Tag Archive: yoga news

For those planning ahead for Autumn, here is our flyer announcing the next retreat at Turtle Haven with Ravi.We’re especially excited for this theme! There will as always also be a public talk on Friday of the retreat. Let me know if you have any questions; other announcements will be forthcoming.

Yoga in the News: Fear of Yoga

MASSENA, N.Y. — A group of parents and religious leaders in upstate New York want yoga classes out of public schools, saying the instruction violates boundaries between church and state.

Two high school teachers began using yoga last year to help students relieve stress before exams. Special education teacher Martha Duchscherer and Spanish teacher Kerry Perretta also were developing a districtwide program.

But those plans were halted after parents and others in the community complained students were being indoctrinated in Hindu rites.

To read the full article, go here.



And then the New York Times sings yoga’s praises

For those of you who have been following along with the New York Times’ yoga saga, it all began with an article on the risks of doing yoga called How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body by William J. Broad. The article was an excerpt from a book on the risks and benefits of yoga, but the article itself put a real emphasis – as the headline suggests – on the potential risks (the benefits being described elsewhere in the book). It was, not surprisingly, poorly received by yogis, in general. It might have been least poorly received by Iyengar yogis as it sometimes seemed to single out Iyengar yoga, the form which we all practice with Elizabeth, for special criticism.

Today the New York Times came out with a very interesting personal health column by longtime writer Jane Brody that not only describes the benefits that can come from yoga – a nice thing to see in the pages of the paper following a story on risks – but also puts the original article into context. Here it is:



Meditation and the Brain

18x24   Vintage Anatomy. Brains poster. Human Body. Zombies. Horror. Science.

When we practice yoga – which is a form of meditation – we sometimes feel a change in our state of mind, sometimes during, sometimes after our practice. Some people feel an increased sense of well being or of spaciousness or perhaps a decrease in feelings of stress.

Because so many people report these kinds of benefits, scientists have begun to study the brain to see what exactly is happening in there when we stretch back into a downward dog or a settle into a seated meditation.

One group of researchers looked specifically for evidence of concrete changes in the brain as a result of mindfulness meditation, in which subjects were told to pay attention to the breath and if their attention wandered, to continue to bring their attention back to the breath, just as we do in savasana. In that study, scientists found that people who did mindfulness meditation for 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks, had increased density in their brains in regions associated with empathy, stress, sense of self and memory.

To learn more read this New York Times wellness column.

For more on the possible direct physical benefits of meditation and yoga, go here and here to read New York Times articles about the effects of meditation on heart attacks and here to read about the use of yoga for dealing with a hangover.

(photo credit: http://www.etsy.com/listing/52537210/18×24-vintage-anatomy-brains-poster)