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Yoga Insider

Welcome to Yoga Insider, a monthly publication by Yoga Alliance® compiling the most current news about yoga. Browse the news by category and check out the archived editions to your right.

Edition 18 | November 2015

Published on December 1, 2015

Community

General stories regarding RYT®s, RYS®s and non-members active in the yoga community.

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Education & Children

What's happening with yoga and meditation for children and schools.

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Health & Research

How yoga affects the mind and body. 


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Inspiration 

Stories about yoga and words of wisdom to bring a smile to your face and brightness to your day.

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International

Examples of how the world is embracing yoga.


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Sports

Chronicling the growth of yoga among athletes and athletic programs.

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Trending

New styles, quirky ideas and exciting approaches to yoga.

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Community

Shining light on inspirational yogis

  • ABC13 (Texas) reports on a Houston yoga studio offering free classes to men in honor of Movember. Revolution Studio co-owner Kim Syma, RYT 200, said men are missing out on the benefits of yoga because of the misconception that only women should practice. The studio is also “donating a dollar to the Testicular Cancer Foundation for every man who takes a yoga class.” (Nov. 20)

  • CBS4 (Colo.) features Flex studio’s bilingual yoga class for Spanish-speaking residents of Denver. The studio’s owners are working to make the space more inclusive, affordable and accessible to all residents. Co-owner Christy Brown said she hopes the classes in Spanish “blow apart that barrier that separates the Hispanic community from yoga.” (Oct. 30)

  • The Lompoc Record (Calif.) spotlights Virginia Traylor, RYT 500 and owner of Yoga Vie, RYS 200, who is nominated for the sixth annual Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize. Her 2015 teacher training graduates nominated her for helping students realize their potential to serve the community. From the nomination letter: “Her dedication and commitment to serving the community and to helping people tune into quieting their minds ultimately sends a message of peace and a realization that we are all capable of helping ourselves and others.” (Nov. 7)

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Education & Children

Helping today's youth prepare for a future of mindfulness

  • KOLO (Nev.) features Hannah Bias, RYT 200 and founder of the Urban Lotus Project. Bias, who teaches yoga to at-risk and underserved youth at Eddy House Youth Resource Center and three other locations around Reno. Bias: “The students get so much out of it, they respond so well to it. Yoga is not just for adults, it’s not just for the people that can afford to go to a fancy studio. It’s for everyone.” (Nov. 4)

  • Penn State University publishes findings from the school’s College of Education about yoga’s positive effects on students in the classroom. Assistant Professor of Special Education Jennifer Frank developed the Transformative Life Skills (TLS) program five years ago to teach adolescents stress-management skills through practicing yoga and mindfulness. When tested on students in inner-city Oakland, Calif., researchers found decreased stress, improved academic achievement, fewer detentions and better coping skills in these students. Frank: “All of these things… we don’t really teach in schools. But students needs to have these skills in order to be successful in their academics.” (Nov. 18)

  • Tucson News Now (Ariz.) reports on Pima County schools incorporating yoga in the classroom to help reduce the stress of standardized testing. Stefanie Keefe, RYT 200, leads children’s yoga classes to help teach them to “slow down and breathe” when they become stressed about schoolwork and tests. (Oct. 29)

  • WDSU (La.) films a weekly family yoga class at Nola Yoga Loft where parents accompany their children, ages 2 to 5, as they stretch and unwind after a long day. Emma, age 5, on her favorite part of class: “We relax and do things like dancing.” (Nov. 7)

  • West Central Tribune (Minn.) highlights Willmar Middle School’s after-school program SuperHeroes 101 to help students stay healthy and “discover and hone their inner superhero.” Mary Beth Nehl, E-RYT 500 and owner of the Yoga Loft, RYS 200, RYS 300, teaches mindful movement to the students as part of the program, which also includes strength training and high-intensity exercises. Seventh-grader Analuisa Cardenas: “I like that it helps you stay fit, and it’s fun.” (Oct. 30)

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Health & Research

A mantra a day keeps the aches at bay

  • Consumer Reports evaluates how yoga can help build muscle when practiced regularly. They cite a small University of Oklahoma study where women who practiced Ashtanga yoga twice a week for eight months increased their leg strength. As for yoga’s other benefits, recent analysis from the National Health Interview Survey reveals two-thirds of yogis were more motivated to exercise after they began practicing and 80 percent reported feeling less stressed. (Nov. 5)

  • The Herald-Mail features Yoga for Cancer Patients, a new class at Sol Yoga LLC, RYS 200. The classes are open to people in any stage of cancer and focus on gentle movements to benefits students’ physical and mental health. Student Anne Benton: “I just felt like I was doing something good for my body. I felt like I was getting my life back and getting my energy back.” (Nov. 2)

  • A Huffington Post contributor explains how daily yogic breathing exercises can reduce stress and improve length and quality of sleep. Many people adapt to running on their stress response system, but the heightened stress levels can affect breathing patterns over time. To aid in relaxation, practice diaphragmatic breathing during the day and alternate nostril breathing right before bed or if waking during the night. (Nov. 20)

