I have to say when I first saw The New York Times article titled "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body" (
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine/how-yoga-can-wreck-your-body.html?_r=1&ref=yoga) I was immediately intrigued. But how? I thought. Having read it, I sent it onto a couple of my yoga friends. Always better than safe than sorry, I told them. That was last week. Today, I read in The Guardian another piece in response to the NYT piece (apparently the yoga "community" ~ or US$5billion industry ~ in mainly the US is up in arms, saying the article was a piece of sensational journalism). My take on this is that you HAVE to listen to your body (sometimes, it's easier said than done).
Today, for instance, I am taking a break as my body is saying: "I want some rest". Either due to the recent damp/chilly weather or the way I've been sleeping, a nerve (?) that runs from my upper back (close to the left shoulder blade) up to my neck is a bit sore (but only when I turn my head at a certain angle). My right leg/hip area has also been tight. So, since last week, I've been taking the more therapeutic classes than, say, the power/flow classes that I usually go to. The neck pain definitely has nothing to do my yoga practice but I'm sure if I'm not careful, I can make it worse by doing some of the poses.
That way, I think yoga CAN be dangerous ~ just like any other sports, really. The most important thing is not to push and to acknowledge my own (physical) limitations. Hence I have now come to terms with my tight hips/knees; no matter what I do, they are not going to suddenly become loose and flexible (well, unless I "break" them I guess). To forcefully "make them more flexible" will only lead to injuries. Likewise, there are more challenges poses that are for really experienced yogis. To attempt them without thoughts or preparation is just asking for trouble. And I guess that is what The Guardian is saying in their article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/14/yoga-can-damage-body-row