Here’s another really great response to the recent, rather fear-mongering New York Times article about yoga that I blogged about in The dark side of yoga.
I liked this clarity:
…let’s not forget why we all practice in the first place: to attain yoga. What is yoga?Yoga is one of the six orthodox philosophical systems of the ancient Indus civilization that was codified by Sage Patanjali some time around 2500 BC. The entire yoga philosophy is summed up in 196 short statements, the Yoga Sutras, that describe techniques as to how to attain the state of yoga, a state of being when the mind is still and silent by arresting its modifications. This leads to freedom from unhappiness. Using specific, technical terms, Sage Patanjali describes the transcendental experience that is yoga.
But, the most important thing about practicing yoga is that, just like any other activity, … it requires practice and familiarity with the fundamentals of that activity. Therefore, it is the job of the yoga student to become a teacher. That does not mean everybody has to go to a teacher’s training. It means that every student needs to find the teacher within, the teacher who is determined, who is clear about what they are doing, who is organized, who listens, who pays attention to what is going on around and inside them.
It’s about practice, dedication, and awareness. Best injury-prevention methods in the world.