I'm rather open minded, but I'm curious as to a few things in yoga. They are a couple pet peaves if you will. Yes I see value in yoga, but as with most things I think it is far from perfect.
Isn't the lumbar spine supposed to be stable? It's a well designed pattern IMO, if you go through the kinetic chain, stability/mobility flips.
Ankle-Mobility, Knee-Stability, Hip-Mobility, Lumbar Spine-Stability, Thoracic Spine-Mobility.
It seems that the cow pose creates hyperextension? Since the vast majority of the population has anterior pelvic tilt, an already injury prone problem, why would you ever want to reinforce that tilt with hyperextension?
What good could the cat pose ever produce? The cat pose appears to have intense rounding of the entire spine. Why would you want to remove the natural arch of the lumbar spine and create a shearing force between the vertebrae? That would seem to be hazard to the majority of people.
Reclined Twists are a great way to pop ones back and all. But aren't you creating in instability in what should be a stable region of the body? Instability=injury. I firmly believe there are limits to good and healthy flexilibility and range of motion.
I understand that hamstring flexibility can ease back tightness. But I don't think people should worry that much about hamstring flexibility directly.
First off you can potentially take away the elastic energy of one of the most useful muscles in the body at a point. Although most people are not at that point.
The main reason is this; people have tight hamstrings because of terribly tight hip flexors and quadriceps. A cause and effect relationship.
People spend endless hours seated. This causes shortened hip flexors and quads. As the hip flexors shorten they tip the hips forward. As your hips are tipped forward your hamstrings are forced to remain in a longer position than they should have to be in, and a stretching motion isn't a regular stretch as they are already stretch, you are stretching the muscle to an extreme. Anterior pelvic tilt is what's to blame for the insane amount of hamstring pulls in sports today.
Also is any hamstring stretching done unilateral? Or is it all bilateral?
Is there anything in yoga that focuses on stretching the hip flexors and getting people to properly activate their glutes? Anterior pelvic tilt would also make the glutes largely inactive. And I don't think there is anything worse than not utilizing a large and powerful muscle. Not even for the sake of better performance. But for the sake the body will compensate and in the long term this compensation will result in injury.
Within the stretching is there a goal to improve posture? If so, how is this accomplished.
I apologize for my quasi-rant, I am someone on the outside looking in on this topic, so I'm interested in picking the brain of someone that's accomplished in the discipline. But I haven't actually gotten to talk to a yoga instructor on any of these topics and it's possible I'm way off base.
Thanks for your responses.