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Yoga Insider

Welcome to The 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 9 | February 2015

Published on February 13, 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 RYTs,  RYSs 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 & Wellness

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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Research

The latest studies about the multitude of yoga's benefits. 

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Trending

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

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Advocacy

Protecting the right to practice yoga without unnecessary intrusion

  • Denver Post reporter Vincent Carroll writes in an opinion piece why the state government should not regulate yoga teacher training programs. He says there is little, if any, health and safety benefits to yoga schools being licensed and that “consumers can usually rely on the word of a trade or professional association” combined with Internet resources when deciding on a trustworthy vocational school, eradicating the need for legislative oversight. (January 31) 

  • Denver Post covers the fight against YTT regulation in Colorado and its potential impact on the yoga community. The article says the Division of Private Occupational Schools (DPOS) began contacting unlicensed YTTs after receiving a complaint from a yoga teacher that only six of the states 80+ yoga schools were licensed.  Annie Freedom of Samadhi Center for Yoga, RYS 200, RYS 300, says she feels bullied by the DPOS and believes it is trying to get more money from YTTs. Nancy Levinson, E-RYT 500, of Namaste Works Yoga + Wellness, RYS 200: “The state is trying to create a solution where there is not a problem.” (January 26)

  • KKCO News (Colo.) covered in a video broadcast the “heated debate” on yoga school regulation between the state’s yoga community and the Division of Private Occupational Education, which alleges yoga schools are vocational, and thus subject to regulation. Six schools have submitted paperwork to comply with the Division, and three have appealed. Simpson, owner of Yoga Junction Heated Studio says government regulation “definitely takes away from the root of what yoga is.” (January 28)

  • KUAF (Ark.) reported in a radio broadcast that yoga teachers are teaming with Sen. Lindsey and Rep. Collins to fight state legislation requiring yoga schools to be licensed. A Yoga Alliance representative informed that “New York, Virginia and Texas have successfully passed legislation exempting yoga teacher training programs from similar statutory licensure [as seen in Arkansas].” (January 23)

  • KNWA-TV (Ark.) follows the bill to exempt yoga schools from licensing and regulation as it advanced from the House Education Committee, the clearing of “another hurdle in the legislature” against YTT regulation in the state. Yoga Instructor Sherri Youngblood, E-RYT 500: “We’ve certainly shown that we’re a unified community all over the state.” (February 4)

  • Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette mentions the passing of SB94 in the Arkansas House on Feb. 5; the bill exempts yoga schools from legislation requiring private occupational schools to be licensed and regulated by state government. The bill, which was actively supported by Yoga Alliance, also extends the exemption to avocational or teacher instruction in dance, music, horseback riding, and needle crafts. (February 6)

Business

When mat meets office

  • Athens Banner-Herald (Ga.) features Athens Yoga Institute and its owners Shannon Ball, E-RYT 500, and Anne Ethier in an article on new local businesses. The duo began Athens Yoga Institute under the name Five Points Yoga, RYS 200, RYS 300, and offer the only 500-hour YTT program in the city. (January 16)
  • Boston Globe uncovers a new premium yoga mat from Boston startup Perfect Burpee, which engineers their mats for maximum grip and durability. Cofounders Justin Mendelson and David Gritz designed the $100 mat for high-intensity workouts, like CrossFit, which regular yoga mats cannot withstand. Perfect Burpee is raising $20,000 needed for production on Kickstarter, where mats can be pre-purchased for $60; the company hopes to ship mats by summer. (January 16)


Community

Shining light on inspirational yogis

  • First Coast News (Fla.) features in a video broadcast Yoga 4 Change, an organization founded by Kathryn Thomas, RYT 500, in 2012 to bring yoga to veterans, at-risk youth and prisoners. The organization received a $10,000 grant from Riverside Hospital Foundation in Oct. 2014 and is currently in the running to win $10,000 from Kind Causes, which Thomas says would be a “game changer” in getting the organization on its feet. (January 15)
    Editor's note: Yoga 4 Change finished with a total of 6,282 votes but did not win the contest.

