Tag Archives: research

Yoga helps war veterans deal with trauma

More evidence that yoga and related disciplines can help heal the body and mind of people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or PSTD:

Washington PostYoga helps war veterans get a handle on their PTSD.But the new study is the first of its kind to provide scientific support for the benefits of yoga’s breathing techniques for PTSD patients in a randomized and controlled (though small) long-term study which monitored effects of yoga over the course of the year.

The study cited in this article actually deals with the practice of sudarshan kriya, a sequence of breathing exercises created and promoted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. But he does not have a monopoly on the benefits of yoga practice.

Please note that the article was originally published in The Conversation, September 14.


Yoga better than Pilates for overall strength

The following news item contradicts the conventional wisdom that yoga is not a good physical workout and, in fact, is better than Pilates for general fitness.

NY TimesAsk Well: Pilates vs. Yoga
“The upshot? Pilates may be preferable if your primary goal is a solid core, but if you’re hoping to strengthen your upper body and goose your push-up tally, you’ll probably accomplish more with sun salutations and other yoga moves.”

Of course, these studies are small slices of the human experience. You can lose weight maintaining any exercise regime that helps you burn more calories than you consume, and 30 minutes of walking three times a week can meet the minimum requirements for a healthy life style.

Confirmation of meditation’s impact on the brain

I’ve been keeping my head down lately, but I just noticed the following news item that reinforces the findings of more scientific research into the impact of meditation on the brain:

The unique brain anatomy of meditation practitioners: alterations in cortical gyrification appeared in mid-March and Science Daily also did an article, Evidence Builds That Meditation Strengthens the Brain. The work was done at UCLA USC Laboratory of Neuro Imaging by Eileen Luders and colleagues. The LONI’s latest news announcements show the range of their investigations.

I should also point you to The Mindfulness Research Guide which follows the practical application of meditation to many human arenas. There is a monthly newsletter that has nearly 5,000 subscribers.

Yoga hits Washington baseball team

The Nationals are my home town team so I guess I have to link to a story that appeared in the Washington Times:

It’s not a stretch to say yoga gaining popularity with Nationals “Stephen Strasburg, Drew Storen and Bryce Harper also are among yoga devotees, with Harper and Storen big believers in Espinosa’s preferred Bikram yoga — a class that’s held in a room kept at 115 degrees.

Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and Steve Lombardozzi also participated in a once-weekly class at Nationals Park this offseason with strength and conditioning coach John Philbin and a private instructor.”

Each new season of every sport, we get a fresh crop of sport news about a professional (university or high school) ball player taking up yoga to improve his/her performance. It doesn’t matter what sport. I turned the TV on the other evening and the Tennis Channel was showing a feature on a tennis camp that included “mindfulness” in practically every instruction to the trainees. The science is pilling up so high now that an athlete may actually feel that not including yoga and related disciplines in a training regime puts him/her at a competitive disadvantage.