Shirley ArcherShirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.
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Hatha yoga provides millions of practitioners with valuable benefits ranging from improved physical conditioning to greater peace of mind; ultimately, however, yoga’s purpose is not physical fitness or relaxation. Yoga provides a philosophy of living, an ethical approach to life that any person—of any religion—can enjoy.
The ancient yogic philosopher Pat…
Today’s youth are moving less, gaining weight and developing hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes in increasing numbers. Part of the challenge in treating these formerly adult-type diseases in juveniles is that putting kids on prescriptive medications also poses risks…Read More
More and more athletes swear by how their yoga programs improve their sports performance. A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2004; 18 , 723–29) adds one more great reason to cross-train with yoga: a decrease in delayed-…Read More
Soldiers with the 320th Engineer Company, 565th Engineer Battalion, 130th Engineer Brigade, have been participating in weekly yoga sessions in Iraq, according to an article from the Army News Service. The classes began when Second Lt. Caprice Vargas, who had practiced yoga personally for about 5 years, began leading morning classes for her platoon members. When others heard about it, she expanded…Read More
A growing body of knowledge supports the health benefits of regular tai chi practice. Evidence from a comprehensive review of more than 200 studies confirms the therapeutic value of tai chi practice for improving quality of life, pain management and physical function (including act…Read More
Pain relief from acupuncture is real, not the result of the placebo effect. Mounting research evidence supports the conclusion that acupuncture provides clinically important pain relief. For example, in a study presented at an American College of Rheumatology meeting in San Anton…Read More
The regular practice of yoga is known for helping adults achieve a sense of relaxation and inner peace. A recent study suggests that yoga may also benefit children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
According to research published in the Journal of At…
Meditation is going mainstream. Today, 10 million Americans—more than twice as many as a decade ago—practice some form of meditation, according to TIME magazine (Stein 2003). And with contemporary medical experts claiming that regular practice of this ancient activity improves well-being and health, the trend may well continue. But what is meditation; why is it gaining …Read More
By now, you know the importance of relaxation in this fast-paced world. The next time you pause to take deep breaths and slowly count to 10, observe whether you can actually feel your heart rate slow down. Functions like heart rate and blood pressure are regulated by the autonomi…Read More
Prison inmates are finding peace of mind through regular yoga and meditation practice at San Francisco County Jail No. 7 in California. The classes are part of the “Resolve to Stop the Violence Program (RSVP),” an effort to reintegrate violent offenders into society and decrease the likelihood that they’ll wind up back behind bars,” according to an article in the A…Read More
Many fitness instructors use imagery techniques that draw on personal experiences of athletic events or nature outings to enhance indoor cycling classes or lead relaxation during a cooldown. More and more research supports the benefits of using imagery to achieve specific object…Read More
People with higher levels of body awareness may experience more feelings of anxiety and other negative emotions. Results of a small study published in Nature Neuroscience (2004; 7 ,102–3) showed that subjects who were more aware of their own heart rate levels also felt more anxiety than subjects who lacked awareness of their own physical states.Read More