“Blind respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” – Albert Einstein
I’m currently on a writing sabbatical, book writing, not blog writing. That means little-to-no time on social media, extended periods of time staring at my computer, a lot of typing, even more deleting, and few tantrums. But it has come to my attention, through an email from a friend, that a 3-year-old blog of mine has been circulating around social media. As a result, I’m taking a moment off book writing to write this blog, which is long overdue.
So I was lamenting with some colleagues about how I am feeling conflicted about teaching and writing at this time. Don’t we have more pressing concerns than a nagging, albeit tolerable, pain below the butt during yoga class? I mean really, let’s get some perspective here.
But then I was served perspective by my friend and colleague Catherine Cowey. She reminded me that our work is also about scientific literacy and critical thinking skills. And that by questioning things we’ve been taught about asana on our mats, examining the available evidence, and then choosing the best course of action, we learn to evaluate what we see, what we read, and what we hear.
Stretching. That one simple word is anything but simple. It’s a linguistic divide among the yoga community. On one side we have the “yoga is not stretching” camp and on the other side we go to public yoga classes, and we do what seems to be stretching. In fact, just yesterday I took a class where we did some “hamstring stretching,” a few “neck stretches” and a “shoulder stretch.” (Quotations are the teacher’s words, not mine.)
Regardless of which side you are one, I believe the conversation around stretching is useful. For us to agree on whether or not yoga has anything to do with stretching, we must first agree on the definitions of the words we are using.
This blog is sort of like a podcast, only you have to read it. It’s basically a conversation between me and my friend/colleague, Charlie Reid, about yoga and resistance stretching. We email often, so this is a glimpse into one of our email threads, just formatted to read more like a blog. Oh, and the cat photos have been removed and replaced with content related images.