Archive for November, 2013

MOSSELBAAI GROENSTE MUNISIPALITEIT IN WES-KAAP

groenstemunisipaliteit20nov13

Raadsheer Emil Scheepers, Raadsdame Marie Ferreira (Uitvoerende Burgemeester), Dr Michele Gratz (Munisipale Bestuurder),
Me Estelle Burger (Omgewingsbeampte), Mnr Piet van Zyl (Departementshoof van Plaaslike Regering,
Omgewingsake en Ontwikkelingsbeplanning van die Wes-Kaapse Regering) en Raadsheer Jim van der Merwe by die funksie in
Stellenbosch waar Mosselbaai aangewys is Groenste Munisipaliteit vir 2013 in die Wes-Kaap.

Mosselbaai is Dinsdagaand (19 November 2013) as die wenner van die Wes-Kaapse Groenste Munisipaliteit vir 2013 aangewys, en het in die proses prysgeld van R120 000 losgeslaan. Mosselbaai sal nou ook die Wes-Kaap in die 2013 Nasionale Groenste Munisipaliteit-kompetisie verteenwoordig.

Die aankondiging is gedoen by ‘n onthaal wat gisteraand in Stellenbosch gehou is. Sewentien van die 24 plaaslike munisipaliteite in die Wes-Kaap het vir dié jaarlikse kompetisie ingeskryf.  Drakenstein was tweede, en Swartland en Overstrand het die derde pryse gedeel.

Mosselbaai het ook drie van ses kategorieë van die kompetisie, naamlik vir lugbesoedeling; energiedoeltreffendheid- en bewaring en vir leierskap, voldoening, institusionele reëlings en publieke deelname gewen. Die Munisipaliteit het ook die toekenning vir innoverende projekte vir sy biodrupsypelprojek in Voorbaai ontvang.

“Ons is uiteraard verheug oor die toekenning want dit het harde werk en sorgvuldige bestuur van ons aksies en projekte geverg. Behalwe die feit dat ‘n gesonde omgewing in die belang van al ons inwoners is, is Mosselbaai ook ‘n toerismebestemming wat baie belangrik vir die plaaslike ekonomie is. Dit is dus noodsaaklik dat ons aandag gee aan aspekte wat Mosselbaai so aantreklik en aanloklik as moontlik vir toeriste maak, en hierdie toekenning toon die Munisipaliteit se erns met die saak,” het die Uitvoerende
Burgemeester, Raadsdame Marie Ferreira gesê.

Mosselbaai het verlede jaar die tweede plek in die kompetisie behaal. Die Munisipale Bestuurder, dr Michele Gratz, het gesê die prysgeld sal, soos verlede jaar weer, teruggeploeg word in projekte om Mosselbaai se status as die Groenste Munisipaliteit in die Wes-Kaap te handhaaf.
Die kompetisie het vroeër jare bekend gestaan as

die Skoonste Dorp-kompetisie, maar is sedertdien uitgebrei tot ‘n baie meer omvattende kompetisie wat onder meer faktore soos afvalbestuur, kusbestuur, luggehaltebeheer en waterbestuur insluit.•

MOSSELBAAI SKUD VERE REG VIR GRATIS DIASFEES

Mosselbaai is besig om sy vere reg te skud vir nog ‘n Diasfees, en die reëlings vir die volgende fees van 30 Januarie 2014 tot 2 Februarie 2014 is reeds ver gevorderd.

Soos die met die vorige twee feeste, sal toegang gratis wees om dit vir soveel as moontlik mense moontlik te maak om die fees by te woon.

