Archives for July 2013

Hot Yoga : Hot or Not?

Hot Yoga

Hot Yoga : Hot or Not?

Hot yoga is a major trend  in which participants practice in a hot room, often 90-100+ degrees.  Mass marketers of yoga love the “passive heating” approach of hot yoga, as  it gives the perception of flexibility and a deeper workout in a shorter period of time.  More classes per day = more revenue.

Great for your muscles, but what about your joints? Extreme heat, while making muscles temporarily more flexible, makes the tensile strength of connective tissue and  joints weaker.  Injuries arise because your “heat goggles” make you feel so bendy, that your judgement  may be off.  So, just like yo-yo dieting isn’t the answer,  YHD says “no” to yo-yo climating–don’t we already get enough of that here in Minnesota?

Yoga HotDish classes will warm your body and make you flexible, but keeping with yoga philosophy. Yoga takes time, and you can’t just crank the furnace to force to body into submission! Also,  hot yoga  is contra-indicated for numerous conditions, from heart and respiratory issues to being over weight or sleep deprived, YHD is a more accessible form of yoga.

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Dharma: “The Great Work Of Your Life”

Cope-CoverSmallThis book could be the What Color is Your Parachute? for a new generation. It’s inspirational for anyone of any age going through a period of transition–maybe you’re finding out your parachute has a few holes in it?  But, what does a book on finding one’s true calling have to do with yoga?

Stephen Cope’s The Great Work of Your Life looks to the 2000 year-old yoga text, The Bhagavad Gita, an allegory about the path to dharma (true calling in simple terms), told through a dialogue between the Warrior Arjuna and his divine mentor, Krishna.  Arjuna is riding  “shotgun” (ok, “archer?”)  in the  chariot, piloted by the diving Krishna who is extolling advice over the course of an epic battle.  Cope shows us how Arjuna’s military career and moral dilemmas aren’t so different from our own or from luminaries like Walt Whitman, Susan B Anthony and even Beethoven.  We learn that Krishna’s advice is timeless and relevant to all of us looking for fulfillment in the modern world.  BTW, the “The Gita” is probably one of the most accessible yogic texts and has influenced people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King.

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Protein smoothies a great recipe for greater work/life balance

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What should I eat before yoga?” I am often asked this vexing question by new students. As a classical yogi, I feel compelled to advise students doing a morning practice to do so on an empty stomach, so they get the full benefits of digestion offered by the poses without discomfort. However, as a 6-footer with blood pressure on the low side and a metabolism on the high side, I myself don’t fare well sans food.The middle path: protein shakes and smoothies. You get all your nutrients without skipping a meal, and most importantly, you give your digestive tract a much-needed reprieve.  Think about it:  is stuffing ourselves full of carbs, gluten, and meats three times per day really a good longevity strategy? No wonder 40% of Americans are constipated while obesity and diabetes are on a sharp rise.

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