Wow, I'm surprised by everyone who takes Yoga. I take it twice a week. I'm lucky in that my wife's best friend is a Yoga instructor, so I get free classes. My flexibility has improved tremendously and I recommend it to any MA practitioner.
No question, if you can take a class or get a teacher its a good idea. But stating that beginner Yoga is too dangerous to practice without a teacher isn't accurate. Sure, some people get injured with or without teachers - even being careful. That's true of walking around the neighborhood three times a week. The question is whether or not the risk of injury outweighs the health benefits.
Originally Posted by WorldWarCheese
You're pulling and twisting things more that they're used to if you just sit down and do a butterfly stretch, a forward bend and jog a lap than if you haven't done any excercise in four years too. But is your risk of doing them three times a week greater than what will happen to you in ten years if don't do some kind of excercise? And would having a personal trainer with you really reduce your risk of injury to the point that its not worth doing a little strecthing and running without one. Most Yoga poses place little more strain on the body than stadard strechting a jog.
If you look at the beginner Yoga poses, its hard to classify any of them as high risk. Its not like I'm trying to pull a single arm handstand with a leg stretch using the other hand. Its simple forward bends, twists, butterfly streches, sitting cross legged, etc. Only the advanced stuff involves anything you wouldn't see in an elementry school Gym class in some variation. Its the combination of breathing, meditation, and the ordering of the poses that seperate it from being something different than streching.
Furthermore, I would bet the majority of people who do Yoga in America are DVD exclusive. Yoga DVD sales number in the millions a year, and I doubt that millions of people take classes. Sure there is overlap between the two, but more people are probably practicing without a teacher than with, yet there isn't a large number of injuries being reported as part of a class action suit against Gaiam. Its ancedotal, but I know a lot more people who buy a Prenatal Yoga video and do it during pregnancy, without a teacher, than I do people who have gone to a Yoga class ever. In fact, as large as the share of pre-natal Yoga DVD sales are, its fair to say its pretty low risk activity if its kept to a simple form.
As far as the guard comparison, no, I wouldn't tell them to learn Guard-work from a Gracie Book and DVD, but its terrible analogy to the point of being useless. Guard work inolves a live resisting opponent, Yoga doesn't. On that basis alone, any comparison beyond stating they both require strength, flexibility, and legs is largely meaningless.
Last edited by Jhemsley; 9/21/2007 2:16pm at .
Reason: Failed to copy and paste the last two sentences in the second paragraph