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What is Yoga?

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Michael Mrazek

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of What is Yoga?

Seven Classical Schools of Yoga
Popular Modern Systems of Yoga
What is Yoga?
Yoga experienced a resurgence in popularity in the 1900s with Krishnamacharya, who is credited as the Father of Modern Yoga
Asana (postures)
Pranayama (breathing exercises)
Mindfulness (attending to sensations in the body and mind)

General Format
He trained notable students

BKS Iyengar (Iyengar Yoga)
Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Yoga)
In Sanskrit, yoga means to “harness,” “yoke” or “connect” (body, mind, breath, the self with “universal consciousness”).
Power Yoga
Hatha Yoga
Sexy Claims
Yogis can levitate, or fly
Yogis can stop their hearts
Yogis can walk through walls
Yogis can survive live burials
Yogis can achieve immortality
Yogis don't need to eat or sleep
Yoga is good for your sex life
Yoga increases your metabolism
Yogis Can Levitate
GABA and Mood
Yoga actually lowers your metabolism, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing (better aging, longevity), and it might also affect other aspects related to weight gain such as stress or stress eating, increasing body awareness (not eating when not hungry) etc.

Krishnamacharya, 100yrs
Indra Devi, 102yrs
BKS Iyengar, still alive at 94
Pattabhi Jois, 93yrs
What Does It All Mean?
The Effect of Long-Term Combined Yoga Practice on the BMR of Healthy Adults
sVyasa Research Center, Bangalore City, Southern India
104 Subjects, age 20-60
Yoga Group
Asana, Pranayamas, Meditation for the past 6 mos. or more
Non-Yoga Group
Not practicing yoga, but working or volunteering at sVyasa center
Overall, there was a 15% decrease in BMR of the Yoga Group
The Health* Benefits of Yoga and Exercise:
A Review of Comparison Studies
Metabolic expenditure in experienced yoga practitioners during a yoga session was similar to that of walking at 3.2 km/hr on a treadmill (significantly lower than the recommended moderate physical activity by ACSM at the time of the study).
There are a variety of benefits to be derived from yoga, but if weight loss is your main goal, yoga is only part of the equation.
Yoga in the West is highly varied, try a few different styles before writing it off.
Studies have demonstrated that Yoga can be an effective tool to manage stress.
kripalu yoga center
3 Groups of Musicians:
Yoga Lifestyle
Yoga Only
No -Practice Control
Performance anxiety was significantly reduced in both the Yoga Lifestyle and Yoga Only groups.

Other measures of mood such as depression and anger also significantly differed from the control group.
low y-aminobutyric (GABA) levels in the brain are associated with depression, anxiety disorders, and epilepsy.
2 Groups:
Yoga Practitioners
Comparison Subjects
practicing yoga for at least 2 days/week for at least 4 months
no previous history of yoga practice
Participate in a 60 minute yoga session observed by research staff with yoga training.
Participate in a 60 minute reading period, excluding any self-help or religious topics.
27% increase in GABA levels in the yoga practitioner group after the yoga session.
No change in the comparison subjects.
*Health is defined not only as physical health but also mental health.
Yoga significantly decreases heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Studies suggest that Yoga reverses the negative impact of stress on the immune system.
Yoga significantly improves flexibility and balance.
Studies suggest that Yoga may reduce oxidative stress , and was shown to be as effective or superior to running plus flexibility training to improve measures of antioxidant status.
Studies published in 1992 and 1997 indicate that the level of aerobic fitness of an individual does not have any correlation with the level of resting metabolism.
Anaerobic exercise, such as weight lifting, builds additional muscle mass. Muscle contributes to the fat-free mass of an individual and therefore effective anaerobic exercise will increase BMR. However, the actual effect on BMR is controversial. Even a substantial increase in muscle mass would make only a minor impact on BMR.
Some studies suggest that a minimum of 20 to 25 minutes of cardiovascular training per day can temporarily increase the basal metabolic rate by around 10%, owing to an increase in the metabolism of the working muscles required for recovery.
Walking did not impact GABA levels
The effect of Yoga on GABA levels was not quite as strong as in the first study, but still marginally significant
Aspects of mood were also measured. The positive changes in mood correlated with the changes in GABA with people who practiced Yoga.
This was the first time that a behavioral intervention (Yoga) was associated with a positive correlation between acute increases in GABA levels and improved mood.
GABA continued
In the new study, they compared Yoga to metabolically matched walking for 12 weeks.
Eight Limbs of Yoga
1. Yamas: Universal Morality
2. Niyamas: Personal Observances
3. Asana: Body Postures
4. Pranayama: Breathing Exercises
5. Pratyahara: Control of the Senses
6. Dharana: Concentration and Cultivation of Inner Perceptual Awareness
7. Dhyana: Meditation
8. Samadhi: Union with the Divine
An ancient, multifaceted, and diverse practice originating in India that has been around for thousands of years.
BMR Findings
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