According to the Yoga Alliance’s 2016 report on yoga in America, “36.7 million Americans or 15% of US adults practice yoga in the US.”
Of course, yoga is great for you. It promotes well-being through strength, flexibility, breathing and meditation. But is yoga good for everyone?
According to William Broad, author of The Science of Yoga, “The soothing practice … can lower blood pressure, spice up sex—and kill you.” He claims…(read the rest here)
I yoga’d hard today, long and deep. And I don’t feel as beaten as I thought I would. I had been meaning to up my exercise regime a little, something more cardio than hatha yoga, to which I am semi-devoted daily, meaning only half way committed to hatha. The other half is vinyasa, quicker paced movement.
Recently, my body has gone off to do its own thing, grow where and how it wants despite my steady diet of exercise and mostly conscientious, nearly vegan eating (kind of slightly pescatarian-whatever). My practice hasn’t changed, just the distribution of my body fat. So, I toyed with the idea of a weight loss/exercise program offered at a local gym. A friend follows the program and has lost considerable poundage as well as toned up nicely. His results and the losing battle with gravity inspired me to investigate.
The program relies on classic Jack La Lanne principles of cardio and circuit training with isometrics, you know, old fashioned jumping jacks and sit-ups. Reminds me of the cross-fit fifteen minute videos I tried but never stuck with, not because they’re hard but because they’re boring. While yoga packages the same exercises–push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks (sort of)–or parts of them re-combined, the breath-timed, mind-balanced aspects to the “exercise” draws me. Besides, yoga came way before Jack La Lane, cross-fit or any other 20th or 21st century fitness program.
As a former runner, I had to adjust to the non-cardio temperament of yoga when I first began practicing in earnest 7 years ago. However, now I understand many kinds of yoga, some of which pump the heart as cranked up as any running I’ve done. I guess that’s why I haven’t really pursued any videos or gyms. I have what I need–except for the diet. And willpower to push myself.
I know I need to change my eating habits. I’m getting that swollen middle despite all my yoga-ing. I’m told diet should change every 7 years anyhow. Mine’s over due. But diets too confine me. I hate regimes that remind me I’m weak or suffering. I prefer sensible eating, mindful eating, meaning a keen awareness of every morsel that touches my lips. It starts there, anyhow. Then, it’s up to energetic resistance to kick in–to not swallow that morsel, to refuse the I-know-this-isn’t-good-for-me bite.
Right, I’ll start on Monday.
Jack La Lanne via modernhealthmonk.com