Reminder: It's Totally Okay If You Hate Yoga

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
So I have a confession to make: I actually really like yoga. I'm a big-chested lady and therefore I have a constantly aching back. Yoga is one of the few things that helps me wake up pain-free.
I could sit here and tell you all about how doing yoga helped me get more in tune with my body, or about how yoga isn't just for thin white girls, or about how aerial yoga is actually really fun and challenging (which it is — at least, for me.)
But I won't. Because you are not me, and based on the fact that you clicked into this article, I'm willing to bet that you actually hate yoga. Maybe you even despise it — and that's totally okay.
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It turns out, your aversion to bending your body into all kinds of different positions might actually keep you a little safer than those of us who start our days with a few cat-cows. Recent research published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that yoga actually causes musculoskeletal pain in about 10% of people.
Researchers studied 354 yoga-goers in two suburban studios who filled out questionnaires on their age, experience, the number of hours they did yoga each week, how intense that yoga was (yes, it can be intense), as well as any forms of pain or injuries they experienced.
While many injuries were minor, like wrist pain from all that time spent in downward dog, some were much more serious. According to the questionnaires, more than a third of injuries lasted three months or longer and actually caused people to stop going to yoga. Based on these results, the researchers urge people who do yoga to let their doctors know and to also be up front with their yoga teachers about any previous injuries that could affect their practice.
As a yoga-hater, you might be inclined to use this information as proof that yoga truly is a useless activity, but let me just stop you for a second. Sure, yoga can be dangerous, but so can literally any other physical activity.
So, while you can absolutely use this as one more excuse to never step inside a yoga studio, I will keep rolling out my yoga mat, thank you very much.
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