Wednesday, October 05, 2005

news to all of us yoga students

"yoga boosts strength and endurance, but it's not a significant source of calorie consumption, a new study shows. in fact, incorporating calorie burning elements to yoga may cancel the benefits of the practice."

i pretty much fell over in tears of hysterical laughter reading this supposed "study." because as any ashtangi, bikram or kundalini student can tell you -- even a level 2 iygengar student -- those sun salutations in ashtanga vinyasa and the equivalent vigorous sequences or "kriyas" in the other schools are quite, um, calorie burning.

in fact, real kundalini yoga has been known to kick even a long-time ashtangi's butt. those kriyas are hard, fast and repetitive.

and tapas -- one meaning is "heat" -- is a core element of all yoga systems based on patanjali and krishnamacharya. ashtanga is so famously sweat-soaking that people buy special mat covers -- such as here and here -- to keep the basic yoga sticky mat from turning into a swimming pool.

i have taken several level 1 iyengar classes at the iyengar institute and i have to say that even when they don't do sun salutations per se, holding those warrior poses for 5 minutes is sweat-inducing. having likewise done several of the sequences from gary kraftsow's viniyoga, i can attest that those can be done in a seriously active manner as well, if appropriate to the individual.

in other words, i have absolutely no idea what this supposed "hatha yoga" they used in this study was. maybe the restorative yoga for cancer patients?

posted by fortune | 7:45 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 3 comments

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