Yep, I’m still thinking about the New York Times article “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body”. This time, I’m going beyond my initial thoughts to touch on something that’s been bothering me — but that took me a while to put into words.
Not about the factors contributing to the recent rise in yoga injuries but of the language this article title used to describe them. While yoga didn’t cause it, there’s nerve damage in my pelvis and hips, damage that contributes to pain and limited movement. There are things I can’t do — at least reliably, comfortably, or independently — because of it.
And yet, describing a body that’s dealing with illness or injury as “wrecked” is pretty loaded. There are plenty of times when I vehemently wish that public life — not to mention public yoga — operated more with my pelvic needs in mind. (Pain and mobility-related needs, mind you. My other pelvic needs, I have no wish to become public anything.) Really, when I fall down on the bus because the driver didn’t think it was important to wait until I was seated before driving off — I grasp the reality of my nerve damage more than most people who are not me ever could.
Still, I am not ruined, devastated, or irreparably damaged. Nor has my “physical soundness, existence, or usefulness” been brought “to a complete end.”
Some people with debilitating illness or injury will feel that “wrecked” applies to their bodies. That’s something I cannot — and do not wish to — judge. The words individuals use to describe themselves is 100% their right and their choice.
But when the article title is “How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body” (emphasis mine) — when someone (presumably outside a chronic physical illness or injury, but even if within) applies the term as a widespread deal — that is out of line.