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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 11 | April 2015

Published on April 21, 2015

Advocacy

News coverage of Yoga Alliance's work to prevent unnecessary state regulation.

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Business

News about the small and big companies alike as well as the money side of yoga industry.

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Community

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

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Culture

Examples of yoga in "mainstream" society and how the world is embracing yoga.

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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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Trending

Chronicling new styles, quirky ideas and exciting approaches to yoga.

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Sports

How athletes and sports teams are using yoga to balance training and improve performance.

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Advocacy

Protecting the right to practice yoga without unnecessary intrusion

Encinitas
  • Associated Press covers the final, unanimous ruling in the yoga in schools case, Sedlock v. Baird, et al, that deemed the Encinitas Union School District’s optional yoga class to not be religiously affiliated in any way. The school district is “believed to be the first with full-time yoga teachers at all schools,” and offers the yoga program weekly. (April 3)

    Fox News, Guardian (United Kingdom), and the Portland Press Herald shared this article.
     

  • U-T San Diego also features an article about the Encinitas yoga in schools case ruling. According to the appeals court, the program does not promote nor inhibit religion. Timothy Baird, Superintendent for the Encinitas Union School District, on the program’s success: “We are seeing tremendous results. Kids...have more ability to focus. We think this is a key to the 21st century.” (April 3)

  • Wall Street Journal evaluates the California appeals court ruling to allow the Encinitas Union School District’s yoga program to continue, despite concern from some parents that the practice is “a Hindu religious exercise.” Following complaints in 2012, the district removed Sanskrit terms and any spiritual references from the program. The initial court ruling and appeals court both say the program is about physical exercise and is not “inherently religious.” (April 5)

  • Washington Post reporter Eugene Volokh discusses the Encinitas yoga in schools case and the issue of government-established religion. Volokh notes that many religiously-rooted aspects of our modern culture “also have a secular dimension,” which make them acceptable. He also says the potential for yoga to incline certain practitioners to study it’s cultural background does not make a secular practice of yoga unconstitutional. (April 3)
Colorado
  • CBS Denver reports the passing of SB 186, which will exempt yoga schools from Department of Private Occupational Schools (DPOS) oversight and regulation. Had the legislature not passed, yoga schools would face inspections and fees averaging $2000. The bill was sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper on March 25 for approval. (March 25)
    Editor's note: Governor Hickenlooper signed the bill into law on Thursday, April 16

  • CBS Denver reports that Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 186 into law on April 16, “shield[ing] yoga training programs from state regulation. The article mentions Yoga Alliance’s gathering and “free mass yoga class” to celebrate the success. (April 16)

  • Colorado Springs Independent reports that SB 186, the bill to exempt yoga teacher training schools from DPOS oversight, “was created as a response” to Yoga Alliance’s efforts against the regulation. (April 1)

  • Denver Post blog The Spot announces Yoga Alliance’s free event in celebration of SB 186’s enactment, hosted on April 17 at Yoga Pod, RYS 200. The article notes the event - free and open to the public - would feature a yoga class and open house. (April 16)
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Business

When mat meets office

  • Albuquerque Business Journal features an article on a downtown yoga studio in need of a new owner. Bhava Yoga Studio is up for sale by owner Bea Doyle, E-RYT 500, so she can focus on teaching. Doyle: “I see so much potential for Bhava’s growth and I intend to pass the studio on to someone who will...nurture Bhava into the future." (March 27)

  • Bethesda (Md.) Magazine reports about the former Bethesda post office’s transition from mail to mat. Bridges Fitness & Yoga will breathe new life into the building, adding a rooftop yoga terrace and a cafe for replenishing after class with healthy snacks, while still preserving the building’s charming and grounding exterior. (March 27)

  • Business Insider profiles the yoga apparel and lifestyle company YogaSmoga, founded by former Wall Street employees Rishi and Tapasya Bali. The brother-sister team was born near the Himalayas in India, and say their upbringing makes their philosophy different than their competitors. Bali: “While other companies use yoga as a marketing tool, we are [a] yoga company that makes things for life.” (April 2)

  • Forbes reports that this year businesses are spending 17 percent more on employee wellness programs than last year. Businesses pay an average of $693 per employee on health initiatives such as in-office yoga classes and free disease screenings. (March 26)

