Archives for April 2013

RAJA YOGA in Minnesota: It’s what’s next, after HATHA


“Those who practice only Hatha and do not know Raja Yoga, I consider such practitioners to be depriving themselves of the fruit of their endeavor.”

~ Svatmarama, Author Hatha Yoga Pradipika, 15th century CE.

Walk in to your local health club, community center or mass-market Yoga Studio like Lifetime Yoga or CorePower, and you might think that the ancients of yore were doing sun salutations and breakneck speed, staring at their reflections in pools while a band of drummers sang and played.  It would be easy to assume that all those men were sporting white loincloth diapers (with logos?) to show off their “yoga butts” and “ab fab abs.”

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Sleepless in St. Paul? Yoga meditation for insomnia

_Yoga is known to do wonders for the body: strengthen, tone, stretch and more. However, one benefit that may surprise you: improved sleep.  It’s not uncommon to hear students rave that they get their “best night’s sleep” after yoga class.  There are endless anecdotes, but what does the research say?

While limited, there are some initial studies on the topic of yoga and insomnia.  Perhaps the most compelling is a Harvard study which found “statistically significant” improvements across several aspects of sleep quality, including sleep efficiency or SE,  and wake time after sleep onset, or WASO,  based on the sleep diaries of 20 subjects over an 8-week period of yoga practice.  (Khalsa 2004).  The study referred to yoga as a “multicomponent” practice implying the full range of classical yoga including asana (exercises), pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and yoga nidra (final relaxation).

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