Sep 13 • 1HR 28M

Method or Madness? – Ade Belcham

Exploring why we practise yoga, and the general importance of asking why

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Appears in this episode

Daniel Simpson
Traditional wisdom for modern dilemmas, combining yoga philosophy with critical thinking and practical insights. Hosted by Daniel Simpson.
Episode details

Ade Belcham used to think it was obvious that yoga was good for him – until he got a hip replacement in his early 50s. That made him ask some searching questions, which he explored in a recent article for Spectrum, the British Wheel of Yoga magazine.

For the previous two decades, Ade was a devoted Ashtanga practitioner, studying regularly in Hawaii with Nancy Gilgoff. And although he’s reappraised some of what he was doing, he’s not out to bash yoga or Ashtanga. Instead, he’s been exploring the patterns – both physical and mental – that shaped his approach and led to injury.


As we discuss, there are broader implications to people’s motivations for practising yoga. Ade identifies five – social connection, well-being, transformation, identity and exercise – and observes that his “injuries helped me see that I was mixing up yoga as exercise with yoga for identity building”.

This raises questions about how yoga gets conflated with postures, which the podcast explores. We also talk about a general resistance to critical thinking in yoga circles, as well as what it means to be authentic – and why asking “why” is a helpful tool, which can keep people grounded in what really matters.

You can hear our conversation above, via podcast platforms or on YouTube. And to find out more about yoga’s evolution, join me for a course at

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