Jesu Forfend – Quit! Quit!

I find it odd that in our culture if, for example, a football player breaks a body part during a game, and continues to play, we laud that as ‘admirable’. They pushed through the pain, and possible permanent bodily damage, all in the name of the sport.  Afterwards did they abandon the game forever? Probably not.

How many people out there have fallen off their bicycles at some point? I’d guess most everyone that’s been on one has. I sure have. Barring some horrific accident, did you quit, forever, riding your bike because of one fall? I sure didn’t.

Hockey players – I bet they hardly EVER get hurt. Hee hee – I absolutely did when I played… a lot (there is something alluring about that kind of rough physical contact, but that’s for another post or trip to the therapist). However, at the first instance of being checked to the boards I didn’t quit nor did anyone encourage me to do so (well, maybe my Mom).   The same goes for playing soccer – which I always found to be MORE dangerous than hockey because soccer players are less padded and inevitably deliver a viscous kick to the shins now and then.

Overall, people engage in a variety of physical activities, and in each and every one of them there are injuries and pain that sometimes occur. And, like I wrote above, barring some sort of catastrophic accident or injury, most people accept that being active can result in physical discomfort from time to time. And most likely we will heal and are encouraged to ‘get back in the game’.  Of course there’s the saying: When you fall off the horse, you have to get back on. Unless, of course, it’s crushed your legs – then maybe dial 911.

There seems to be one exception.


Apparently, that’s one horse we should run from.

For some reason that I cannot fathom, if you so much as stub your toe on a mat, people will advise you to quit doing Yoga. It’s dangerous.

Heaven help you if your friend finds out you’re a little stiff from a particularly intense class. OH MY GOD, YOUR THIGHS ARE SORE FROM TRIANGLE POSE? JESU FORFEND! QUIT! QUIT! RIGHT NOW!! YOU’RE GOING TO HARM YOURSELF PERMANENTLY!

And then, if you’re lucky, you get a laundry list recited to you of every Yoga-induced-injury ever had by your friend, anyone that your friend knows, or injuries of the friends of the friends of the friends . Because, you know, no one ever gets hurt during any other form of physical activity.

I don’t understand this at all. Should I break my arm playing hockey and continue my shift, I’m a hero. But if I strain my thumb during Bikram’s Locust Pose, I should throw in the towel right then and there.  Go figure.

If I quit every physical activity in which I had some sort of painful incident, believe me, I’d never leave my bed. In fact, I’ve hurt myself getting OUT of bed and banged my shins on the bed frame getting INTO bed. Should I consider giving up sleeping?  I’ve tripped too many times to count just WALKING.  But somehow I find the resources within me to solider on. And no one has ever suggested I ‘give it up’.  So why do people freak out about getting an injury from Yoga?

I’m open to any and all thoughts.

Yup - that's me

Yup – that’s me


About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Biking, Bikram Yoga, Health, Humor, Injury, Random Thoughts, Society, Yoga and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Jesu Forfend – Quit! Quit!

  1. People are weird. And it’s right, the only reason there are injuries in Yoga is because people are also stupid and don’t listen to their bodies. Just because one person can wrap both their feet behind their neck doesn’t mean everyone else should!

  2. Over this past weekend there was a giant yoga event in Times Square to welcome the summer solstice. I think it went on all day. People came and went. The area will chocked-full of yoga mats. There’s I didn’t see a lot of quitting or injuries. Carry on as usual.

  3. Maybe it’s because it’s not a team sport that you can’t cheer for and place bets on? Maybe people are more likely to tell you to quit because it’s a solo activity.

  4. El Guapo says:

    I’m proud of the battle scars I’ve collected doing things I enjoy, even if it means my knees how’ll when I get up in the morning.
    As long as you can move Adams enjoy our, have fun!

  5. Twindaddy says:

    I hurt myself thinking and have never done it again…

  6. I have never heard anyone saying to quit yoga. I took some yoga (I am as flexible as a totem pole in winter) and it wasn’t my thing. I was too competitive (go figure), so I would get frustrated that I couldn’t get the poses in one shot. But my wife does Bikram 4-5 times a week and loves it. The one thing that they mention in yoga is that one *practices* yoga – that is, one is constantly in a state of learning and improving. I couldn’t get that through my thick skull. I remember them telling us that if we are having trouble, then to sit that pose out. Go into shavasna (sp?) until the next one comes up (or, like me, crawl out during the class because he pulled his back – true story).

    Anyway, I am nursing an injured Achilles tendon from running, and while my physio told me to stop for now, she never said stop for good. Silly advice whomever is giving it, about stopping yoga.

    • Ha ha – we have a lot of people like that in T’ai Chi sometimes – “Is this right? Is this right?” where it is not the point to be right – just to try. And then do it again. It’s a practice not a perfect.

      Sorry about the Achilles tendon – I’m a year into a hamstring injury that is still not ‘right’ – but I’ve heard it’s a slow mend (and now I’m 44 so even slower).

      Yes, it’s Shavasana! Or Corpse Pose. Ouch on the back. Yoga has huge mental component that people, who like to do things with the words “Power” or “X-treme” preceding the activity forget. That’s waht makes it so great – each class is the same sequence of poses but totally different for each person each time. It’s never static or boring for me.

      I was a ‘runner’ for about a year – but it was hard on my hips and I got to six miles – which I was damn proud of – but then I noticed that I was in constant pain and realized that it’s just not my groove – but I did get a runner’s high twice – that was pretty excellent.

  7. I think people expect there to be injuries with the rough and tumble sports and activities, but with yoga which appears so gentle, it’s unexpected, and so people think there must be something seriously wrong if injuries occur? Dunno, just guessing really!

    • Carrie Rubin nailed it in the comments, in my opinion. Overdoing it, moving too deeply into a move before you’re physical self is ready, or just having a poor form can lead to injury. Even gentle, like walking :), can lead to injury if done wrong! But it seems like with Yoga, one mis-move and bam! everyone feels you should quit.

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    Yoga received a bad rap a couple years back–people blaming it for all sorts of injuries. Just like any exercise, overdoing it can lead to injury. If someone not used to yoga goes all out in back bends and twists, they’re more likely to hurt themselves. But if they ease into things and listen to what their body tells them (for example, if something hurts while you’re doing it, you should stop) then yoga can be a wonderful means of maintaining balance, flexibility, and strength as we age. As with most things, it’s all about moderation. (Yikes. That was a rather clinical comment on my part… 😉 )

  9. Paul says:

    I always thought of yoga as this sort of peaceful, be-one-with-the-universe activity. Meant to reach the inner depths of the soul. Sports, on the other hand are designed to be competitive, energetic, defend your skills against all attackers. The sheer difference between the two activities explains why injuries are expected and even encouraged during sports and somewhat, shall I say, surprising in yoga. I would expect a twisted yin or a bent yang. Perhaps an essence of less than rosey scent, or a strained vital spark or a broken psyche, or even a nasty noumenon.But I have to tell you Rutabaga, when you sprain your toe or strain your tibia when foussing on your essence or your inner spirit, I have to try hard to keep from giggling. I mean, is your spirit in your toe? Was your thumb particularly short of yin or yang? I wouldn’t say quit when facing injuries but I’d certainly wonder if yoga is addressing your inner soul or your toe?

  10. List of X says:

    I think you should quit yoga….
    Wait, did you say you have injured yourself doing yoga? Then you definitely should quit yoga.

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