Lugvertonings, wat in 2012 en 2013 sulke hoogtepunte was, sal weer deel vorm van die 2014-fees, terwyl ‘n vuurwerkvertoning ook beplan word. Die SA Polisiediens sal aan die fees deelneem, terwyl die Indonesiese Konsulaat-Generaal in Kaapstad ook weer hul deelname in die gees van die feestema van “Waar Kulture Ontmoet” bevestig het.
Onderhandelinge met van Suid-Afrika se bekendste musikante, onder andere Idols-wenners Elvis Blue, Heinz Winckler en Sasha-Lee, en finaliste soos Lloyd Cele, Crushanda Forbes en Gift Gwe, om by die fees op te tree, is feitlik voltooi. Nog bekendes met wie onderhandel word, is Emo Adams, Ray Dylan, Monique, Sarah Theron, Gerrie Pretorius en Wicus van der Merwe.
Die SA Polisiediens se berede-afdeling sal ook weer vanjaar teenwoordig wees, terwyl vertonings by die feesterrein asook statiese uitstallings aangebied sal word. Die SA Polisie-orkes sal op Saterdagaand, 1 Februarie 2014, saam met verskeie gemeenskapsblaasorkeste in die Harry Giddeypark optree.

Die program sluit weer ‘n motorsportgimkana, ‘n straatparade en rubberbootwedrenne in.  Daar sal ‘n biertent wees, en moontlik ook ‘n uitstalling van veteraanmotors en trekkers. Sowat 100 stalletjiehouers word weer by die fees verwag.
Die fees word deur die Mosselbaaise Munisipaliteit gekoördineer, en aangebied om die dorp te bemark en die plaaslike ekonomie te help stimuleer gedurende die stiller tye van die jaar. Die volledige program sal binnekort bekendgemaak word, en ook op die feeswebblad, www.mosselbayevents.co.za bekendgemaak word. •

Mossel Bay Tourism warns against accommodation scams

Mossel Bay Tourism has warned anyone who wants to book self-catering summer holiday accommodation on line to book only through recognised accommodation sites.

“Please don’t book your holiday flat or cottage through any of the general sites where anyone can advertise anything for sale,” said the company’s COO, Marcia Holm.

“No matter where you’re planning to stay this summer, please only use well-known accommodation sites that offer real-time, on-line reservations – sites like www.places.co.za, or www.safarinow.com,” she said.

“There’ve been far too many incidents where people have replied to ads on the general sites, and paid for what they thought they were going to receive – only to arrive at their holiday destinations to find that they’ve been scammed.”

Ms. Holm urged consumers to research their accommodation thoroughly– especially if you’re considering staying at a venue that hasn’t been personally recommended.

“TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com) is always a good place to start because of the reviews you’ll find there – and if you’re planning to come to Mossel Bay, you should also check if your chosen establishment is listed with us on www.visitmosselbay.co.za.

“Our staff have personally visited all the hotels, lodges, B&Bs, self-catering units, caravan and camping sites, and backpackers on our site – so you can be sure that you’ll get what’s advertised there,” she said.

Mossel Bay is expecting a bumper holiday season this year – largely because of demand from South Africans, and in part also because of a growing trend amongst European residents (particularly from Holland, Germany, and Britain), who’ve begun taking their South African holidays during the Christmas period.
“In the past they avoided this time of year, but that’s changing,” said Ms. Holm. “We think they’re beginning to realise that even at the busiest time of the year, Mossel Bay still offers excellent value for money.”

Mossel Bay, she said, is the ideal holiday destination.

“It’s got 60 km of sandy beaches (with four Blue Flag Beaches at Santos, de Bakke, Hartenbos, and Klein Brak River), and it boasts probably the widest selection of attractions and adventures, as well as the largest programme of entertainment of any small town on South Africa’s coastline.

“It’s also conveniently close to all the attractions of the rest of the Garden Route and the Klein Karoo – and it’s known for being very family-friendly.

“With all these plusses available to you, you don’t want to ruin your dream holiday by falling for an accommodation scam,” said Ms. Holm.

More information:
Mossel Bay Tourism: www.visitmosselbay.co.za •

NUWE VERORDENING OOR ADVERTENSIE BORDE WORD VAN KRAG

Die hersiene verordening insake buitereklame en advertesietekens van die Mosselbaaise Munisipaliteit is op 8 November 2013 in die Wes-Kaapse Provinsiale Koerant afgekondig, en is nou van krag. Die verordening reguleer onder meer naamborde op sakegeboue, eiendomsagentkapsborde, lamppaaladvertensies en losstaande buitelugadvertensieborde.

