"a study commissioned by the american council on exercise (ace) found only modest cardiovascular benefits among sedentary women, average age 33, who undertook an eight-week course of thrice-weekly gentle hatha yoga classes."
um, so do your yoga more than 3 times a week, and mix in 2 or 3 more challenging vinyasa classes, ok? i usually recommend you start with 4 classes a week, and build up to 5 or 6, including your home practice.
overall, all i find this article on yoga encouraging. however, i have to say for myself that when i went in for my eye surgery last year, the doctor found my resting heart rate to be 48 beats per minute.
so i think even the medium-level yoga practice i do will with time get your heart to a good place.
anyway, this article is unexceptional in other ways, except to make the point that most new students to yoga are over 30 and are definitely not former gymnasts, while most yoga teachers remain under 27, and former ballerinas. see the imbalance that's developed here?
newer yoga teachers have to become more realistic about who the majority of their students are, and are going to be. and they have to design and teach their classes accordingly.
thus we still have so many yoga pieces beginning with the supposed newsflash that you don't have to be a raw-foodist size-0 under 30 to venture on the yoga path! there is a form of yoga appropriate for all, you just have to find what works for you.
and you have to be willing to experiment with different teachers until you find one who works for you. this puts in mind of a yoga buddy of mine i often see.
she describes going to a popular teacher and taking her class: "i know everybody says it's a good class, but i hate being in it. i feel terrible afterwards every time. but i'm sure i'll get used to it."
um, girlfriend, no! stop! if a class makes you "feel terrible afterwards every time," it's most likely not an appropriate class for you, no matter how many others recommend it.
step it down a notch instead. then after a few months, if you still feel a need to join the "popular class" (why? this isn't high school!), try again.
but you have to be in charge of your own yoga. it's your mat, your path, your practice.
that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, or challenge yourself on occasion to see what new places you can explore. it just means -- be realistic, be responsible, be in touch with the reality of your body as it is now.
then you'll always enjoy whatever yoga you're doing!