Modern Yoga and Ego

Yoga has quickly become America’s favorite “low impact” exercise, fueled by beachside Instagram posts and lululemon-style commercialization. Coming from the ancient Buddhist rituals, yoga is meant to be an extension of ridding a person of his or her ego through concentrated meditative positioning of the body. According to this NYT article, there are some serious implications for modern yoga in this age of selfies and egoism. Not spoken about much in the yoga community, medical literature finds modern yoga causing some extreme injuries such as stroke, disability, and even death. Avoiding resting the body’s weight on the neck is crucial to avoiding extreme complications such as these, as the neck can easily be damaged and cause problems with bloodflow to the brain. These are extreme cases, but many yogis have less extreme but still debilitating pain in places like the lower back or joints. Many people think of yoga as restorative after an injury, yet the yogi interviewed for The Times article believes only healthy people with no preexisting issues can moderately practice yoga, and it still carries risks of injury for them as well.
The key point is everything in moderation, listening to yourself, and trying to remove ego in all aspects of life.

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