Die oorspronklik verordening het in Januarie 2010 in werking getree, maar is intussen hersien en uitgebrei.

Daar is verskeie nuwe toegewings en wysigings gemaak ten opsigte van tekens waarvoor die Munisipaliteit se toestemming nie nodig is nie. Dit sluit in ‘n maksimum van twee Te Koop- of Te Huur-tekens, en een Verkoopteken wat voortaan binne die grense van residensiële eiendomme geplaas kan word. Dit sluit eiendomsagentskapsborde in. Dié borde mag nie groter as 0,3 vierkante meter wees nie, of meer as ‘n meter hoog wees nie.

Skoutekens en rigtingwysers by huise mag nou ook vertoon word gedurende nasionale skoolvakansies vanaf 12:00 voor die eerste skoudag. Dit moet teen nie later nie as 20:00 op  die laaste skoudag verwyder word.  Skoutekens mag nie vir langer as sewe aaneenlopende dae per skouhuis vertoon word nie.

Elke skouteken of rigtingaanwyser moet ‘n plakker van die Munisipaliteit vertoon, wat die wettigheid en geldigheidsduur van die skouteken of rigtingaanwyser aandui.

Die maksimum-hoeveelheid sekuriteitstekens is tot twee verhoog, terwyl munisipale toestemming nie verkry hoef te word vir nasionale vlae, veerbaniere, reklameborde in arkades, of tekens wat deel van ‘n optog is nie.

Die maksimum-grootte van vrygestelde besigheidstekens is verhoog van 0,2 vierkante na 0,5 vierkante meter. ‘n Grasietydperk van ses maande vanaf die datum van afkondiging van die verordening sal geld vir goedkeuring van alle besigheidstekens wat die perk oorskry. Sake-ondernemings moet dus ook aansoek by die Munisipaliteit doen vir goedkeuring van tekens wat groter as 0,5 vierkante meter is.

Die gewysigde verordening maak voorsiening vir ‘n groot aantal nuwe tekens wat in ooreenstemming is met die Suid-Afrikaanse Handboek van Buitelugreklamebeheer, en wat destyds in opdrag van die Direktoraat van Omgewingsimpakbestuur van die Departement van Omgewingsake saamgestel is.

Die verordening is op die Munisipaliteit se webwerf by www.mosselbay.gov.za beskikbaar.
Navrae kan aan Francis Brand by telefoon (044) 606-5078 of per e-pos aan fbrand@mosselbay.gov.za gerig word.•

WORKSHOP ON JOBS FOR YOUTH

The National Youth Development Agency, in collaboration with the Youth and Local Economic Development Offices of the Mossel Bay Municipality, will host a job preparedness workshop and business awareness training programme from 5 to 6 December 2013.

Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years are invited to attend these capacity building workshops.

Application forms can be obtained from the municipal offices, libraries, LED Office in the Goods Shed,  the Municipality’s Youth Office at the Indoor Sports Centre in Samson Street,  Extension 23 (next to the Roman Catholic Church) as well as from the community development workers.

Written applications must be accompanied by a CV and certified copy of the applicant’s identity document.

Completed application forms can be submitted to the community development workers or at the LED office at the Goods Shed or at the Youth Office by not later than 10:00 on 29 November 2013.

Enquiries can be addressed to Yolande van Aswegen at (044) 606-5224 or 0822966199 or Sharion Louw at (044) 606-5250 or 0826653533. •

Mosselbaai Kers Kunsmark

Die 9de Mosselbaai Kers-kunsmark vind hierdie jaar plaas van 17-19 Desember in die Mosselbaai-suid NG Kerksaal, h/v 15de en 17de Laan Mosselbaai.
Die mark is elke dag oop van 08:00-18:00.

