Should We Re-Assess Yoga?
As a multi-billion dollar industry today, yoga is a widespread staple for many people's exercise regiments. Seen as a way of improving flexibility, mitigating stress, aligning one's posture, and imparting mental and emotional balance — the practice of yoga has been touted as a panacea for many of the modern ailments in Western culture today.
Yoga presents itself as embodying philosophies of intuition, holistic well-being, collectivism, and spirituality. With that said, it can become apparent very quickly how discussing one aspect of yoga can string together a multitude of other facets. This inherent ambiguity makes it difficult for people to give an objective critique on yoga because the narrative can easily shift in just about any direction a person can think of.
In order to break out of this rhetorical conundrum, it's important for us to stop thinking in an US vs THEM, tribalistic manner. The intent of this article and its corresponding video is not to bash yoga and the people who practice it. We firmly believe that the yoga practice is trying to do the right thing. There's no doubt that their hearts and minds are in the right place.
The purpose here is not to demonize one group of people in order to elevate our own position. At the end of the day, this is about making informed decisions that lead to better health. So to preface this video, let's be 100% clear: This video is only meant to inform, not to disparage. Just listen with an open mind to what we have discovered in our mission to make humans functional again, and then do whatever you want with the knowledge. If you want to keep doing yoga after watching this video, please by all means don't let us stop you.
Second, in this video we only speak on the bodily practice of yoga, known as the yoga asanas. This isn't a critique on all the other aspects of the practice. At Functional Patterns we are concerned with whether a movement practice gets results or not — results that improve human functionality and push your movement towards power and efficiency at the highest levels.
Our aim is to get as many people as healthy as possible, which we do by minimizing inefficiencies and facilitating gains without the typical pains that come with most training programs. From what anthropological evidence suggests, humans in their natural form moved better than even the best athletes of our time. In essence, we want to find ways to tap into that biological blueprint, and to even exceed our ancestors in terms of movement capacities. The question we ask at FP is: Does the bodily practice of yoga get us closer to that goal or not?
Until next time, this is Functional Patterns reminding you to Train Intentionally and Not Habitually.