  • Utica Observer-Dispatch (N.Y.) covers the inaugural Sunflower Yoga Fest, which drew hundreds together on Jan. 17 for asana and music in a town “starving for a reason to get together.” Acupuncturist Mackay Ripper organized the event, which offered classes led by nine local yoga teachers, including Sarah Kaczor, E-RYT 200, RYT 500. Organizer Sandra Stanton: “This [event] has been quickly picked up by our community. Mackay and I plan to continue Sunflower Yoga Fest in the future and hope it grows.” (January 17)

  • Northern Star (Australia) features Evolve Yoga Festival held in Byron Bay on Jan 17, with over 60 presenters offering workshops and yoga classes in a variety of lineages. Founder John Ogilvie, E-RYT 500, and owner of Byron Yoga Centre, RYS 200, RYS 300, RPYS, hosts the event as a way to connect the area’s “quite fragmented” yoga community: “This festival is an opportunity for us to come together and share our different ways…and for our own students to be exposed to other…approaches and styles.” (January 19)

  • Ledger-Enquirer (Ga.) profiles April Laxton, RYT 200, yoga teacher and new owner of Art of Yoga who strives to serve the community with diverse offerings for all yogis. Laxton prioritizes alignment in her classes and the studio, noting the risk for injury when misaligned in a posture. The article goes on to interview Laxton about her personal yoga journey. (January 24)

  • Vancouver Sun writes about yoga offered at British Colombia’s third largest ski resort, Silver Star. Led by Claudia Sorensen, RYT 200, and Gillian Gerylo, yogis can “strengthen and relax” while enjoying picturesque views from the base of the slopes. (January 22)

Culture

Yoga happenings from around the globe

  • Daily Telegraph (England) highlights the world’s first “mindfulness opera” entitled Lost in Thought, a four-hour exploration of sound and silence in meditation opening in September at the London Symphony Orchestra. The lengthy four-hour event entails more than the average night at the opera – performers will guide the audience on “an inner journey of mindfulness,” complete with meditation, gentle yoga and a meal. (January 20)

  • DNAinfo Chicago reports on an event to honor Martin Luther King’s legacy and spark discussion on creating a unified society and privilege disparities hosted by I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit that serves at-risk community members through yoga and mindfulness, sustainable farming and the arts. Attendees practiced breathing exercised during the discussion and closed with a yoga practice. I Grow Chicago Executive Director Tameka Lawson says in order to become more united in the world, people must first “look within and then find ways to stop seeing everyone as different, but as just human.” (January 20)

  • Daily Telegraph (England) reports on yoga instructor Naomi Hayama who was recently banned from teaching her yoga class at a Christian church in her hometown. Hayama taught about 30 regular students at the church and she attests her classes hold no spiritual or religious affiliation. Despite collecting over 500 signatures in her support and appeals from her students, the church administration holds its decision. Hayama: “I respect people who are religious but I am not. That’s what attracted me to yoga – you don’t have to be religious to teach it.” (February 9)

  • Dallas Morning News reports about Fitness in F Flat, a series of four fitness classes, including yoga, featuring live music from violinist Richmond Punch and hosted at the Jewish Community Center. During a yoga class, Punch played a mix of classical Indian music and modern music, creating “a sweet and subtle duet you more absorb than actually hear” with instructor Debbi Levy’s, RYT 200, recorded selection. In an accompanying broadcast, the benefits of live music to exercise are reviewed and Punch discusses his music. (January 19)

     


Education & Children

Helping today's youth prepare for a future of mindfulness

  • WISH TV (Ind.) broadcast an interview with Suzy Bindley, president and co-founder of Indy Yoga Movement, an organization bringing during- and after-school yoga classes into central Indiana schools. Indy Yoga Movement aims to help students manage stress, establish healthy lifestyle habits, and understand themselves better through physical movement. Bindley: “There’s a place for everyone in the practice of yoga. It’s been such a privilege and honor…to be invited into these [consolidated] school corporations.” (January 17)