Die gewilde mark is soos elke jaar ‘n paradys van unieke handgemaakte geskenke en produkte o.a. draad en herwinnings-produkte, gebak en lekkers, hout-, naald-, krale- en leerwerk, keramiek,mosaïek, kinderspeelgoed en klere, juwele, snuisterye en vele meer.
Die Kenani Dienssentrum verkoop heerlike eet- en drinkgoed ter stawing van hul
fondse.

Heerlike musiek gaan almal in die regte Vakansie-stemming kry !

Op Woensdag, 18 Desember is daar ‘n POTJIEKOS-KOMPETISIE met lekker pryse om te wen.
LEKKERSTE POT – LEKKERSTE PRYS !

Gesinne/families/besighede en elkeen wat lus het vir Potmaak – Kom skryf in !
Na die beoordeling kan julle lekker spog en dit ook verkoop.

Hierdie is ‘n heerlike plattelandse Vakansie-ervaring by die see  !

So bring die familie en vriende en geniet dit saam ; terwyl u Kers-inkopies doen.

Vir verdere inligting/stalletjiebesprekings kontak : Cecile by 082 2243 865 •

Lets get Legal – Electrical fencing certificates: Do I need one?

The use of electrical fencing as a means to secure fixed property, and in particular also residential property, has escalated dramatically over the last few years. To address this increasing demand the market has been flooded by suppliers offering electrical fence installation services. Understandably the necessity to regulate safety issues in respect of these installations has led to the promulgation of the Electrical Machinery Regulations in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act which regulate electrical fencing and its certification.

What implications do the Regulations have for electrical fences?

The Regulations stipulate that all electric fences installed after 1 October 2012 must be certified and have an electric fence system certificate of compliance. It also applies to electric fences that have been altered, added to or where ownership of the premises changed after 1 October 2012

What effect does the Regulations have on the transfer of property?

The Regulations stipulate that where there is a change of ownership of the premises on which the electric fence exists after 1 October 2012, the user must obtain an electric fence certificate.

This means that a homeowner whose installation was done prior to 1 October 2012 is not required to obtain such a certificate, but that such a certificate will be required by the user if the property is transferred after 1 October 2012 and the user wishes to utilise the system.

It is not stipulated which party (buyer or seller) is responsible for the certificate and it is up to the parties to negotiate the matter of certification as well as the cost thereof. In practice it often occurs that this obligation falls to the seller in the same way as with electrical and gas certification. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Act does allow this undertaking to be transferred and a clause can be included in the sale agreement which relieves the seller of his responsibility to obtain certification and places an obligation on the purchaser to ensure that the system is certified as compliant at the cost of the purchaser. This may particularly be relevant where the seller is exempted from obtaining a certificate and that responsibility falls to the purchaser who wishes to use the electric fence.

Additionally, if a certificate has been obtained, a new certificate may be required if there has been subsequent alterations or additions to the system. Accordingly, when property is sold it would be wise to add a clause in the sale agreement that states that there have been no additions or alterations to the system (if this is in fact the case), allowing the existing certification to remain valid.

Is your electric fence certificate transferrable and for how long is it valid?

The certificate is transferable from one owner to the next. Once it has been issued there is no need for another one. Unlike the electrical compliance certificate which is only valid for two years, the electric fence certificate does not expire, unless additions or alterations have been done to the electric fence after the certificate has been issued, in which case a new certificate is required.

From the above it is clear that electrical fencing certification, particularly when dealing with the transfer of property, is vitally important. Additionally it is also clear that the responsibility for obtaining the certification and cost thereof is a negotiable item which can be addressed in the sale agreement. Discuss the certification of the electrical fence with your estate agent or legal advisor and ensure that this responsibility is addressed beforehand where possible. •

Gemeenskap moet saam staan oor kinders

“Die gemeenskap van Mosselbaai moet saamstaan om ons kinders te beskerm. Elke volwassene het ‘n plig om te verseker dat ons kinders nie leed aangedoen word nie, en die beste moontlike geleenthede kry. Die reëlmaat waarmee kinders in ons land sterf aan die hand van volwassenes of weens onvoldoende ouerlike toesig, is ‘n tragedie wat nie toegelaat moet word om vêrder toe te neem nie.

