I was at a yoga workshop recently and the teacher talked for a little while about the idea of safety. I think someone asked if a particuar pose was safe, and she answered that no pose was “safe,” that yoga wasn’t “safe”, and that, honestly, there’s no such things as safe. Yoga can be dangerous. Yoga can be healing and miraculous, too. Someone might get injured doing sukhasana (called “easy pose”), while others can do eka pada rajakapotasana and reap enormous benefits with no problem. In the long run, it isn’t even safe to sit still. So, the question shouldn’t be whether something is safe, but whether for you, now, it’s more beneficial than harmful.
This is something I try to get across at work, too. . . we talk about the safety of medications, for instance. When we say a medication is safe, we mean that it didn’t cause major problems that we know of for the majority of people on whom it was tested. Is tylenol “safe?” Not if you have liver damage. Is advil “safe”? Not if your kidneys don’t work properly. Is chemotheraphy safe? NO! It poisons your cells. Does that mean it shouldn’t be in use? Of course not. Becaues cancer isn’t safe either. The alternative isn’t “nothing,” it’s “status quo.” Are you “safe” right now, or are you developing muscle stiffness, heart disease, autonomic dysfunction, or depression?
That means that every decision is actually the weighing of two options, neither of which is necessarily “safe.”
That means that every different person in different circumstances has a different decision.
It means that sometimes, there’s no one to blame, because there was no “safe” option.