IIn our high-stress, hurried world—filled with financial pressures, information overload, “terror alerts” and sleeplessness—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.
Consistent practice of an Iyengar yoga routine helped breast cancer survivors reduce fatigue and improve mood and quality of life in a pilot study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2011;doi:10.1155/2011/623168). Persistent fatigue that includes physical, mental and emotional exhaustion is an ongoing challenge for up to one-third of breast cancer survivors for months or even years after medical treatment is over.
Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago is offering a wheelchair yoga program for hospitalized patients. Psychologist and certified yoga instructor Susan Walsh, PsyD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, supervises the 1-hour program, which is offered twice a week at the hospital in a conference room. Class includes a series of modified yoga postures, breathing and guided imagery exercises.
Pilates or Yoga Instructors: Job Description & Stats
Pilates or yoga instructors teach classes and have specialized training in yoga or Pilates
Source: 2010 IDEA Fitness Industry Compensation Trends Report
Preventive measures to protect the shoulder from athletic injuries include regular participation in yoga. Stephen Fealy, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in sports medicine and shoulder service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, says that he sees fewer breakdown injuries in people who practice yoga. Those who are most at risk for shoulder injuries are older and newly active recreational athletes.
Yoga is continuing to grow in popularity even through the recession, particularly among college-educated Americans and businesspeople seeking to reduce stress and improve well-being, says Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal. Harper references two studies in particular: a spring 2010 Market Research Insight (MRI) study that reported an increase of 1.2 million yoga participants from spring of 2009 to spring 2010; and a fall 2010 MRI study that found more robust growth in yoga than in over 50 sports from 2001 to 2010. MRI measured yoga participation for the first time in 2001.
For those interested in teaching or simply learning about trauma-sensitive yoga as a way to help survivors of abuse, accidents or war, a new book is available. Overcoming Trauma Through Yoga: Reclaiming Your Body (North Atlantic Books, April 2011) by David Emerson, RYT, and Elizabeth Hopper, PhD, offers a mind-body healing approach written for yoga instructors, clinicians and survivors. For more information, go to www.northatlanticbooks.com
In an official statement recommending yoga for pregnant women, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) states, “The rewards of basic yoga outweigh the potential physical risks, as long as you take caution and perform the exercises in moderation, according to your individual flexibility level.” According to orthopedic surgeon Rachel Rohde, MD, “One of the best aspects of yoga is being in control of your body and having the ability to do each movement at your own pace.” The AAOS statement is significant in providing support for more healthcare practition
Yoga, Pilates and cardio kickboxing have the highest percentages of first-time participants, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s [SGMA’s] Sports Participation in America 2010 report. Overall numbers showed a 2.6% decline in Pilates participation between 2008 and 2009, continuing the trend first seen in the 2009 report. Core participation, however, increased 8.7%, indicating that people committed to Pilates have been sticking with the program. Overall participation was reported as 8.653 million.