Category: Yoga

Faith, healing and … yoga

‘I wanted a deeper purpose to my life’ Sitting crossed-legged on a yoga mat, Susan Mason drew her palms together at her chest and folded her torso over a Bible on the floor. Unfolding her body she said, “Relaxation is a form of prayer.” As yoga teacher at Jackson’s First Baptist Church, Mason integrates Christian spirituality into a physical art with Hindu roots. And though some Christians shun yoga because of its Eastern origins, Mason embraces the practice that helped heal her body and spirit after debilitating cancer treatments. The practice of breathing, holding postures and meditation is an ancient

Health fears over ‘cult-like’ hot yoga

A leading health expert has branded the popular Bikram yoga “cult-like” and has warned it carries serious health risks. “I think there is a significant danger of exercising in such heat,” said Dr Anita Green, the director of the peak health body Sports Medicine Australia. Bikram is the latest, and trendiest, yoga to hit Sydney and involves 90-minute classes being conducted in a room heated to 37 degrees. Bikram teachers claim benefits include increased blood circulation, better cardiovascular conditioning, detoxification through sweating, improved muscle and tissue elasticity and reduced risk of injury. But those who believe that are wasting their

Indian yogis treat trauma victims in tsunami-hit villages

NAGAPATTINAM, India (AFP) – Yoga experts fanned out across tsunami-hit villages in southern India to aid people suffering trauma amid an acute shortage of skilled pyschological counsellors. Volunteers and individuals trained in traditional yoga, which combines meditation, breathing techniques and exercises, are focussing on Nagapattinam district where nearly 6,000 people died on December 26. The yogis have joined more than 100 volunteers from the Art of Living Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, to give counselling to disturbed villagers. Satyojata Swami, who heads the Art of Living team, said his volunteers imparted “basic yoga techniques” to tsunami survivors. “This is a natural

Yoga’s gone mainstream

Go with the flow: Yoga’s gone mainstream as more people seek fitness for both body and soul Kesa Emi Nomiyama used to lift weights and walk on a treadmill, but now she takes yoga. Three times a week, she studies the 5,000-year-old Indian discipline, which she says helps her keep focused and in shape. “I fell in love and I dropped my gym membership,” said the 29-year-old nurse and University of Oregon student. “After the first class I went to, I was sore for a week. I was using muscles I didn’t know I had.” Nomiyama practices “hot yoga” at

Yoga promises students physical, spiritual gains

Since coming to Duke, senior Franklin Winokur has regularly participated in what he describes as one of the most demanding workouts he has ever undertaken. Senior Deirdre Hess, on the other hand, has found an exercise routine that allows her to concentrate on de-stressing. These two students are describing the same activity: yoga. Members of the Duke community can easily reap the physical and emotional benefits of an ancient form of exercise by participating in a variety of yoga classes: traditional hatha yoga, yoga and pilates and yogaflow, just to name a few. Lisa Jindra, Duke’s program coordinator for group

Naked yoga OK in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) — Nudists, grab your yoga mats and head for San Francisco. City prosecutors Wednesday said it was not illegal to perform naked yoga in the city — even at the crowded tourist destination of Fisherman’s Wharf. Prosecutors dropped charges against a limber nudist, known locally as the “Naked Yoga Guy,” who made a habit of striking yoga poses in the buff in order to promote a book and his lifestyle. The Naked Yoga Guy, whose name is George Monty Davis, had stripped to stretch nearby Fisherman’s Wharf, prompting a public complaint. But prosecutors decided they had

Mary can have the last laugh

A yoga teacher today insisted she was not joking about plans to set up ‘laughter clubs’ throughout Northern Ireland. Mary Mitchell, a qualified laughologist, said it was important that people laughed more in order to combat the stresses of everyday life. According to medical experts, laughter has huge health benefits. Dr William Fry of Stanford University has claimed one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on a rowing machine. Alternative Yoga C’mon Baby, Do the Yoga Motion Mrs Mitchell was the first Laughter Yoga teacher in Ireland and has since trained a host of new recruits. She will

Beyond the Mat: Yoga Stretches Out

‘Fusion’ Makes the Lotus Position Passe It sounds like a yoga class. “And, forward fold. Lift the arms to the sky. Take three breaths. . . . Lift, bend and extend. Now downward dog.” Except a disco beat is playing. It looks like a yoga class. Thirty students move in slow motion as they kneel on foam mats in a dimly lit ballroom. Except they are each squeezing a grapefruit-size blue rubber ball between their thighs. What we have here is not yoga but YogaButt. And it’s just one of many yoga classes-with-a-twist at the recent DCAC 2004 International Fitness

It’s no stretch to say Americans embrace yoga

You’re not imagining it: Everyone really is doing yoga. OK, maybe not everyone. But the ancient discipline, which promises spiritual enlightenment along with long, lean muscles, has indeed boomed in popularity over the past several years. Just how big has the trend become? WHO DOES YOGA? Among Americans who practice yoga: 77 percent are women. 15 percent have an annual household income over $100,000. Nearly half have completed college. 27 percent are ages 45-54; another 25 percent are 25-34. Slightly less than 20 percent live on the West Coast, compared to 30 percent in the Northeast and 30 percent in

The guru to the stars who is tying the yoga world in knots

Copy these moves and I’ll sue, says top yogi. Bikram Choudhury likes to get people hot and bothered and he likes to get them in a twist. The yoga guru, who lists Madonna, Raquel Welch and Serena Williams among his celebrity followers, is also hugely protective of his famous and controversial style. Anyone thinking of adding, altering or in any way changing his 26 copyrighted and trademarked postures – each to be performed twice in a heated room – has received a “cease and desist” letter from his lawyers. The letter is curt and pointed: if a yoga teacher has