Eran and I are back from Ontario and pleased to report that we had a wonderful time sharing information about Yoga and health.
Our feedback was remarkable – only positives (that make me blush) like:
“I could listen to Kathleen talk forever. She is very knowledgeable and conveys her ideas very clearly.”
“I absolutely loved listening to Kathleen. I have never had an opportunity to hear how the world of yoga and science come together. She is brilliant, fascinating and has the ability to speak at level that I can understand. I could have listened to her for days. Please ask her to come back and share more of her knowledge. The practice on the mat in the morning was a perfect compliment to the knowledge shared.”
We’re booking now for a fall tour in the western United States. Please drop me a line on the contact form if you would like for us to find a venue near you.
Maybe. We know it’s unwise for anyone with glaucoma to perform sirsasana. We also strongly suspect that anyone with uncontrolled high blood pressure may be at serious risk of damage to the brain with this posture.
Photo credit: Irma Photography
I’ve written about the good and the bad of headstands before in this 3-part series:
Benefits of the Headstand - Part 2
Injury From a Headstand - Part 3
But today a news report caught my eye. Unfortunately, I only have access to the title – not the paper or even an abstract. The JAMA Neurology headline is scary. continue reading…
I’ve taken some serious flack from a few yogi friends about my vamana dhauti posts. They love it and don’t understand why I don’t.
While they think throwing up every morning can only help and not harm, I disagree. To my medical mind, one that understands the human body and its physiology, making yourself vomit (at least on a daily basis anyway) isn’t such a good idea.
I get it that my stance is in direct discordance with traditional yogic advice. The swamis I spent time with earlier this year in India were promoting it just like other swamis and teachers I’ve encountered. It’s standard practice – although the frequency with which it is advised differs. Some teachers say daily, others occasionally (or at least not more than once each week.)
An occasional forced vomit might be okay. It might even be therapeutic in a few instances. But daily vomiting can lead to problems as a scientific article out of southern India points out. Dentists there reported injury in a 38-year old male who was practicing vamana dhauti (often called kunjal kriya) as a part of his daily Yoga routine. For 12 years he had been throwing up every morning when his stomach was empty. First he would drink salty water, and then he would force vomiting by triggering his gag reflex, presumably with a finger in his throat.
The dentists noted significant damage to his teeth with severe dental erosions. Stomach contents are acidic, and acid irreparably harms the tooth enamel. Contrary to what my yogic friends adamantly claim, the vomited contents are acidic even early in the morning when the stomach is empty and even after swallowing salt water.
Stay healthy by practicing Yoga – just not it’s questionable technique of vamana dhauti.
I’d like to share with you a personal triumph story that came to me this week. It’s about the power of Yoga to change your life. After the latest news report on the dangers of secondhand smoke, I had asked for any tips ex-smokers might be able to share in order to help others ditch the habit. This gentleman was kind enough to send me his story (along with permission to post it), and I’m so glad he did. It brought tears to my eyes. Enjoy the inspiration…
“I had been smoking since around 14 years old. We got suckered in back then, as kids do I suppose. I had tried the regular cigs and could not for the life of me see what the attraction was, they tasted horrible. One day a friend passed me a pack that he assured me tasted like chewing gum, these were menthol cigarettes. He was right, it reminded me of mint or mint flavored gum, what harm could a pack or two or ten of these do me. continue reading…
Patanjali said 2000 years ago in the first chapter of his Yoga Sutras, “Yogas chittavritti nirodhah.” Yoga is the cessation of fluctuations of the mind. Yoga is meditation. While many of us focus on the important precursors of yamas, niyamas, asanas, and pranayama, the latter four stages of the Ashtanga Yoga system he described involve progressive stages of a quieting of the thought waves.
For more than 45 years now, scientists have been looking to see if something is really going on when we tame discursive thoughts, visualize, focus our attention on one point, concentrate on an abstraction, or empty the mind to make way for the inner light. continue reading…