I just finished reading the article “Is Yoga Safe?” by Shirley Archer, JD, MA (July–August). It is really terrific for students and teachers alike. I am a yoga teacher, trainer and holistic health counselor. Increased awareness regarding yoga safety and its medical benefits, as well as proper training for new teachers, is extremely important to the future of yoga. Thank you so much for the information, as well as for the suggestion that potential students look for a teacher with a background in somatics. Great advice!
While many wellness professionals recommend yoga practice for pregnant women, a literature review of publications from 1970 to 2011 has found that existing studies fail to meet current quality standards for rigorous research.
For most of us, being content with what we have, who we are, what we do and what we look like is very challenging. We are flooded with images of people who are better-looking, have more wealth or are better at doing something than we are. And it will always be that way. We can’t control how beautiful, successful or talented others are. What we can do is avoid comparison—and practice contentment with who we are. For those of us who study yoga, that includes contentment with our asana practice and with our physical limitations.
A purported rise in yoga-related injuries in the United States has stimulated a firestorm of discussion in the yoga community, as well as a national media blitz. Over the past 20 years, yoga has expanded in popularity in the U.S. and throughout the world, bridging the gap from young to old, novice to athlete, healthy to disease-ridden and wealthy to underprivileged. While this growth is generally considered positive, the same is not true of an increase in yoga-related injuries. Here are some expert tips to make sure you are cultivating a safer teaching and practice environment.newsletter_teaser: A purported rise in yoga-related injuries in the United States has stimulated a firestorm of discussion in the yoga community, as well as a national media blitz. Here are some expert tips to make sure you are cultivating a safe teaching and practice environment for your students.
The emerging field of yoga therapy is gaining more support from current research efforts. In the journal Medical Hypothesis ( 2012; doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2012.01.021), investigators from leading U.S. medical schools have proposed a theory to explain why yoga practice is beneficial for diverse medical conditions. This theory can serve as a basis for including yoga-based practices as a complementary therapy in prevention and treatment programs for a number of stress-related conditions.
Deepak Chopra, MD, founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California, has opened the first of a planned series of studios in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Chopra Yoga Center will offer a variety of styles of yoga classes as well as meditation and Pilates. The studio’s philosophy is inspired by the principles described in Chopra’s best-selling book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (Amber-Allen/New World Library 1994).
To learn more about the center, go to www.choprayoga.com.
While B.K.S. Iyengar may still be teaching at 93, Guinness World Records has awarded the distinction of “oldest yoga instructor’ to Bernice Bates, a 91-year-old who instructs yoga at the Mainlands Retirement Community Center in Pinellas Park, Florida. Bates has been practicing and teaching hatha yoga since about 1960, according to Today.com. She currently offers a once-weekly hourlong yoga class that includes 10–12 poses and ends with relaxation. Personally, she practices several postures before getting out of bed every morning.
In our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload and “terror alerts”—many people feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Add to this emotional tension the physical stress of sedentary lifestyles with long hours spent hunched over computers and, all too often, the result is a serious pain in the neck. Chronic neck pain is linked to a host of related disorders, including headache, jaw soreness, and pain radiating into the shoulders, upper back and arms.