Yoga is a Team Sport
As a yoga teacher, there is no doubt that I believe in the power of yoga as medicine. It can truly heal us from many injuries, from emotional to physical, and restore us to our full being. The goal of yoga, after all, is to help us return to our true nature.
With that said, I hereby declare yoga as a team sport.
Yoga is *one* way to get unhurt and unstuck. When it comes to any kind of pain prevention or therapy, we must consider every and all venues available. Some yoga teachers may make claims that yoga can cure everything from sleeplessness to cancer. This may be so, but it would be irresponsible of us to say that yoga can replace all other treatment methods.
As an example, I recently experienced an alarming level of pain in my outer knee. Not knowing if it’s a meniscal tear, an ACL tear, or IT band syndrome, I made a physical therapy appointment. When I fell off my bike and strained my wrist, I got a radiologist to look at my X-ray. In addition, I’ve backed off my vigorous vinysa practice and spent more time doing Restorative and Yin yoga.
Emotional and psychological issues, similarly, should be dealt with from a multi-angled approach. If someone is experiencing a tremendous amount of anxiety beyond the “normal” daily stress, it would be a good idea for them to consider seeking professional help.
Famed American psychologist Abraham Maslow once said, “When the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.” As yoga devotees, it may be tempting for us to use yoga as that proverbial hammer. But if we pause, and consider the teaching of yoga to surrender, to accept, we may widen the possibilities of how we can heal.