My Goodreads list keeps growing. One of the books I just added is "X-Posed: the Painful Truth Behind Yoga & Pilates". I found this post on It's All Yoga, Baby, where the author of X-Posed talks about his own views that not all yoga/pilates is safe.
This should be an interesting read, as I somewhat have to agree. With my own issues stemming from moderate scoliosis, I have learned to alter my practice to fit my body. But as a yoga teacher I regularly see people forcing their bodies into various asana on a daily basis.
One of my opening statements in every class is something along the lines of "Trust your body and your breath- don't force yourself into any pose." But it never fails that I see a student panting, red-faced and grunting as they try to get into 'that advanced asana'.
I know it's their ego taking over- I've been there myself! "I can TOTALLY get into Peacock pose!"
Uh, no, I can't...but that doesn't stop me from grunting and holding my breath and trying! At least nowadays I can usually see this ego/competitive part of my practice for what it is- and I can slow myself down to return to the practice with a more gentle mindset. Hmmm...sometimes at least!