When we meet for dinner parties where we expect people to talk we play some background music to cover the noise of the chatter that is gentle enough so everyone can hear themselves but not the immediate others. When it is a dance party then the DJ decides what to play. In this case, there are not long conversations in the room because people dance or go out to talk to each other. They play loud music at various gym classes like Step, Zumba or whatever, where everyone sort of moves to the beat so the music is an essential part of the class, also the instructor is able to cue over the loud music because s/he is wearing a microphone.Continue reading
It has been over a year since my last post. If this blog were a house in the country, it would have been taken over by the ivy in the corner, the weed at the bottom of the steps long ago. The blog looks abandoned but I have not abandon it.
Writing down thoughts requires some certainty and some argument that the writer can support. When I used to write more about yoga, even if I did not post here, I did have a general idea as to my views on yoga, what my yoga practice should/ ought to look like and I did have a few people that I could draw ideas from which to develop my own opinions.
It is not like I used to take all of it in and not question but this last year or so has been quite different. I am no longer sure about anything in yoga practice, politics and economics of yoga. There is a huge tangled knot in my head about yoga practice, other types of exercise and the content and my preferred method of teaching yoga. The longer I waited for it to dissolve or transform into some kind of new perspective, the more confused I am getting. So, I have decided to come back to writing even if what I write sounds less sure, more searching, even more argumentative, and maybe a little bit judgmental of others and myself.
So, I have not been lazy, I have been “or what!” I have been reading and thinking a lot on yoga and on other related topics. I shall try to figure out what confuses and blows me away from my yoga practice.
These days yoga classes are fantastic, yoga workshops are splendid, the experience of yoga is divine, the yoga people you meet are magnificent, the flow is sensational, the smell of the food is out of this world, the mats are excellent, the tea, well, of course it is what yoga gods drink, the mat cleaning spray is simply mega, the shoe rack at the shala is breathtaking… Boy! FFS! Can’t we just do yoga, teach classes, workshops and let others decide what it was they felt or thought about the whole thing, after the thing has actually happened.Continue reading
If you have a copy of “Light on Yoga” by Iyengar, in it you will find a whole index of asana and pranayama suggestions for a wide range of ailments. For example, if you are suffering from diabetes, Iyengar suggests that you do inversions, seated and standing forward folds, backbends, and twists (Yes, that’s right! All kinds of yoga poses)*. The point is that traditional notion assumes yoga practice is healing for “obvious” reasons. Exciting as it may sound, I would say that unless such claims are supported by solid scientific evidence, they should be taken with a large dose of scepticism.Continue reading
I haven’t been doing yoga for a very long time therefore I wasn’t even aware of the very traditional notion that yoga poses are supposed to be healing and yoga cannot harm you. I’ve always assumed that yoga would affect one as any other type of exercise would for better or worse. It turns out that it actually is the case. Reliable studies indicate that yoga is a physical exercise that could cause injuries in the way that any other type of exercise would when one does not pay attention to safety. It is neither more or less dangerous or safe than other physical practices, so there can be no such assumption regarding the inherent safety of yoga poses or practice.Continue reading
In yoga research, the most common research designs is to compare pre and post measures of a group of people completing a yoga programme. The second most favourite design is to compare a yoga group to an inactive group. Both these designs are unreliable. The first one usually fails to produce similar results, thereby causing serious issues for generalisation of those results. And the second one carries the potential to exaggerate the results in favour of yoga and ignore the fact that other types of exercise have similar benefits.Continue reading
This is a recent study by Cramer et al. (2016) that compared whether different yoga styles varied in their positive results reported by the participants. Cramer et al. reviewed and analysed the results of 306 randomised control trials (RCTs).Continue reading