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Yoga

Yoga More Effective for Low-Back Pain

A 12-week yoga program was more effective than conventional exercise or a self-help program for improving function and reducing chronic low-back pain, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (2005; 143 [12], 849–56). Scientists at the Cente…

Yoga May Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Leading cardiologists, including Dean Ornish, MD, have helped increase the popularity of yoga by touting its ability to assist in preventing and managing heart disease. Now investigators at the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies at the …

Yoga for Kids

Yoga for kids is exploding in popularity and gaining acceptance in schools. An ongoing survey on the state of “youth yoga” finds that kids’ yoga is taught in community centers, yoga studios, private and public schools, and after-school programs throughout the U.S. …

What Is Yoga Therapy?

In the traditional Indian system of health care known as Ayurveda, hatha yoga is used as a therapeutic modality. The name Ayurveda combines two Sanskrit words, ayur, meaning “life,” and veda, meaning “science, or knowledge.” Literally translated, Ayurveda means “the science of life.”
In the Ayurvedic system, which is …

NFL Player Practices Pilates and Yoga

Seattle Seahawks fullback Mack Strong credits Pilates and yoga with keeping him in great shape and extending his professional career. “I just felt myself being just a little more stiff. Not as fluid,” Strong told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. “Years and years of pounding, your body gets stiff. . . . When I started doing [yoga] 3 years ago, it was the best I&rsq…

Review of Studies on Yoga and Depression

One of the obstacles to promoting the benefits of mind-body exercise to modern healthcare providers is the lack of solid research evidence to support the health claims. In recent years, this lack of evidence has stimulated many more researchers to conduct studies so that healt…

Injury Prevention: Yoga

According to the 2005 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey, 66% of respondents offer yoga programming and 56% believe it will grow (Ryan 2005). Yoga is an increasingly popular choice because it adds a mindful dimension to fitness repertoires and is easier on joints. The improved strengthening and stretching element complements the appeal.
Many people use “fitne…

Yoga Instructors Rush to Help Katrina Survivors

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, yoga teachers were among the many who hurried to provide aid. Amy McDowell, chief financial officer of YogaFit® Training Systems Worldwide Inc., based in Redondo Beach, California, made this appeal to 35,000 YogaFit-certified instructors: “In the spirit of helping our fellow man, cat, dog and other living beings, we enc…

Yoga Helps Manage Weight in Midlife

People in midlife who regularly practice yoga are less likely to gain weight than those who do not practice yoga, according to a study published in the July–August issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine (2005; 11 [4], 28–33).
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle studied 15,550 adults ages 53–57 years from 2…

IDEA Member’s Study Shows Yoga Benefits Older Adults

Leigh A. Milne, IDEA member, yoga teacher and personal fitness trainer, conducted a small study in Vermont to assess how older adults might benefit from a 12-week yoga class. Milne and her team recruited 16 female subjects with an average age of 78 to participate either once weekly or twice weekly in 1-hour Iyengar yoga sessions.
Before and after the study, an independent physic…

Bikram Yoga Case Settles

The Bikram Yoga case settled out of court in May 2005, avoiding a federal court hearing to determine whether Bikram Choudhury’s copyrighted sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises could be legally protected.
The case involved Open Source Yoga Unity, an organization based in San Francisco, California, and Choudhury, based in Beverly Hills, California. While details o…

Yoga for Menopausal Symptom Relief

Good news for sufferers of hot flashes and night sweats. Peri- and postmenopausal women who practice yoga increase flexibility and improve their quality of life, according to a study conducted at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona (52nd Annual Meeting of the America…

Indian Government Protects Yogic Traditions

The Union government of India is taking steps to protect its modern treasure trove of yogic traditions, according to an article in The Economic Times. The government is creating a digital database of 1,500 yoga postures and their therapeutic properties. The health ministry…

Size-Friendly Yoga for Larger Audiences

While hip-hop yoga programs entice teens and dance divas, Megan Garcia, a plus-size model and a yoga instructor for more than a decade, is reaching out to larger participants. “Yoga is for everyone,” affirms Garcia, who leads classes in New York City and has released a DVD titled “Just My Size Yoga.”
Garcia herself is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 210 po…

Yoga Inspires Hip-Hop Fans, Plus-Size Participants

Yoga is in the house. Just when you thought every variation of yoga had hit the market, hip-hop yoga programs are reaching out to attract more new audiences. Russell Simmons, hip-hop pioneer and cofounder of Def Jam Records, has produced Yoga Live™, a series of yoga programs set to hip-hop music. “If yogis were the only people in America who could vote,” Simmo…

Yoga Passes the Low-Back Test

Practicing Iyengar yoga helps people with low-back pain, according to a preliminary study published in Pain (2005; 115, 107–17). Low-back pain affects 70%–85% of North American adults at some point during their lifetime. Of the Americans who practice yoga, 21% …

Yoga Improves Sleep

People who suffer from chronic insomnia tend to feel energized at night, both mentally and physically, so they find it difficult to wind down and fall asleep. A preliminary study published in Applied Psychophysiology Biofeedback (2004; [4], 269–78) evaluated the effect of daily yoga practice to determine whether it could lower levels of arousal and make it easier for subjects…

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