These four ‘most dangerous’ yoga poses don’t seem to be

I figured once the news story about some dude breaking his leg in Marichyasana B (B, even, not D!) got around, we’d get to enjoy another round of “yoga is soooo dangerous” stories and related hang-wringing.

Here’s one, from Details magazine. It uses the broken leg hook to unveil the four most dangerous yoga poses.

Funny thing. I can think of a lot of other poses that are waayy more dangerous. I suppose the caveat is that these are poses that most people probably encounter, unlike something from deep in Third Series. Still… not sure I agree. They are (and I’ll use the names from the mag):

  • Shoulder stand
  • Standing forward bend
  • Bound triangle
  • Camel

I’m especially confused by Uttanasana’s being on this list. Here’s what Details says is the danger:

Also known as Uttanasana, this pose is great for opening up hamstrings, calves, and hips, as well as supposedly stimulating the liver and kidneys—but forcing yourself forward can easily undo all that good stuff, especially if you have any pre-existing aches and pains.

Ah, right. Don’t force yourself into it. That does make sense.

Details, by the way, describes Marichy B as “an advanced Ashtanga yoga pose;” maybe we should introduce them to the actual Advanced poses.

What it seems to all boil down to is this: Type A personalities go out, push themselves way too hard, and get hurt.

If it weren’t for that, I’m not sure Ashtanga would still be around.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.