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Is yoga dangerous? The media debate rages on

David Regelin
David Regelin can do this, but he probably doesn't think you should. (Photo credit: Danny Kim for


In the past few days, yoga has been thrown into the media spotlight, and not for the usual charge of navel gazing.

According to The New York Times and New York Magazine, the way yoga is practiced in the West right now is seriously dangerous.

The Times piece caused the most hubbub, and for good reason. The visceral descriptions of yoga-class injuries like popping ribs to strokes were painful to read.

Several big-name yoga teachers have responded to the story and its fear-mongering, including Roger Cole (quoted in the piece), Eddie Stern, and Michael Taylor. (YogaDork’s rebuttal round-up also includes commentary from a physical therapist and a chiropractor.)

New York Magazine‘s piece profiled instructor David Regelin’s decision to leave Kula Yoga Project after deciding that the yoga being practiced had become too focused on athleticism, and that most people were doing it wrong (and therefore risking injury) in order to keep up or show off.

While debates rage on about these points (and feel free to rant in the Comments section, below!), there’s an interesting thing about this new yoga-injury zeitgeist:  Now, in the mainstream media, yoga being viewed as an athletic pursuit.

Publications like the Times and New York Magazine went from treating yoga like a pansy pursuit in their coverage to calling it aneurysm-causing—overnight.

What do you think? Did the Times and New York Magazine give yoga a fair shake? Is yoga more dangerous than it should be? Tell us, in the Comments, below!