Reason I Think Yoga Mostly Sucks: # Infinity

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Before I go on, please read the title of this blog post again. I think yoga MOSTLY sucks, it doesn’t completely suck. There’s a big difference. Matter of fact, the only things I would say suck 100% are illegal immigrants who complain when they don’t get free tuition, Keanu Reeves, and the fact that the Quaker Oats Company discontinued Mr. T cereal when I was twelve years old back in the 1980’s.

Mr. T Cereal

Lets just say I pity the fool who decided to take one of my favorite cereals off the shelf. Don’t think I forgot Quaker Oats. I’ll never forget!

Needless to say, I’m still dumbfounded when I overhear people claim that stretching their lower back (like some of the poses advocated in yoga) “feels good.” One of the best retorts to this statement comes from strength coach Mike Boyle: “picking a scab feels good too, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.” What happens when you a pick scab? Eventually you’re going to develop scar tissue. The same can be said about the lumbar spine when you consistently take it into positions that it’s not accustomed to or designed to be in.

Yoga Pose

Despite what many of us in the fitness industry say on the contrary, some people still think that stretching their lower back is good or “healthy.” The fact of the matter is, the lumbar spine has approximately two degrees of rotary movement from L1-L4, and L5-S1 may have up to five degrees of rotary movement. All in all the total Range of Motion (ROM) for rotation of the lumbar spine is roughly 13 degrees. Far less than what the woman above is demonstrating.

Long story short, for those who have a history of low back pain…please stop stretching your back! Learn to stabilize the lumbar spine while promoting mobility in the hips and thoracic spine. Conversely don’t listen to any yoga instructor or physician who state all you need to do is stretch your back. They’re mis-informed and there is absolutely no research to back their claims up. However there is some research demonstrating an inverse relationship between the stupidity of “some” yoga instructors and the likelihood I’ll want to face claw them. True story.

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