  • NPR reports on new findings about the safety of prenatal yoga. Led by gynecologist Dr. Rachael Polis and a group of collaborators, the study monitored 25 healthy pregnant women in their third trimesters through a series of 26 poses. No complications were recorded when they practiced downward-facing dog, happy baby or corpse pose - all poses that pregnant women have been told to avoid previously. Polis: “It’s exciting and reassuring to know there were no adverse changes for both mom or baby.” (Nov. 16)

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Inspiration

Back to the heart of the matter

  • Florida Today features a column about the benefits of yoga and the variety of classes available. Fitness reporter Michelle Mulak says she prefers a heated vinyasa class to quiet her inner monologue and strengthen her body. Mulak: “You don’t have to be in shape, or flexible, or strong, or fit, or calm to start practicing yoga. Yoga will meet you wherever you are on your fitness journey.” (Nov. 17)

  • Greatist answers an ever-present question among aspiring yogis: how much does one need to practice to see results? From a fitness perspective, the more often you do yoga, the stronger you will likely become. But from a wellness perspective, setting aside even a few minutes per day can be beneficial. Overall, the yoga instructors interviewed suggest at least one hour of time on the mat per week. Heidi Kristoffer, E-RYT 200: “Being in the present moment gives you a total time-out from the rest of the world and resets your system.” (Nov. 16)

  • Refinery29 suggests yoga poses to perform at your desk to fight slouching and office fatigue. From seated cat-cow to seated forward bend, yoga instructor Jennifer Grims shares eight poses you can do from your chair. Grims: “Stretching at your desk can engage your abdominals, bring energy and be very calming.” (Nov. 17)

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International

Yoga happenings from around the globe

  • Mashable reports on a publicity stunt in Shiniuzhai National Geological Park in Pingjiang County, China, where 100 women practiced yoga on a newly opened glass suspension bridge. The women, wearing matching outfits, remained coordinated and steady even in balance poses like Warrior III. Spanning 900 feet across and sitting 600 feet above the ground below, the bridge opened to visitors in September. (Nov. 6)

    Business Insider also covers the yoga event on Brave Man’s Bridge, the world’s longest glass-bottom bridge. It features video from the event and of tourists attempting to make their way across the vertigo-inducing attraction. (Nov. 12)

  • This is Money features yoga teacher Emily Cole and her new studio and vegan cafe Urban Zen. Along with her husband Lloyd, she purchased a derelict car garage in Swansea, Wales and transformed it into a healthy living space. The studio offers around 30 classes per week, and each class can accommodate 25 students. Cole: “Now it’s somewhere that makes people smile when they walk past.” (Nov. 12)

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Sports

Improving performance the mindful way

  • ABC13 (Texas) interviews professional linebacker-turned-yogi Keith Mitchell, whose eight-year NFL career was ended after suffering a spinal injury. Though doctors were not sure if he would recover, Mitchell said an introduction to conscious breathing and yoga changed his life. Mitchell: “Meditation for me was one of those things that kept me sane, kept me in that position of hey, I’m here, and I’m not going to let this defeat me. I’m going to empower myself and it’s changed my life.” (Nov. 18)

  • ESPNW features five yoga poses to strengthen feet and ease aches for athletes. Yoga coach Gwen Lawrence, E-RYT 500 and owner of Power Yoga for Sports, recommends hero’s pose to open up the ankles, toes and underside of the foot. For balance and flexibility, she ends with holding a toe balance for one to three minutes. (Nov. 4)

  • Houstonia (Texas) highlights the benefits of yin yoga for exercise enthusiasts. Holding each pose for several minutes “allows enough time for the level of release to go beyond the muscle and deep into the joints and fascia,” the article explains. Poses that focus on stretching the hips and legs can be especially beneficial for athletes experiencing tightness. (Nov. 20)

  • The Tahoe Weekly (Calif.) spotlights local yoga teacher Emily Weer’s suggested yoga poses for skiers and snowboarders. She recommends balance poses such as tree, chair and boat before hitting the slopes, and forward bends and reclining twists to stretch and lengthen muscles after a day on the hill. Weer: “There are many amazing yoga poses that build strength, balance and body awareness for the mountains. The key is to practice them with connection to breath and awareness of alignment.” (Nov. 18)

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Trending

The hottest news from the mat

  • Houstonia (Texas) highlights the hippest places to do yoga outside of a studio, from breweries and brunch to stand-up paddleboard yoga on the beach. Ranging from a more accessible $15 yoga and mimosa event to expensive yoga retreats, they recommend the best locations around Houston to try out these untraditional yoga classes. (Nov. 6)

  • Mashable reports on Gatwick Airport’s new yoga lounge, the latest in a series of airport yoga rooms to help alleviate the stress of traveling. The 20-minute “floga,” or pre-flight yoga, video is led by celebrity yoga instructor Shona Vertue. Vertue: “(Long-haul flight) puts a huge amount of strain on the body… If you address that before the flight, you will feel so much better when you get off the plane.” (Nov. 3)

  • The Oregonian features a weekly cat yoga class at Purringtons Cat Lounge, the first cat cafe in the Pacific Northwest. Participants in “Yoga, Cats and You! Purr Yoga” pay $20 to practice alongside friendly cats, all of whom are up for adoption. Flood: “It’s a peaceful, magical way to share yoga.” (Nov. 1)

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