On March 8, 2012, I wrote a blog post about the claims and potential dangers of participating in Bikram Yoga. To my surprise, I got a lot of feedback. That’s why I’m posting an update on this topic a little over a year later. Surprisingly to me, the article was very polarizing. A significant number of people commenting were appreciative of my objective assessment of Bikram Yoga as a medical professional. Another significant amount of people were instead very angry and combative with only a few in between.
I was, and am, very surprised by the second group (the angry and combative ones). Some treated their Yoga practice as a religion. This means that logic played no part in their arguments. Science didn’t matter and anecdotal evidence trumped all. Another group seemed to think that anything I said that didn’t validate their beliefs in Bikram Yoga was tantamount to hate speech and they therefore had the right to attack me personally with no regard to the actual content of my article. This was very strange to me, because I didn’t write the article to prevent people from participating in Bikram Yoga. My only intent was to balance out some of the claims that the Bikram yoga community is making so passionately, but which have no scientific basis. That and to alert people that might be susceptible to certain health issues that they should take care when undertaking Bikram Yoga or another form of hot yoga.
There are quite a few comments on my previous post, but if you read through them you will see that very few of the truly angry ones were approved. Am I a censor? Am I trying to slant people’s perceptions? No. I just don’t reward trolls and purposely rude and nasty people. Especially not those that post things that prove that they either didn’t read or failed to understand what was actually in my article. Those posts clutter up the blog and provide no useful insights to people reading the article. I thought about closing the comments, but left them open with the intent of fostering dialogue. Not ridiculous attacks, but actual dialogues Anyone wishing to make an informed statement in a courteous, professional manner is¡ welcome. Anyone wishing to share a personal anecdote is also welcome. Courtesy is key. Discourtesy doesn’t get me riled up. I figure that whoever wrote that comment must have had a bad day, forgive them and delete it.
Oh and before I forget, another reason I’m writing on this topic today is that I was quoted in an article on Hot Yoga in the online edition of Outside Magazine. I encourage you to go check that article out. I really enjoyed being interviewed for the article and I’m honored to have been quoted.