So sê die Uitvoerende Burgemeester, Raadsdame Marie Ferreira, na aanleiding van berigte van talle verkragtings, moorde, aanrandings en onnatuurlike sterftes van kinders wat in die laaste tyd in die nuus was.

Sy het gesê die Munisipaliteit is besig met talle aksies om die lot van die dorp se kinders te verbeter. Dit wissel van opvoedkundige bystand deur middel van kleuter- en bewaarskole, deelname aan geleenthede soos die Geenmeerslagoffersberaad wat tans deur die Munisipaliteit aangebied word en deurlopende opvoedkundige programme waar kinders en ouers bewus gemaak word van kinderveiligheid.
Met die oog op die naderende vakansie is spesiale veiligheidsprogramme onlangs in samewerking met die Departemente van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling en Onderwys, asook die ACVV  en Kindersorg by die Erika, Ridgeview, Imekhaya, Groot Brakrivier en St Luke (Brandwacht) Primêre Skole aangebied. Die skole is deur die maatskaplike werker van die Departement van Onderwys aangewys as die skole waar die grootste behoefte bestaan.

Ouers en Graad R-leerders is by die program betrek, en daar is gefokus op toesighouding en die belangrike rol van die ouers (Departement van Maatskaplike Werk), brand- en waterveiligheid (Mosselbaai Brandweer) en padveiligheid (Munisipale Verkeersdepartement). Die ACVV het die ouers ingelig oor hul belangrike rol, en om te verseker dat die kinders belangrike inligting soos hul eie name asook die name, vanne en adresse van hul ouers ken. Die belangrikheid van noodnommers is ook beklemtoon.
“Hierdie programme alleen sal natuurlik nie alleen die probleem kan oplos nie. Dit is belangrik dat die publiek ook hul oë en ore oophou vir gevare waaraan kinders blootgestel word. Dit is dikwels in die aard van klein kindertjies om ondersoekend te wees, en dan uit hul veilige omgewing weg te beweeg. Volwassenes wat dit waarneem, kan baie help om die ouers te verwittig, of die kleintjies na huis toe of na veilige plekke te neem, selfs die naaste Polisiekantoor as dit moet.

“Ek doen dus ‘n spesiale beroep op die Mosselbaaise gemeenskap om in die komende vakansieseisoen uit te kyk na ons kinders en om te help en te verseker dat hulle te alle tye veilig  sal wees,” het Raadsdame Ferreira gesê. •

Kos vir die siel – Soulfood

 

Verwonderd staar ek na die bewegende handjie op die sonarskerm … so asof hy/sy vir die wereld waai en se :”Hier is ek!”  Vyf volmaakte vingertjies beweeg oop en toe, en in ongeloof hoor ek die dokter se die fetus is nou 7 cm lank.  Die wonder van die skepping en die Grootheid van God oorweldig my totale menswees en ek snak na my asem toe ek besef ek staan al ‘n tyd lank ademloos en luister na die ritmiese hartkloppie…..

Ek koester myself vir ‘n week lank in die wonder van “ouma-word”  – gevorderde tegnologie – die Alomteenwoordigheid van God, wat met hierdie wonder van nuwe lewe my hele wese vul……..

Dan….  die ontnugtering…….daar is dalk………..’n moontlikheid….. van abnormaliteit by die fetus……  Addisionele toetse word aangevra…………

Meteens word ek teruggeplaas in die tydperk toe ek met verstandelik erg gestremde kinders gewerk het.  Tonele van ouers wat nie met die situasie kon “cope” nie rol deur my gedagtes asof ek na ‘n ou bekende fliek kyk.  Ek onthou elke fyn besonderheid van huwelike wat verbrokkel het omdat Pa’s afgeskeep gevoel het terwyl Ma’s elke moontlike oomblik aan die gestremde kindjie moes spandeer.  Ek onthou grootouers wat hande-wringend en kopskuddend die kindertjies by die skool kom haal want Pappa en Mamma gaan bietjie alleen weg om die sinkende huweliksbootjie te probeer red………

