The arrogance of ignorance

May 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

There is a certain amount of smug arrogance that often rears its ugly head as a result of ignorance.  It is a shame that I should discover this to be the case within the walls of my employ.

I work on a part-time basis as a contract Remedial massage therapist for a massage clinic that is part of a multidisciplinary health centre.  I also teach yoga within the local community, and, might I add, a very small community.  My yoga students appear to reap many benefits from my classes, and seem to have a fondness for me (whew!).  Perhaps the passion I have for this ancient science is contagious after all.

One of my students had recently taken some time off to rehabilitate an acute on chronic knee injury – she was seeing a physiotherapist at the health centre I work at to help her along with this process.  On her return, she said to me “those physios should really come to one of your classes, they know nothing.”  Turns out the attending physio was quite blatant about dismissing yoga, and possibly even tried to pin the injury flare up on my classes.

As I mentioned, I also work as a Remedial massage therapist, therefore my understanding of body mechanics, musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology, and the mechanics of injury are incredibly thorough.  I bring all of this knowledge with me into every yoga class I teach – I do not want to clients seeing me in my massage room because of something I am responsible for.  Additionally yoga is a science, a five thousand plus year old science, and when taught right is taught with precision and involves fine-tuning the balance between the different elements of a body to recreate homeostasis.

Injury in yoga happens for two main reasons: students do not tune into their own limitations and push themselves well beyond their physical boundaries in an unsafe manner; the classes are being taught by teachers with insufficient training that do not fully understand (a) the necessity of both strengthening and stretching in equal amounts and (b) the importance of executing correct postural alignment in each posture.  These are both major themes in all my classes.

I should add that the same physiotherapists run Pilates classes within the clinic, classes they have not trained to teach.  When Joseph Pilates designed his programme for his own physical rehabilitation, what do they think he based it on?  Yoga, of course.  At that point yoga was the only official practice that offered core training in the truest sense of the word.  How then can you knock the taking of yoga classes to your patients.

To add insult to the injury, the yoga classes the patient has been taking are those of a fellow health practitioner, one that has detailed in writing the health benefits (from a medical point of view) and my personal teaching practices and philosophies.  How insulting to be made aware of just how high the pedestal that they see themselves standing upon next to you actually is.  How arrogant to turn around and put down something that, in reality, they know nothing about.    Makes me wonder of their ideas of what I do in my clinic room… I suppose to them I am just a rubber.  I pity that ignorance, and am reminded to not let my own influence me in such a negative way.


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