Yoga in the News

How hot yoga can make an athlete's heart more efficient   Medical Express - August 29, 2018
When the Canadian Olympic women's field hockey team was preparing for the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University had an idea. They wanted to determine if heat stress could enhance the athletes' performance by increasing the volume of plasma in their blood. In order to find out, they asked the athletes to undertake six days of hot yoga immediately before a six-day training camp. The results weren't exactly what the research team expected, but did point to possible performance benefits from hot yoga before a competition.

8 Things No One Tells You About Doing Yoga   Huffington Post - June 7, 2015
1. It's called a "practice" for a reason.
2. It's not just about stretching and being flexible.
3. Using a block, strap or other prop doesn't make you a D-list yogi.
4. You can take breaks whenever you need to or want to.
5. Doing a handstand as an adult is not, in fact, impossible or just for yogis on Instagram.
6. The benefits extend beyond the mat.
7. It's NOT easy.
8. You just might fall in love with it.

  6 ways to stop sciatica pain with yoga   CNN - August 22, 2014
Sciatica is a real pain in the butt -- and, sometimes, in the leg and foot. Experts estimate up to 40% of adults have experienced sciatica. If you're one, you've probably scoured the Internet looking for ways to make it stop, only to encounter conflicting advice. That's because sciatica is actually a symptom of many possible conditions that respond to different treatments. Because of sciatica's varying causes, there isn't a single magic bullet for relief. However, yoga, when applied correctly, can be effective in not only relieving sciatica, but also preventing it. As someone who's suffered from sciatica myself and worked with afflicted professional athletes, I've created customized yoga programs for a variety of diagnoses. That's why I'm sharing these six poses that work in different ways.

How Yoga Became A $27 Billion Industry -- And Reinvented American Spirituality   Huffington Post - December 16, 2013
In 1971, Sat Jivan Singh Khalsa moved to New York to open a yoga studio. A lawyer moonlighting as a Kundalini yoga teacher, he set up shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, opening a school to share the teachings of the spiritual leader Yogi Bhajan. At that time, there were only two other yoga studios in the city. In the more than 40 years since Khalsa opened his school, he has watched as yoga in America has evolved from a niche activity of devout New Agers to part of the cultural mainstream. Dozens of yoga variations can be found within a 1-mile radius of his studio in Manhattan's Flatiron District, from Equinox power yoga to yogalates to "zen bootcamp."' Across America, students, stressed-out young professionals, CEOs and retirees are among those who have embraced yoga, fueling a $27 billion industry with more than 20 million practitioners -- 83 percent of them women. As Khalsa says, "The love of yoga is out there and the time is right for it."

10 Of The Best Yoga Poses For Headaches   Huffington Post - July 17, 2013
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Yoga For Anxiety: 10 Poses To Reduce Stress And Support Mental Health (Photos)   Huffington Post - May 20, 2013
Roughly 40 million U.S. adults suffer from anxiety (that's around 18 percent of Americans age 18 and over), making it the most common mental illness in the country. But even those who haven't been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder aren't immune to experiencing stress, tension and anxiety in their everyday lives. Practicing yoga can not only be an effective stress reliever, but also a way to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. By transferring focus and attention to the body and breath, yoga can help to temper anxiety while also releasing physical tension.

Yoga Changes Gene Expression, Improves Immunity   Discovery - April 26, 2013
You're probably not thinking about gene expression while stretching into downward dog in the yoga studio, but researchers have discovered that yoga has an almost immediate positive impact on a genetic level. The study from Norway suggests that yoga may be better than traditional exercise for strengthening the immune system. In other words, that yoga glow you feel after you roll up your mat? It may be the 111 genes that changed expression while you were deep in your practice. At least, that's what the research team found during an experiment with 10 participants who gathered at a yoga retreat for a week.

Naked Yoga Stretches Self-Esteem, But Is It Healthy?   Live Science - July 11, 2011
Yoga enthusiasts often turn to the exercise as a way to free their minds, but some are now seeking to free their bodies' as well - from clothes, that is. Yes, going au naturel is the latest yoga trend. And while being naked around other yogis might sound more anxiety-inducing than stress-reliving, those who've done it say it can boost self-confidence and help people to accept and celebrate their bodies. Shedding one's clothes brings a new level of honesty and authenticity to yoga - an authenticity that can sometimes get lost in the fashion and branding surrounding yoga, said Isis Phoenix, a yoga instructor at Naked Yoga NYC in New York City.

Yoga Shows Potential to Ward Off Certain Diseases   Live Science - August 25, 2010
Practicing yoga may do more than calm the mind - it may help protect against certain diseases, a new study suggests.In the study, women who had practiced yoga regularly for at least two years were found to have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies than did women who only recently took up the activity. Inflammation is an immune response and can be beneficial when your body is fighting off infection, but chronically high levels of inflammation are known to play a role in certain conditions, including asthma, cardiovascular disease and depression.

Yoga protects the brain from depression - August 20, 2010
Researchers have found that three sessions of the exercise a week can help fight off depression as it boosts levels of a chemical in the brain which is essential for a sound and relaxed mind. Scientists found that the levels of the amino acid GABA are much higher in those that carry out yoga than those do the equivalent of a similarly strenuous exercise such as walking. The chemical, GABA, is essential to the function of brain and central nervous system and which helps promote a state of calm within the body. Low GABA levels are associated with depression and other widespread anxiety disorders.

Yoga is for all Shapes and Sizes -- CNN - May 26, 2005
As Megan Garcia prepares to do a twisting yoga pose, she reminds her students to lift their bellies up and over their legs. Many of Garcia's students are overweight or obese, and she adjusts traditional poses to ease pressure on joints. She encourages them to use a chair for support or has them move to a wall to do poses meant for a mat. She reminds her students to pay attention to how their bodies feel. Yoga is a 5,000-year-old discipline that has been gaining steam in this country for years. More than 16.5 million practice yoga, and they spend about $2.95 billion on classes and props every year. Yoga's appeal is partly the calm, controlled breathing, the meditation and the goal of bringing mind, body and spirit into unity. Garcia, a plus-size model, said yoga was the only exercise she would stick with, and she dropped a few dress sizes when she started doing it, mostly because she toned up. Her students say they are more comfortable and relaxed than when they took more traditional classes. Students often come up with their own adaptations. It empowers them. They become their own expert on their body, and they know how to take control, and how to feel good about it. There are restorative styles of yoga which can be done with heavy, older people and as the population ages.