Uit my donker put van moedeloosheid reik ek uit na die mediese suster van ons destydse kliniek by die skool.  Sy kon ons altyd troos met haar kalmte en raad wanneer ons vir onsself nie meer raad gehad het nie, want of mens dit wil weet of nie, om met verstandelik gestremde kinders te werk, dreineer jou.  Soos van ouds luister sy – sonder om my te onderbreek – terwyl  woorde onbeheersd uit my mond borrel – terwyl die kookpot van emosies en vrae oorkook in wanordelike gebrabbel van raad vra.  Wanneer ek, leeggeloop, stilbly, praat sy….Kalm, bedaard, lei sy my terug na my eie destydse wysheid… lig sy vir my die sluiers op my baie donker vrae… en bid sy vir ons vir wysheid.

Soos wat dit gaan by ‘n skool waar so nou met seerkry gewerk word en waar personeellede later “familie” word, versprei die nuus vinnig.  Later bel die arbeidsterapeut…net om te se:”  In my gedagtes is ek by julle!”  Twee dae later bel ‘n kollega…net om te se:”Sterkte”  Ons deel weer ‘n paar herinneringe van kosbare gestremde kinders wat ons soveel vreugde verskaf het… en ek sien ‘n klein bietjie lig…

Gelate gaan my kinders deur die proses van toetse…uitslae…nog toetse…. asof dit hulle nie raak nie – asof hulle die buitestaanders is wat staan en toekyk hoedat dit alles met ander mense gebeur.  Ek onthou hoe ek ook op ‘n stadium in my lewe so gelate was in ‘n krisis en toe vir die Predikant gevra het hoe dit moontlik kan wees dat mens so kalm kan bly in die situasie.  Sy antwoord was dat dit die NARKOSE IS WAT GOD VIR JOU GEE WANNEER JY  NIE STERK GENOEG IS OM DIE SITUASIE TE HANTEER NIE.

Met felle helderheid weet ek dat ons, selfs al doen ons dit met deernis en wysheid, heeltemal te maklik vir ander raad gee.  Ons se so gou: :God sal jou dra deur ‘n krisis, jou krag gee!”  Ek het dit al baie gedoen, en opreg bedoel… maar vandag weet ek dat jy dit heel anders ervaar wanneer jyself in die situasie is.

Een oomblik oorweldig die vreugde my as ek onthou hoe klein Jurie na 4 jaar se intensiewe terapie op 8 jaar sy eerste wankelrige tree gegee het, of toe Jan-Alec op 10 jaar sy stilswye verbreek en ‘n paar woorde gese het, waarna dit net nooit weer opgehou het nie, en die hele personeel in trane van vreugde uitgebars het… Net om die volgende oomblik verpletter te onthou hoeveel hartseer en baklei het saam met die terapie gegaan – hoeveel onkoste – hoeveel wroeging – hoeveel trane in ouers se oe…

Te midde van al die ambivalensie van positiewe en negatiewe gedagtes en gevoelens, hou ek vas aan God se belofte  dat Hy vir ons net die goeie wil gee.  Maar dan vra ek myself weer af, wat maak my ‘n uitsondering dat so iets nie met my kan gebeur nie – DIT GEBEUR IMMERS TOG MET MENSE.

In die tyd van wag vir uitslae, het ek een ding geleer.  Dink twee maal voor jy weer raad gee.  Niemand kan hom in so ‘n situasie indink nie.  Dis net te maklik om lukraak te se : Dis God se wil  •

Can Yoga Wreck your body?

