[Update: I am updating this post as I come across new fave responses.]
I’d be amiss in my duties as yoga blogger if I didn’t weigh in again on the recent NY Times article How yoga can wreck your body. The article, an excerpt from Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and NYT science writer William J. Broad‘s upcoming book, The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, has received a lot of coverage from the interwebs, yogic and otherwise, because it says that “the yoga community long remained silent about [yoga’s] potential to inflict blinding pain…a growing body of medical evidence supports [the] contention that, for many people, a number of commonly taught yoga poses are inherently risky. ”
I wrote a response (“whatevs”) a few days ago. Also, dudes looking for pictures of girls in yoga pants–the most frequent visitors to this site–likely don’t care if said girls need spinal surgery when they’re 50. Still, in the interest of jumping on the bandwagon, I am doing a round up of my fave responses. Continue reading
Yoga has helped me manage chronic neck pain. Now I feel like Wonder Woman, strong and ready to fly, and have become a yoga proselytizer. To strengthen my case as yoga ambassador, I continue to search for unassailable, scientific, randomized proof that yoga is good medicine. Unfortunately, I can’t find it. [There may be a yogic lesson in this but that is not the point of this post.]
This point of this post is to share a NYT blog post which reviews a recent survey of studies on yoga for management of chronic and acute pain. The report, in which a team of researchers sifted through 10 randomized clinical trials involving hundreds of patients, concluded that, while yoga has the potential for alleviating pain, a definitive (scientific) judgement is not yet possible.
Why is a judgement not yet possible? I can’t say. The report says that 9 of the 10 studies suggest that yoga does lead to “a significantly greater reduction in pain than various control interventions such as standard care, self care, therapeutic exercises, relaxing yoga, touch and manipulation, or no intervention.” Nine out of ten sounds pretty good to me.
I can’t access the report (and am happy for that, because then I’d have to read the thing) to read the details so I will throw my hands up, continue to search, and do more yoga.
Have better sex through yoga! Apparently, the Journal of Sexual Medicine published a study saying that yoga can enhance one’s sex life. According to blistree.com: “In the study, women aged 22-55 completed a 12-week program in which they did an hour of yoga every day. The results indicated that women reported improvements in desire, orgasm and arousal with almost 20% improvement in sexual function. The results for men are similar. Sixty-five males aged 24-60 participated in the study and showed a significant increase in sexual benefits of yoga including improvements in desire, satisfaction, confidence and performance.”
This is the fifth image result in google when I typed "yoga sexy" with safe search ON!
This would be great PR for yoga. However, although I didn’t read the study, I’m not convinced. The study sounds like it was not rigorous enough–neither randomized nor controlled, and therefore not persuasive.
I have my own theories on and experience with yoga’s sex benefits, which I will share with you over a glass of wine someday.