  • Time Warner Cable News profiles in a video broadcast a North Carolina “mommy and me” yoga class that is passing the benefits of yoga on to the next generation. Yoga has shown to help improve digestion, motor skill development and sleep patterns in babies while building a foundation for a mindful life. Teacher Amy Penwell, RYT 200, says mothers and babies are “able to connect through touch and eye contact” and teaches infant massage techniques that can be used any time. (February 7)

  • Journal Gazette (Ind.) reports on the popularity and benefits of children’s yoga classes and those geared to physical, mental and learning disabilities. Owner of Simply Yoga, RYS 200, Christa Smith on children’s yoga: “It’s not competitive…You’re moving your body and stretching, and there is the mental/emotional part of it, too, that’s good for kids.” (January 20)

  • Palo Alto Online (Calif.) covers a mindfulness and yoga program to be implemented in the Ravenswood City School District in Palo Alto, a partnership with the nonprofit Sonima Foundation. The curriculum is used in over 50 schools in four states and “is geared toward sustainability and long-term impact rather than short-term intervention.” Sonima Foundation board member and Oakland Raider Justin Tuck joined students in a yoga demonstration during an event to kick off the initiative. (January 22)


Health & Wellness

A mantra a day keeps the aches at bay

  • KERO-Bakersfield (Calif.) reports in a video broadcast on Yoga’s health benefits and how it is a good alternative to aerobic exercises for maintaining cardiovascular well-being. Local yoga instructors Dana Healey, RYT 200, and Tara Delis say you do not have to push yourself to do yoga, and that it is accessible to all who seek self-improvement. (January 17)

  • Valley Advocate (Mass.) profiles yoga teacher, herbalist and entrepreneur Molly Kitchen, RYT 200, who is standing out in a saturated wellness industry by offering one-on-one health consultations that include personalized herbal tea blends and yoga regimens. Kitchen’s Ayurvedic background helps her focus on the large health picture rather than individual symptoms: “Everything is systemic. You can’t just treat something with a pill. It has to be a whole body change.” (January 21)

  • Fox – St. Louis hosted Angie Carron, RYT 200, owner of OmTurtle Yoga, for a video broadcast as she demonstrated yoga postures that alleviate menstrual cramps and offer other non-medical pain relief. Carron guided reporter Kim Hudson through cat/cow, child’s pose and upward facing dog, and says when even yoga won’t cut it, chocolate is a good alternative; women crave it for its magnesium, which calms and soothes the body. (January 22)

Inspiration

Back to the heart of the matter

  • New Pittsburgh Courier reporter Robbie Darby lists the ways yoga’s yamas, or ethics for living, can help improve relationships of all kinds, as explained in one of Travis Eliot’s, E-RYT 500, yoga DVDs. He notes that intimate relationships will flourish when ahimsa, non-violence, is present and aparigraha, non-attachment, will allow your partner space to grow while feeling supported. Even friendships can benefit from the yamas: satya, truthfulness, builds happy and trusting relationships. (February 7)

  • New York Times reports on meditation’s impact in the workplace as recently discussed during the Leading Mindfully panel at January’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Panelists noted that meditation and mindfulness could help curb aggressive business approaches, increase focus and boost creativity. Panelist Arianna Huffington also highlighted the importance of “unplugging”: “If we treated each other as kindly as we treated our smartphones, it would be a major revolution.” (January 21)

  • Huffington Post features an interview with Dena Samuels, RYT 200, Director of the University of Colorado Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity & Inclusion and yoga teacher, who offers yoga to those recovering from trauma or addiction. Samuels says she finds great inspiration in watching students in detox retain their “willingness to engage in their yoga practice” despite painful withdrawal symptoms. (December 29)