On a cold Saturday in early 2009, Glenn Black, a yoga teacher of nearly four decades, whose devoted clientele includes a number of celebrities and prominent gurus, was giving a master class at Sankalpah Yoga in Manhattan. Black is, in many ways, a classic yogi: he studied in Pune, India, at the institute founded by the legendary B. K. S. Iyengar, and spent years in solitude and meditation. He now lives in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and often teaches at the nearby Omega Institute, a New Age emporium spread over nearly 200 acres of woods and gardens. He is known for his rigor and his down-to-earth style. But this was not why I sought him out: Black, I’d been told, was the person to speak with if you wanted to know not about the virtues of yoga but rather about the damage it could do. Many of his regular clients came to him for bodywork or rehabilitation following yoga injuries. This was the situation I found myself in. In my 30s, I had somehow managed to rupture a disk in my lower back and found I could prevent bouts of pain with a selection of yoga postures and abdominal exercises. Then, in 2007, while doing the extended-side-angle pose, a posture hailed as a cure for many diseases, my back gave way. With it went my belief, naïve in retrospect, that yoga was a source only of healing and never harm.

At Sankalpah Yoga, the room was packed; roughly half the students were said to be teachers themselves. Black walked around the room, joking and talking. “Is this yoga?” he asked as we sweated through a pose that seemed to demand superhuman endurance. “It is if you’re paying attention.” His approach was almost free-form: he made us hold poses for a long time but taught no inversions and few classical postures. Throughout the class, he urged us to pay attention to the thresholds of pain. “I make it as hard as possible,” he told the group. “It’s up to you to make it easy on yourself.” He drove his point home with a cautionary tale. In India, he recalled, a yogi came to study at Iyengar’s school and threw himself into a spinal twist. Black said he watched in disbelief as three of the man’s ribs gave way — pop, pop, pop.

After class, I asked Black about his approach to teaching yoga — the emphasis on holding only a few simple poses, the absence of common inversions like headstands and shoulder stands. He gave me the kind of answer you’d expect from any yoga teacher: that awareness is more important than rushing through a series of postures just to say you’d done them. But then he said something more radical. Black has come to believe that “the vast majority of people” should give up yoga altogether. It’s simply too likely to cause harm.

Not just students but celebrated teachers too, Black said, injure themselves in droves because most have underlying physical weaknesses or problems that make serious injury all but inevitable. Instead of doing yoga, “they need to be doing a specific range of motions for articulation, for organ condition,” he said, to strengthen weak parts of the body. “Yoga is for people in good physical condition. Or it can be used therapeutically. It’s controversial to say, but it really shouldn’t be used for a general class.”
Black seemingly reconciles the dangers of yoga with his own teaching of it by working hard at knowing when a student “shouldn’t do something — the shoulder stand, the headstand or putting any weight on the cervical vertebrae.” Though he studied with Samuel Tatz, a legendary Manhattan-based physical therapist who devised a method of massage and alignment for actors and dancers, he acknowledges that he has no formal training for determining which poses are good for a student and which may be problematic. What he does have, he says, is “a ton of experience.”

“To come to New York and do a class with people who have many problems and say, ‘O.K., we’re going to do this sequence of poses today’ — it just doesn’t work.”
According to Black, a number of factors have converged to heighten the risk of practicing yoga. The biggest is the demographic shift in those who study it. Indian practitioners of yoga typically squatted and sat cross-legged in daily life, and yoga poses, or asanas, were an outgrowth of these postures. Now urbanites who sit in chairs all day walk into a studio a couple of times a week and strain to twist themselves into ever-more-difficult postures despite their lack of flexibility and other physical problems. Many come to yoga as a gentle alternative to vigorous sports or for rehabilitation for injuries. But yoga’s exploding popularity — the number of Americans doing yoga has risen from about 4 million in 2001 to what some estimate to be as many as 20 million in 2011 — means that there is now an abundance of studios where many teachers lack the deeper training necessary to recognize when students are headed toward injury. “Today many schools of yoga are just about pushing people,” Black said. “You can’t believe what’s going on — teachers jumping on people, pushing and pulling and saying, ‘You should be able to do this by now.’ It has to do with their egos.”
When yoga teachers come to him for bodywork after suffering major traumas, Black tells them, “Don’t do yoga.”

This article is adapted from “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards,” by William J. Broad. Broad is a senior science writer at The Times.

Researched by KATIA C. ROWLANDS – PILATES INSTRUCTOR & PERSONAL TRAINER – 0825134256 •

 

Website Developed by Business Direct Media