  • Washington Post highlights Lululemon’s new sister brand, Ivivva, which creates high-end yoga clothes for children. Ivivva sales increased 51 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014, and 20 new stores are planned to open this year. With child-sized leggings selling for $68, the article suggests the yoga pants trend has reached its peak. (April 8)
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Community

Shining light on inspirational yogis

  • Green Valley (Ariz.) News and Sun features Connected Warriors, a nonprofit that brings yoga to veterans, free of charge, in 14 states. Connected Warriors was co-founded by Judy Weaver, E-RYT 500 and YA Committee member, and Ralph Iovino, E-RYT 500, in 2011 and reaches nearly 1,500 veterans weekly. Weaver: “[Our soldiers aren’t taught] to be present in peacetime, and that is the one thing that Connected Warriors does.” (March 19)

  • Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune features Cember Grieb Cherry, RYT 200, who leads preschool and children’s yoga classes in Las Vegas. Before embarking on her yoga journey five years ago, Cherry taught elementary school in Calif. and Nev. On March 28, Cherry hosted a children’s yoga class and donated proceeds to the Children’s Museum of Montana. (March 23)

  • Litchfield County (Conn.) Times spotlights Jessica Proulx, RYT 200, and her yoga studio and wellness complex Om Center, RYS 200. The 4,000 square foot complex is home to two yoga studios, a meditation room, massage rooms and a small sandwich shop, the Buddha Bistro. Proulx: “It is a lot of work, but I’m loving it and it’s rewarding.” (March 24)

  • Montpelier (Vt.) Bridge profiles Chrissy Lefavour, E-RYT 200, owner of the newly-opened Grateful Yoga, RYS 200, which has “quickly grown into a favorite space in downtown Montpelier.” Grateful Yoga offers ashtanga, children’s and donation-based classes. Barbara Korecki, one of Lefavour’s trainees, on her teaching style: “Chrissy makes yoga a sacred practice, an everyday practice...you look forward to the joy, exercise and focus that Chrissy brings.” (March 20)

  • (Ore.) Daily Astorian features an article on Sarahjoy Marsh’s, E-RYT 500, workshop on compassion held at the March 6 - 8 Cannon Beach Yoga Festival. Marsh’s workshop focused on yoga-based practices for increasing compassion, including mantra, visualization and mindful meditation. This year’s festival attracted nearly 200 guests. The festival receives funding from the city Tourism and Arts Commission — this year’s grant was for $36,000. (March 23)

  • (State University of New York: Buffalo) UB Reporter covers Catherine Cook-Cottone’s, RYT 500, experience teaching yoga at the White House Easter Egg Roll on April 6. Cook-Cottone, who founded the nonprofit Yogis in Service, was one of 22 yoga teachers — seven of which are RYTs, including Yoga Alliance board member and treasurer Roger Rippy, E-RYT 500 — at the event. Cook-Cottone: “It was nothing short of joyful. It is a day I will remember for the rest of my life. My heart was, and remains, filled with inspiration and fun.” (April 9)

  • Yoga International interviews founder of the Accessible Yoga Conference, Jivana Heyman, E-RYT 500 and owner of Santa Barbara Yoga Center, RYS 200, RYS 300, about the upcoming September event. The conference, which is in its inaugural year, will be a place for yoga teachers and students alike to learn how to adapt yoga for students with disabilities or chronic illnesses and to network with others in the field. Heyman: "Training in adaptive yoga can offer teachers a full spectrum of skills to serve all of their students equally." (April 10)
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Culture

Yoga happenings from around the globe

  • Economic Times reports that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at a UNESCO gathering on April 10 the launch of a website for the International Day of Yoga (June 21). The website will be a platform for “Indian embassies and consulates” to post information about their International Day of Yoga 2015 events. Modi mentioned his hopes for yoga to positively impact our environment: “By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, [yoga] can help us deal with climate change and create a more balanced world.” (April 10)

  • Economic Times also discusses Indian yoga figure Baba Ramdev’s recent visit to Australia to assist in creating a yoga and Ayurveda center in a Melbourne suburb. During his trip, Ramdev gave a public lecture, “The Power and Purpose of Yoga,” at the University of Melbourne. Ramdev also gave a presentation, including a group meditation, to parliamentarians and community members at the Parliament of Victoria . (April 12)

  • Guardian (United Kingdom) reports on India’s latest effort to increase the health of its government officials by providing “3 million civil servants and their families” with free daily yoga classes. This initiative is possibly the largest-scale “campaign of physical education based on” yoga and is part of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to promote yoga throughout the country. (March 20)