  • San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) profiles 14-year-old Lexi Hidalgo, RYT 200, and her journey into becoming one of the youngest yoga teachers in the country. Hidalgo transitioned to yoga as a burnt-out competitive cheerleader with a damaged self-esteem, her mother says. On her mat, Hidalgo says she feels calm, refreshed and able to be herself; she currently teaches to other youth at Pride Cheer and hopes to train in children’s and paddleboard yoga in the future. (January 22)

  • Berks-Mont News (Pa.) columnist Dorian Abel, RYT 200discusses taking a cue from yoga philosophy to follow-through on New Year’s resolutions. Her recommendation? Choosing one small adjustment to make each month. Abel: “This way we are more likely to integrate the adjustments, with fewer internal conflicts and less resistance to change.” (January 26)

  • ActivelifeDC.com interviews yoga instructor Angelyn Shapiro, E-RYT-200, RYT 500, owner of New Beginnings Yoga, who credits her students as her favorite teachers. Shapiro: “Life is a river each student must navigate in his or her own vessel. Your place as a teacher is not to row or steer the boat, but to serve as a guide.” (January 14)


Research

Your mind and body on yoga

  • News Medical highlights an ongoing study, led by Sheila Ridner at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, on the effect of yoga therapy on cancer patients suffering lymphedema. Ridner says the diaphragmatic breathing used in yoga loosens and helps clear blocked fluid in lymphedema patients. She is also studying the impact of 16 poses on participants’ mobility and mood. The study is expected to conclude in July and Ridner says she has already seen marked improvements in participants. (February 6)

  • WGCU (Fla.) reported in a radio broadcast on prescriptive yoga for fall prevention outlined in a new University of Miami study, authored by Joe Signorile, which is being taught at Bala Vinyasa, RYS 200, RYS 300, in Naples and Miami. In the study, Signorile and his team, including Luca Richards, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, of Bala Vinyasa, modified common yoga poses and pinpointed ballistic movements to improve balance and upper body strength, both key factors to fall prevention and recovery. Bala Vinyasa teacher Laurie Orlando, RYT 200, implements Signorile’s yoga into classes for 50- to 80-year-old yogis. Signorile: “…if we can reduce the number of falls we can have a positive impact not only on the individual…but [also] on health care costs themselves.” (February 6)

  • CTV News (Toronto) discusses in a video broadcast emerging research in favor of yoga as an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Studies show yoga lowers heart rates and blood pressure while improving an overall sense of well-being. Psychiatrist Arun Ravindran’s study comparing the benefits of yoga to those of counseling found promising results. Ravindran: “…we were…excited to see that [yoga] seemed to be even better than a more established, well-accepted form of treatment.” (January 26)


Trending

The hottest news from the mat

  • Live Science features the best yoga apps to turn “your smartphone [into] your yoga instructor.” The winner? Yoga Studio, a $3.99 app with over 50 classes for yogis of all levels and allows users to design their own classes. YOGAmazing made 2nd place, and iYoga Premium, offering anatomical diagrams of 81 asanas, also made the list. (January 16)

  • Ithaca Times (N.Y.) features an article on the benefits of chair yoga for people of all ages, which include increased balance, strength and confidence. Chair yoga instructor Melissa Weiner, RYT 200,  attests that chair yoga allows those with limited mobility to easily do breath work and those with health issues to still achieve the benefits of gentle physical movement. (February 10)

  • Business Wire highlights NBC’s latest offering, Transcend, a series of yoga videos taught by Caley Alyssa for beginning and advanced students alike. Transcend is a subset of NBC’s Radius fitness program and debuted on TV February 4 and is also available for streaming. Their lineup includes six yoga sessions and over 20 technique videos. Alyssa: “Transcend is an approachable way to learn the basics and get a workout that’s not only physical, but also mental.” (February 3)

  • Union-Tribune San Diego reports that 256 dogs and their owners assembled to break the Guinness World Record for the largest dog yoga session, organized by Dawn Celapino of Leash Your Fitness and the Humane Society. Celapino: “Our dogs aren’t doing yoga, really. They are bonding with us. They are part of what we are doing.” (January 25)




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