen to this 2 plus hour WAWADIA Webinar, –which I had thought I might listen to sometime in the next few months, perhaps. I had not planned to listen: But you drove me to it, since I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the strange whines that are directed toward this fellow.
Remski, who, as far as I can see, shares many of the thoughts and insights that I have gleaned from my yoga experiences (since the 1990’s). I simply consider him intelligent, intelligible, a wonderful writer and thinker. He has been important to my healing from ‘old yoga wounds’. I’m grateful.
Of course, I did look into —who he was/is— quite some time ago, as I was curious. I had no trouble locating his life story, as he provides it at every turn. I never got the feeling that he had over-inflated his ‘chops’ at all. In fact, I came away thinking: Well, he is sort of new to the Yoga world, but he sure does have it pegged.
Some people are pretty quick studies, you know.
I think it is VERY SAD that you have such a bitter feeling about a guy you admire somehow. And I think you do yourself a great deal of harm to think that this diatribe is his due. And you are hurting him, as I’m sure you must realize. It hurts me to see people use Remski as a punching bag. I object to this spew, which I strongly suspect to be mostly all mixed up —and at least 50% —-simply incorrect.
Emma? Is this what you had in mind? For all the ‘honesty’ Angela has shared here (or thinks she is ‘sharing’ here), I just see pettiness and very deep seated emotional pain.
I don’t see what you’re seeing, Allise. Not at all. I see two people having an open discussion about some important subjects.
Forgot the link to an intimate account of pain in my own body. Again, my approach is more like this:
Okay, nice and simple. Matthew Remski is an intelligent business man. Does he truly care that people are injured? I’d like to hope so, I also do believe he looked at Kino’s injury as a dollar sign to gain more publicity beside his name. Isn’t it obvious? He knew what he wanted to say before the interview, before the article – her name was just the cherry on top.
Emma, I wonder how you think that Angela and Matthew are just having a conversation here.
Angela asks the audience to, outright, to scrutinize Matthew. Clearly, Angela is talking way past just Remski. She asks us, outright, to scrutinize Matthew.
Angela is angry and in pain.
Again, let me ask you: Did you, Emma, research the credentials of Remski before you praised Remski as the genius boy-wonder yourself?
Did you consciously (or unconsciously) ‘set Remski up’ by slathering the bread with your thick slices of butter? I really thought your language was bordering-on-provocative when I read it. Before Angela even swooped in!
Allise, I’m really not sure what you’re asking me. Thanks again for reading and responding, but I’m not going to reply to accusatory language.
Don’t expect Matthew to be having this so-called conversation with Angela. Because it isn’t one. It’s just spew.
Pingback: Our bodies are like orange segments floating in webbing... or, jumping on the fascia train - revolutionary habit
In the interests of dialogue informed by research and not just subjective experience many of you may find this systematic review helpful/interesting/relevant. Abstract below:
The Safety of Yoga: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Holger Cramer*, Lesley Ward, Robert Saper, Daniel Fishbein, Gustav Dobos, and Romy Lauche
Initially submitted November 3, 2014; accepted for publication March 16, 2015.
As yoga has gained popularity as a therapeutic intervention, its safety has been questioned in the lay press. Thus, this review aimed to systematically assess and meta-analyze the frequency of adverse events in randomized con- trolled trials of yoga. MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and IndMED were screened through Feb- ruary 2014. Of 301 identified randomized controlled trials of yoga, 94 (1975–2014; total of 8,430 participants) reported on adverse events. Life-threatening, disabling adverse events or those requiring intensive treatment were defined as serious and all other events as nonserious. No differences in the frequency of intervention-related, nonserious, or serious adverse events and of dropouts due to adverse events were found when comparing yoga with usual care or exercise. Compared with psychological or educational interventions (e.g., health education), more intervention-related adverse events (odds ratio = 4.21, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 17.67; P = 0.05) and more nonserious adverse events (odds ratio = 7.30, 95% confidence interval: 1.91, 27.92; P < 0.01) occurred in the yoga group; serious adverse events and dropouts due to adverse events were comparable between groups. Findings from this review indicate that yoga appears as safe as usual care and exercise. The adequate reporting of safety data in future randomized trials of yoga is crucial to conclusively judge its safety.
Pingback: On Injury and Practice | The Buddhi Blog
Pingback: Our bodies are like orange segments floating in webbing… or, jumping on the fascia train – root and transmute