Happy Summer Solstice. (Yoga on Fresh Air)
Yoga is a beautiful thing in a way in that it’s so free-form, and the spirit of yoga is anti-regulation. But in that, there is tremendous abuse and a huge range. The Iyangar school requires a minimum of two years of study before they will certify a teacher. But it’s the Wild West of yoga training out there. You don’t even have to go to a studio to get a certification. You can do it online. Now, probably most yoga teachers have had some in-studio certification, but the minimum training is 200 hours. That’s not a whole lot. It’s a very minimal requirement and in that, in the inexperienced nature of some of these teachers, I think that’s where you find some of the biggest dangers in yoga and the biggest dangers of injury.
— William J. Broad on yoga’s certification requirements.
You can see, over and over, people seeing rises in sex hormones — particularly in testosterone — brain waves getting zipped up in the same way that lovers’ brains look when they’re in deep pleasure. There have been beautiful studies that show even fast breathing can produce strong states of sexual arousal. And just recently, there were studies in India where they looked at married couples who took up yoga and surveyed them before and after. Across the board, it’s improvement in desire, arousal, orgasm, overall satisfaction. Men have better erections. Women feel more emotional closeness with partners. It definitely does lots of good stuff.
On today’s Fresh Air, science writer William Broad on yoga’s risks and rewards: “The benefits start to accrue. It’s like putting a little bit of money in the bank every day or every month. The payoff comes as these things start to multiply.”
Downward Upward dog: We’re talking yoga’s benefits and pitfalls on today’s show.
(via T-Rex Trying…)
Tomorrow: A talk with New York Times science reporter William Broad about his new book which investigates the risks and the rewards of yoga. Using the latest scientific research, Broad explains the benefits of yoga, while debunking the myths surrounding it and explaining why certain yoga poses can be quite dangerous.