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dimanche 6 novembre 2011

YOGA IS NO BETTER THAN STRETCHING EXERCISES

shows two scientific studies published in two leading medical journals in the USA! But let me explain...
When I became interested in the Yoga Philosophy of Ancient India, I also became aware of the "New Age" Yoga of the west, people who call themselves full time or part time Yoginis, who set up shop to prey upon people who are gullible enough to believe that Yoga is superior to a wholesome lifestyle change.
Look at this headline from Canada..

Ganja Yoga classes open in Toronto

If you google  Kayak and Yoga, you would see so many outfits offering Kayaking as well as Yoga, snow yoga, hot yoga, dog yoga... a combination of many forms, combining ancient rituals from various cultures such as Shamanic Yoga..
I also watched with interest the documentary Enlighten Up, showing the quest of many foreigners: usually white women with middle class to upper middle class backgrounds and income who "practise" Yoga and also become teachers at any one of the thousands of Yoga Institutes now spreading all over the world, including China.. Indian Yuppies have not followed this path since Yoga is not practised much by Indians, the birth place of Yoga and mecca for lost souls and those seeking Nirvana from the west!
ah well..
this skepticism led me to read about Yoga as practiced in the west and also the philosophy that is written down in treatises like Yoga Sutra by Patanjali. In general, Raja Yoga is good for you but that is Yoga with Mindfulness..
Those of you wanting to know about the philosophy of Yoga, please purchase a copy of Yoga Sutra by Patanjali or listen to video lectures about Raja Yoga on YouTube or get yourself a knowledgeable person who can explain what Raja Yoga entails.
As Dr Yogendra of the Yoga Institute has said: If the mind is confused, no amount of Asanas and Meditation is going to help you.. and it is estimated that only one or two out of the 100 foreigners who study Yoga in India would eventually understand and practice Yoga as it should be.. 
As a Practicing Physician, I know that Yoga Philosophy is a wholistic and ancient mother of philsophies for personal development and prevention of the diseases. It is useful in many of the common chronic conditions, such as Ischaemic Heart Disease, Diabetes, Hypertension and Low back pain, but the Yoga that is beneficial should include an understanding of its philosophy. In Yoga Sutra, there are nearly 200 verses of advice and only two deal with Asanas or postures..
The way Yoga is being pracitsed in the west, even small towns such as Sioux City Iowa or Bellingham Washington have multiple "Yoga Studios".. but they are akin to Gyms but catering to the acceptable fancies of a certain sector of the population: Female, White and with an income more than 40.000 usd. This form of Yoga is not without benefits. Both scientific studies published in the span of two weeks show that Yoga as good as Stretching exercises and more beneficial than just self care or ordinary care.
So before you sign up and pay up front for that 20 one hour sessions of Yoga whether in Surabaya or Seattle, remember, you get what you pay for...You would be taught an exotic form of stretching!!  By the way Naked Yoga is popular among MEN whereas as Hatha Yoga and Hot Yoga are more popular among women in the west... ah well..

I recommend:
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I like to read (and re read) Yoga Sutra by Patanjali with annotated notes by Dr Yogendra of Yoga Institute of Santa Cruz, Bombay in India.
GOOD LUCK..
University of York in UK
Study not supported by any drug company.



The above study was done in Seattle.





The study above demonstrated that at 6,12,26 weeks Yoga was no better than conventional stretching to relief back pain or decrease the consciousness of the pain.
The earlier study mentioned did make note of the fact that Mindfulness did add to the relief when it is added to Yoga Practice.
The same was confirmed by the study at York University.