Enter at your own risk

I see on a post in Facebook that there is a yoga school in Canada that has forbidden their students to practice shoulder and headstands on their premises, I curiously click on it to see what fueled that decision and find out that it as ususal is about health and safety, their argument is that there is not sufficient medical evidence that guarantees the safety of the spinal chord when executing these asanas. Hmmm...To link the practice of yoga to safety is an interesting concept that in my mind is about as useful as walking around with a helmet on our heads whenever we're outside. Kind of like an invitation for disaster.
Yoga is not for those looking for safety, it's risky business. It is not a penicillin for the body and soul, it is not a teaching on how to stay safe. Yoga is a teaching for life and to think that life is safe or to pretend that we can safeguard ourselves against the inherent risk that is unavoidable in life is simply false advertising. Yoga knows that life is overwhelming, that all versions of life will contain pain suffering and death. It's there to help us deal with these insecurities, not to tell us to not engage because it's risky. The growing yoga industry has in it's need for economic guarantees conveniently adopted one of the human delusions that the Buddhas of all times have repeatedly upheld as a great trap for humanity, the illusion of safety. And that if anything is risky business. To promise that you will be safe when diving in to the universe of body and mind is delusional. The only thing Yoga promises is that it's practices will let you know yourself to a greater extent. It is not promising to protect you against your own impulses and follies, so if you in your yoga journey encounter your own eagerness or ambition to do things that are beyond your capacity and that happens to lead to injury, well then you know that. Cause leads to effect, action gives birth to consequence. That any good yoga teacher will tell you, but to baby treat and sugar coat the teaching of yoga with promises of only health, only love and pleasant experience, feels almost disrespectful to those that have paved this path before us. Krishnamacharya in his cave, the Buddha under his tree...These teachings are not for the faint at heart, and if we keep selling them under a banner of safety it will only be a matter of time before we'll be hearing complaints that the yoga practice is psychologically unsound because it makes people confused...

A warning label that would make sense to have in your studio, or in your place of teaching would be something like:

'Enter at your own risk, in here you will experience pleasure and pain, you will see darkness and light. You may go crazy, lose your sanity, you will feel hurt, unsafe, confused and scared, and there is no teacher on this premise or any other premise that can prevent that from happening. If you enter this place of Yoga, you have decided to take life in your own hands and to be an independent self reliant individual, it's your decision your path your responsibility and in here, all you thought you knew and upheld as true will be questioned. You will be guided yes, supported, absolutely, but this is a rated R adventure and not suitable for the faint at heart. It's a spiritual warrior training. If you recognize this, there is a risk that you will experience real happiness, that you will feel unconditional love and compassion and see clearly yourself and your world. Enter at your own risk'


Welcome to our writing where we will share our thoughts and practices with you.

Latest posts