Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Yoga in the News: Anti-gravity yoga? September 5, 2011

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 5:14 pm
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A friend sent me the link to this: Anti-gravity yoga class. The pictures are pretty amazing, but I can’t imagine I would do anything but fall the hell out if I tried that stuff. At the bottom of the photo blog there’s a link for more information; that link doesn’t work, but here’s the correct one. I love how the “suggested clothing” listed includes “shirts with sleeves that cover under arms”, but half the people in the photo on that page are wearing tank tops or halters. Maybe those people have greased themselves so the hammocks won’t catch on their skin?

Don’t get me wrong, props can be incredibly useful for yoga practice, especially for people with a limited range of motion, people recovering from injuries, and people with disabilities. Props can make yoga accessible for such people and help them to become fitter, stronger, and more flexible. At my yoga center, however, we’re taught that all you need for yoga are your own bare feet and a mat (and you can make do without the mat). Props can be wonderfully helpful, but the goal of using props should be to get to the point where you don’t need the prop anymore. A trend can be fun and exciting, but we shouldn’t lose sight of what yoga is all about: making the body healthy and calming the mind. I think if I were hanging upside down from an orange hammock I would have some difficulty calming my mind. (I could be wrong. I would totally love to find out!)

Anti-gravity yoga class at Om Factory in New York

(Image from http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/yoga, Shannon Stapleton / Reuters)

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Yoga News: Yoga Teacher Agents, Yoga Fights Heart Disease April 7, 2011

Filed under: yoga — R. H. Ward @ 8:02 pm
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Here’s an interesting yoga-related article from the NYT: An Agent Pursues a Cut of the Yoga Boom

I know the NYT has been problematic for some people lately, so here’s a brief summary: This woman started a business as an agent for yoga teachers, the same way that movie stars, athletes, and rock stars have agents. Last year her agency arranged more than 100 gigs (for example, speaking engagements, modeling shoots, or workshops), and it already has that many on the books for the first quarter of this year, so it looks like the business is taking off. She currently handles bookings and “strategy” (not sure what that means) for 45 high-profile yoga teachers, including Leslie Kaminoff, whose yoga anatomy book I’ll be reading later this year.

On one hand, I could see this being a useful service, freeing up valuable time for the big name yoga teachers to just go teach yoga and not worry about the administrative stuff of handling the events (and, as Kaminoff pointed out in the article, not knowing how much to charge). On the other hand, do we really want yoga to be a “rock star” type profession? Do we want to feed into that culture? Do we even want “big name” yoga teachers? (I personally have never met or studied with any of the “big names”, although after a year of reading Yoga Journal magazine religiously I can now at least recognize most of the names.) I always wonder how much value these people can really deliver at the workshops and events they do.

In other news, yoga is good for your heart! I actually found this article through my job. A new study has shown that when patients suffering from atrial fibrillation (a chronic heart condition) participated in a supervised yoga program,  their arrhythmia improved and they also experienced fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression. Yoga made them both healthier and happier! Obviously *we* all know the health benefits that come with yoga, but it’s nice to see that serious medical studies are being done to prove it statistically!