Yoga for Arthritis

Yoga can provide immense physical benefits for women with arthritis.

For arthritis patients, aerobic exercises, muscle conditioning and increased physical activity can keep you strong and agile, improve heart fitness and reduce your weight. Yoga provides an effective alternative to the traditional strengthening and aerobic exercises, and offers other benefits as well.

While yoga may bring visions of complex body contortions, most yoga classes provide simple, gentle movements that gradually build muscular strength, promote balance and improve flexibility. Its meditative nature soothes and relaxes the mind, and is associated with increased mental alertness and enthusiasm. Scientific studies have shown that practicing yoga is a safe and effective way to increase physical activity, which is strongly recommended for arthritis patients. Yoga does not increase pain or worsen arthritis.

Picture of Padmasana Yoga Pose
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Yoga Bashing by Christians, Again

Why is it that Christians hate Yoga so much? First the catholic church bans yoga for toddlers; now this.

According to a report in the DNA, Father Jeremy Davies, an ordained priest in the UK argues in his new book,

“yoga puts people at risk from devils and the occult is closely associated with the scourges of “drugs, demonic music and pornography” which’re “destroying millions of young people in our time”.

Certainly, in the throes of agony getting into the Parivrtta Trikonasana, I have wondered, what has gotten into me to attempt these contortions. Never realized that the demons must have possessed me. See, Davies’ book is published by the Catholic Truth Society (my italics), so it must be true.

Oh, the esteemed priest is himself an exorcist. Do you think it is possible that after a lifetime trying to exorcise demons, he himself may be affected?

Davies continues, “… young people especially are vulnerable and we must do what we can to protect them.” Hmmm. I was going to say something about the rampant pedophilia in the catholic dioceses in the US, but I shouldn’t. It is time for me to get into Shavasana.

Church bans yoga for toddlers as un-Christian

From The Times of London:
A children’s exercise class has been banned from two church halls because it is teaching yoga. The group has been turned away by vicars who described yoga as a sham and un-Christian.

… It’s crazy because we’re talking about kids pretending to be animals and doing exercise routines to rhymes.

More here
WoW! Talk about being narrow minded.

The second comment on the article, reflects my thinking.
So what the Rev Tim Jones is saying is that having a calm mind is un-Christian, and will turn people into Hindus.
Andrew, Leicester,

Since I love yoga, I must be innately Hindu!
*in anjali mudra* Namaskar!

Yoga: For the everyday stress of life

The Financial Times (London) reports that yoga is gaining acceptance beyond India's middle class. The physical and mental benefits of yoga are no longer exclusive to the well off, but are now being enjoyed by the aam janta.

Ashok Leyland has included yoga in the training curriculum for truck drivers, helping them better cope with the stress of driving on India's roads. Also makes for safer driving for the rest of us.

According to the FT, the Indian Armed Services offers yoga training to soldiers posted at high altitudes in the mountains of Kashmir and naval officers who man submarines.

The Army’s 10-year research program concluded “that soldiers who did yoga along with conventional physical training showed better physiological responses than those receiving only routine training. Participants with yoga training maintained stability under stress and quickly returned to an equilibrium state.”

I started yoga about a month ago and it has definitely helped me better control my emotions and take things in stride. Of course, while I don't have to deal with road rage, or the stress of keeping our borders safe, dealing with the PC at work and e-mails is plenty stressful.

Yoga should be made mandatory in all schools, if it isn't already! As a bonus, it could get kids off their gameboys, inculcate healthy lifestyles, and tackle weight gain and its associated pathologies of heart disease and diabetes!

Oommmmmmmm!

Yoga and Vaastu Workshop

Over the weekend I attended a fabulously enriching workshop on Yoga and Vaastu at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA. It was taught by Sashikala Ananth a noted Vaastu practitioner from Chennai, India. She is also a yoga instructor trained under the legendary Krishnamacharya.

Going into this workshop, I knew zilch about both, but by the end of the weekend I was thoroughly enlightened. I have always done Pilates to help with my running and I find that it is nothing but yoga with the Hindu aspects of breathing and saying AUM erased. 😦

Shashikala Ananth is a wonderful teacher, very patient, full of energy and imminently qualified in all aspects of practical yoga and its integration within our lifestyle. Here is a little blurp from her website:

In the ordinary every day existence of the householder amidst his (and her) commonplace concerns there must be a quality of transcendence and an inner unfolding. Dharma must be discovered and lived in the family and the market place in the midst of a community, in the here and now.

and, she continues:
In a recent interaction with some Feng Shui experts, I was asked this question ‘why do Indians let go of all their traditions without adequate study?’ I was forced to accept this about us – that we do not respect our own past without assurances and encouragement from our colonial masters. Perhaps this is a necessary residue of being a conquered people, or a lacuna in our own psychical makeup.

I was disappointed that I came to learn of this so late in life. Well, its never too late. So, we are planning a two week personalized course with Sashikala Ananth in Chennai, India. In addition to yoga, she will also take us on a tour of the Tamil Nadu temples. With her grounding in Vaastu and general architecture, she will be the perfect guide. We are planning this for early December, in Chennai, India.


And here: M walking leisurely during our hike from Grindelwald in the Swiss Alps (2006). A blissfully wonderful time!

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