YOGA AND ITS DANGERS
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© May 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Yoga is an ancient Oriental system of development. However, modern-day yoga is hurting people much more than it is helping them.
As a result, we do not recommend yoga at all. Many people ask why we would make such a harsh and blanket statement. The answer is that yoga causes subtle changes in the body that stop Development. Development is the greatest achievement possible for a human being, and the focus of this website. The problems wth yoga are:
1. Hatha yoga moves subtle energy or etheric energy upwards and sideways. This always interferes with development, even if it provides symptomatic relief. To read more about the movement of subtle energy, please read Downward Moving Energy And Healing on this site.
2. Yoga reverses the direction of spin of the third energy center. This tends to make a person more rigid and more stubborn. These qualities are not desirable, especially for development.
3. Yoga with inversion of the body can damage the neck. This occurs more often than one might imagine. Please, if you must do yoga, do not do any inverted posture, including the shoulder stand.
4. Yoga often causes soft tissue damage. If one stretches too much or bounces during yoga, there is often some soft tissue injury. This occurs, in part, because few Western bodies are strong enough to handle the stress that yoga can put on the ligaments, tendons and joints.
5. Holding the body in any twisted position leaks some energy from the body, which is not desirable.
6. Yoga philosophy, often taught along with the postures, often suggests a vegetarian diet and the wrong meditation. Teachers may also suggest the use of a lot of herbs, essential oils, and homeopathy – all of which we find harmful today because the bodies are all so yin.
The meditation problem is serious because we find that only the pushing down exercise causes development. All other meditative exercises may be relaxing, or may develop other aspects of the body, but they do not cause development.
The result is that those who do yoga are hardened by it and weakened by it, even though one may feel a lot better. One also becomes a little more angry and rigid in a way that harms later spiritual development.
You may not notice these problems, but they occur in all cases of people who do yoga on a regular basis, even just once a week. This is why we discourage yoga in all cases, along with most pilates and other yoga spin-offs. The spinoffs are less harmful, however, especially if they do not resemble yoga very much.
OTHER CAUTIONS WITH YOGA
1. Not enough focus on rest and relaxation. Too many classes stress how many poses one can do in an hour, and how many classes a week one can take. The worst is “power yoga”, and some pilates classes that are even more vigorous.
“Hot yoga” is also popular, and often a cause of injuries because people believe they are relaxed, so they go faster and bounce more deeply in the poses, which is not good.
2. Poor teacher training. A lot of yoga teachers are not that well-trained. It does not matter if they were trained in America, Europe or India. A few of the worst teacher-related problems are:
A. Not learning the poses correctly. It takes years of working on one pose to really do some of them right. This means that the students do not even have a chance of doing the poses correctly.
B. Not walking around and looking around during the entire class, checking to see if the students are doing the poses correctly. This is critical because not doing poses correctly can cause the most tissue damage. Really watching all the students is difficult, if not impossible, if the class is larger than about 10 students, as are many yoga classes.
C. Not asking enough questions of every student about their health, bone strength, back problems, medications, diet, supplements and more.
3. Social, sexual and other distractions in yoga classes. There can be peer pressure to do more poses, and to do them deeper than one can comfortably tolerate. Other distractions that endanger students include trying to impress a sexy teacher or other students, “bouncing” in poses, showing off, and feeling guilty for stopping when you feel pain.
Male sexual predators may attend yoga classes to spot women for rape.
4. The yoga ‘identity’. Another common problem is a tendency to view doing yoga as a “new identity”. This idea is heavily promoted, as though you are a better person because you do or know yoga.
Part of this cult-like quality seen in some yoga participants is to think of hatha yoga as a “spiritual path”. This is not the truth, no matter what anyone says. It is a set of exercises designed to change or alter the body in certain ways. Efforts to make more of yoga than it is lead to overdoing, wrong intent, and other problems.
5. Yoga addiction. This may sound odd, but we have encountered it on a number of occasions. Just as exercise can be addictive, yoga can be, as well, for certain personality types.
The nature of the addiction is similar to exercise addiction. That is, a person finds that he or she must continue to do a lot of yoga, or vigorous yoga every day or two, or he or she begins to feel depressed, exhausted, or develops other symptoms such as weight gain or aches and pains. Because yoga is thought to be so beneficial, the person does not realize that it has become an addiction.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS OF CERTAIN KINDS OF YOGA PRACTICES
Bikkrum yoga causes more injuries than most others. The reasons for this are:
- One thinks one is more flexible and relaxed due to the warmth, when it is not the case in many instances.
- The yoga routine is often fast and vigorous to encourage sweating. This is the most dangerous kind of yoga class.
Other types of yoga that cause more injuries are any that move fast, try to fit in a lot of poses, or do not rest a lot between poses.
Restorative yoga. We do not even recommend what is called restorative yoga because the meditation is usually incorrect and the teacher often recommends holding the twists, which leaks energy out of the body, even if it feels good.