As a long time yogi, I am a little taken aback at some of the benefits listed for yoga asanas. As the popularity of yoga as a healing modality resurges, so too does the list of benefits. It looks as if each asana is jostling for being the most beneficial of all. Please do not mention the sirshasana (head stand).
I am interested in both the science and spirit of yoga. I suffered a major spine injury, now 15 years ago, which left me unable to walk or sit without great amounts of pain. I was immobile for 3 months. I went from triathlon training to a wheelchair. It would have been longer – but the healing properties of yoga and acupuncture did their magic.
As I recovered from my injury, I wondered at the miracle of the body and what yoga had unleashed within me. While being at my most vulnerable, I had never felt so strong. I began exploring my own body and its responses, by practicing different forms of yoga. All forms of intense western style exercise were now forbidden – my body would not allow it. I became a book worm – reading about yoga, the different styles and their benefits. There was not much on the internet at that stage (the internet was still using Explorer as the major interface, and Apple was something you ate). I rediscovered my spiritual faith as a Buddhist (but that’s for other posts). I spoke to lots of people, experts (some of which were, but others were just noisy).
As my injuries began to heal, I was able to return to work, but my search of knowledge continued, and as the internet went from gook heaven to the mass addiction it is today, I expanded my quest for truth.
The internet is like an information superhighway in a developing country. Lots of different cars speeding by, jostling for space with motorcycles, not using the lanes, and little food stalls by the roadside, hoping to tempt these people to stop even for a little bit. Metaphorically, I drove on a motorcycle, stopping now and then at these food stalls.
And I still kept reading, listening and talking to ‘wise’ ones.
My musings on this site about the science of yoga comes from the knowledge and wisdom I gained from all these sources, both profound and inane. It also has a heavy dose of my pragmatism.
I hope you enjoy.