  • Planet Save documents two yoga-practicing Swiss pilots’ round-the-world journey in ABB’s Solar Impulse 2, an entirely solar-powered plane. Pilot Andre Borschberg began practicing yoga two decades ago and says yoga helps him and fellow pilot Bertrand Piccard maintain the right mental attitude and energy needed to sustain on their mission. The pair delivered battery charging units to residents of remote villages in Myanmar as part of the “Access to Electricity” program. (March 30)

  • WFMZ (Pa.) profiles “Yoga Girl” Rachel Brathen, RYT 200, an Instagram “yoga-lebrity,” as she promotes her new book, Yoga Girl, in which she discusses her rebellious adolescence and journey into yoga. Brathen: “[Social media] is like being part of the cool kid gang. Everybody has this perfect life...but [never] shows the real part of life. I have to fight to share that…[and find the] way to connect to the real raw human emotion through social media.” (March 31)

  • Yoga Dork spotlights the upcoming feature film “Who Owns Yoga?,” a comprehensive look at yoga from its origin to present day, exploring yoga in modern society, yoga’s evolution and even the yoga selfie. Editing and post-production costs are being funded on Kickstarter. The film, which began as a 50-minute television special, is expected to screen at film festivals and other international locations. (April 6)
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Education & Children

Helping today's youth prepare for a future of mindfulness

  • Mind Body Green shares five yoga poses that will help your child deal with unpleasant emotions that often lead to a "meltdown." Through yoga, children can learn to self-soothe by breathing and moving through those uncomfortable physical manifestations of stress. (April 19)

  • News Journal (Del.) reports on the benefits of practicing yoga together for babies and their mothers. Yoga Instructor Courtney Loughney says the practice helps mothers find balance and communal support “to help them through the emotional roller coaster” of the first months with a new baby at home. (March 23)

  • Record (N.J.) spotlights the benefits of yoga and meditation for children coping with anxiety and stress. Allison Morgan, RYT 200, says that yoga and meditation help us process and handle negative emotions more effectively. Many studies provide scientific evidence of these benefits; a Harvard study found that certain yoga poses instill feelings of confidence, bravery and strength, and an International Journal of Yoga study found higher levels of academic performance in children who practice yoga than those who do not. (April 6)
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Inspiration

Back to the heart of the matter

  • CBS 6 (Va.) profiles in a video broadcast Richard Widmark, an EMT, on his journey to better health and freedom from obesity, and the unexpected support he’s received along the way. Widmark, after hitting rock bottom, decided to commit to a healthier lifestyle; that commitment led him into the yoga studio. Widmark: “I feel amazing for doing it, and I hope that everybody does yoga.” (April 8)

    FOX 2 — St. Louis also features this report.

  • Huffington Post contributor Amy Mitchell, RYT 200, inspires readers to detach from technology and practice yoga at least one hour per week. In addition to helping ease stress and anxiety about daily life, she says yoga can improve focus and attention. Mitchell: “Yoga isn't a panacea, but it is one real step you can take today to take back control of your life again and step away from your iPhone.” (March 31)

  • Huffington Post interviews Mike Huggins, E-RYT 200 and founder of Transformation Yoga Project, who is helping inmates find peace through yoga. Huggins says inmates - who are often stuck in a cycle of trauma - can be positively impacted by yoga and mindfulness, which give them courage to resist negative impulses and “go inward.” A former inmate himself, Huggins practiced yoga while incarcerated and eventually began leading yoga classes for other inmates. (April 3)

  • (Neb.) Journal Star profiles Nan Graf, an 87-year-old yoga instructor who is adapting her practice and teaching after sustaining a hip injury from a fall. Graf, who “always said she wouldn’t retire before age 90,” has taught yoga for nearly 40 years, is a member of Nebraskans for Peace and the 2005 recipient of the ACLU’s Roger Baldwin Civil Libertarian Award. (March 23)

  • People Magazine spotlights 19-year-old Briana Donis, who finds peace in yoga despite having a rare blood disease. She was diagnosed in 2013, only two months after her love of yoga took root, but sticks with her yoga practice, even during months-long and isolated hospitalizations. Donis: “I find so much joy and peace and normalcy in yoga. I’m in the hospital and I’m stuck here...but I can bring my yoga with me wherever I go. It keeps me determined.” (March 20)
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Health & Research

