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Is Yoga Too Dangerous to Be Taught in Your Fitness Facility?

A recent New York Times article, "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body," has been getting a lot of attention lately for its look at how people can be injured doing yoga. This form of exercise that so many have been preaching as a way to relax, reduce stress and even rehabilitate is now being placed in another light.

Glenn Black, a yoga instructor who often teaches classes at the Omega Institute in New York, went so far as to say in the article that most people should give up yoga because yoga is really only for people without physical weaknesses or those doing it for rehabilitation purposes under strict supervision. He also said that yoga should not be taught in general classes.

I have taken several yoga classes during the last few years—although I would still consider myself a beginner. Fortunately, the teacher at my gym is not a "pusher." She is all about taking things slowly and using yoga more to relax rather than to prove you can do some strenuous and contorted pose. I have never once felt pressured to do a headstand or anything beyond what I think I can handle in any of these yoga classes. But I get the impression that some yoga classes can become a sort of competition to see who can do the most difficult poses.

Is this competition the main reason for injuries? Or is it the repetition of these poses? Is this article causing you to reconsider offering yoga at your facility or at least modifying your program? Let us know what you think.

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