A mantra a day keeps the aches at bay

  • KSL (Utah) spotlights how yoga is helping Jennifer Mosher recover from a traumatic brain injury sustained in a car crash 20 years ago that left her comatose for weeks. After relearning life’s most simple tasks — walking, eating — yoga came in as a “vital link helping her connect her brain with her body” and a way to help accept her physical limitations. Her teacher Denise Druce, E-RYT 500, says she sees more empowerment and confidence in her since beginning yoga. (March 20)

  • Le Mars (Iowa) Daily Sentinel profiles Marie Mortensen, RYT 200, who teaches Trauma-Sensitive Yoga (TSY) as a supplementary practice for trauma patients. According to TSY, trauma is both mental and physical; Mortensen says TSY equips practitioners with tools to use your body to change how you feel. A trauma survivor herself, Mortensen notes that TSY is not a replacement for traditional therapy, where trauma is verbally processed. (April 6)

  • Washington Post profiles Army Lt. Col. John Thurman, RYT 200, who began practicing yoga to ease his symptoms from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after surviving the Sept. 11 Pentagon attack. Veterans Affairs offices increasingly encourage veterans to practice yoga as an alternative to using addictive drugs to treat insomnia or anxiety that often accompany PTSD. (April 10)
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Trending

The hottest news from the mat

  • CNN shares how a brief bedtime yoga session can help people sleep better. Dana Santas, E-RYT 200, a yoga trainer for pro athletes, shares her six-minute program to help calm the mind and body for better quality rest. The five-pose routine includes gentle bends and twists to stretch muscles and increase blood flow, ending with diaphragmatic breathing to ease practitioners into sleep. (March 26)

  • Huffington Post spotlights which states in the U.S. have the most yoga studios per capita, with the Last Frontier - Alaska - topping the list. Colorado was a close runner-up, New Hampshire secured third place and Mississippi turned out to have the least number of yoga studios per capita. (March 17)

  • New Times Broward-Palm Beach (Fla.) features an article about how, after 13 years as a professional DJ, Pablo Lucero, E-RYT 200, took his career out of nightclubs and into the yoga world. Now, Lucero is dedicated to teaching yoga full-time and DJing at yoga festivals and events. Lucero on the union of yoga and music: “Using music helps to create a story and taps into a universal frequency that is constant.” (April 8)

  • Yahoo! explains how incorporating weights into your yoga practice can result in stronger, leaner muscles. The routine, developed by Xen Strength Yoga with Weights, features moves that combine popular asanas such as Warrior II with lateral raises to tone and strengthen shoulders. The moves are intended to balance muscle contractions during strength training with the increased range of motion during yoga poses. (March 31)
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Sports

Improving performance the mindful way

  • Dallas Morning News spotlights the MLB’s newest team to tap into yoga’s benefits. To shape up for baseball’s regular season, Texas Rangers have incorporated twice weekly yoga classes into the players’ spring training routine. A local yoga instructor designed a class that relief pitcher Shawn Tolleson says helps performance by “opening up our hips and our core.” (March 21)

  • (Duke University) Chronicle reports how the Duke University baseball team is using yoga as a “natural complement” to its training routine in efforts to increase players’ flexibility and focus. Coach Chris Pollard practicing yoga with the team helped open up players to the practice while variety in their routines and laughter keep the classes lighthearted. Team captain Andy Perez: “...as time went on, we came to appreciate how [yoga is] helping our bodies [and] minds, and using it on the baseball field has been very beneficial.” (April 8)

  • (Minn.) Pioneer Press reports on how getting on the mat has helped improve Twins starting pitcher Trevor May’s performance on the diamond. May attributes his strong spring performance to a thrice weekly yoga routine that helped him “dominate” last season, and now daily yoga is helping him shape up for a promising spring season. May: “You feel really good after [yoga]...you’re aware of how your body feels at any moment. That’s a huge deal when you’re pitching, and I’m surprised more guys don’t do it.” (March 21)

  • Philly.com Sports Doc blog interviews former wrestler Jake Panasevich, E-RYT 200, about his new career as a yoga teacher and the benefits of yoga for athletes. Panasevich became hooked on yoga after just two months of practice and has been focusing on athletes the past two years of his seven-year yoga career. He says that in addition to injury prevention, pain relief, balance and body awareness, athletes can benefit greatly from yoga’s grounding potential: “As athletes, they’re always going at a fast pace. It is good to be still [and] grounded.” (April 10)
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