Archive for the tag - yoga

Is Hot Yoga Safe?

09-015779311It’s getting hot in herre!

And that’s exactly the case for hot yoga aficionados. For a hot-style yoga class, yogis endure temperatures of 90 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels above 40%. By the end of the session, participants are literally dripping in sweat – and it’s made many people wonder about safety. Does hot yoga result in dehydration, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke?

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) enlisted the help of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to get some answers.

For the June 2013 study, researchers recruited 20 healthy participants ages 19 – 44. After establishing baseline fitness levels, each participant swallowed a core body temperature sensor and then experienced a 60-minute yoga class at 70 degrees. Throughout the class, temperature readings, heart rate and perceived exertion levels were recorded.

Within 24 hours, participants then experienced a hot-style yoga class at 92 degrees and with more humidity. The same poses and same yoga instructor were used – and temperature, heart rate and exertion levels were again recorded.

Though the participants sweated much more during hot yoga, body temperature and heart rate levels remained the same. Though the participants’ vital signs were nearly the same, the hot yoga class was perceived to be more challenging. According to fitness guidelines, the intensity would still be categorized as light exercise.

The bottom line: Hot-style yoga is not dangerous. For heat-related complications to be imminent, internal body temperatures must exceed 104 degrees – and no participants came close to that threshold. However, participants must be mindful to stay hydrated before, during and after the class.

Have you ever tried hot yoga? Do you love it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Does Yoga Make You Smarter?

044ASP361528It’s no secret that I love yoga. And for good reason. Yoga has been associated with a number of health benefits including flexibility, strength, posture, decreased stress and more.

But a new study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health is giving us new insight into the impact of yoga on brain performance. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign subjected 30 female students to 20-minute bouts of either yoga or aerobic exercise. For the aerobic exercise, participants performed at 60% – 70% of the their maximum; this range, according to previous studies, has been associated with improved cognitive performance.

The result? The yoga was far more effective than the aerobic exercise. According to one researcher:

It appears that following yoga practice, the participants were better able to focus their mental resources, process information quickly, more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively than after performing an aerobic exercise bout.

But why? Researchers aren’t quite sure, but it’s easy to speculate. Because yoga is meditative, it tends to quite the mind. And a quiet mind free from distractions means an improved ability to focus.

When I was in school, I remember my yoga professor using the analogy of dropping a stone into a pond. If the pond is turbulent, the stone will fall in unnoticed. But if the pond is still, the stone will create waves that ripple all the way across the surface. In the same way, quiet minds are more aware and function more effectively than what she called “monkey minds.”

Though more research is clearly needed to fully explore this correlation, it just might make sense to kick off your next study session with a little bit of yoga. And I think that my Underwear Yoga program is perfect for the job. ๐Ÿ™‚

Study: Does Yoga Work?

Yoga has become increasingly popular - but does it really work?

Since I’m on a week-long yoga retreat at the Kalani center in Hawaii, I thought it’d make sense to talk a bit about yoga – and whether or not it works.

In the last few decades, yoga has become increasingly popular. And though many people, myself included, could point to personal or anecdotal evidence about its effectiveness, this several thousand-year-old tradition hasn’t been extensively researched.

Sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, and led by Dawn Boehde and John Porcari, Ph.D., researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, set to change that. For their study, researchers divided sedentary women into two groups and subjected each individual to a battery of fitness tests. The first group continued their inactive lifestyle for the duration of the 8-week study; the second group participated in three 55-minute yoga classes each week for two months.

After the full 8 weeks, each group was again tested. Not surprisingly, fitness measures didn’t improve for the inactive group. But for the yoga group, marked improvements were discovered in flexibility, strength, endurance and balance.

Flexibility increased from 13 – 35% for the yoga group. Strength and endurance likewise increased, especially in the core and chest; participants were able to perform 6 more push-ups and 14 more curl-ups at the end of the study. With an average one-legged stand time increase of 17-seconds, the yoga group saw improvements to balance as well. As many yoga classes aren’t cardio intensive, participants didn’t experience improvements to their aerobic abilities.

Bottom line: For the average person, yoga is a great form of exercise that can yield tremendous benefits; yoga does, in fact, work – and it can be an essential and rewarding part of your workout program. It’s also worth noting that the study lasted only 8 weeks. While the gains illustrated in this study are tremendous, imagine the changes you’d experience in a year or more.

If you’d like to learn more about yoga, or if you’re interested in giving it a try, download Davey Wavey’s Underwear Yoga program. Through the two workout videos and accompanying materials, you can start reaping the benefits of yoga without even leaving your home. Namaste ๐Ÿ™‚

Yoga and Gay Sex: What You’re Missing.

This position may give you a few, um, ideas.

When you think of yoga in the western world, you probably conjure up images of middle-aged housewives wearing Lululemon spandex. There is probably some truth to that stereotype, but more and more people are discovering the benefits of yoga. Including gay men.

The first time that I really tried yoga was senior year at university; I took a course on the subject. I was surprised by the class, and the amazing benefits that I was enjoying. And yes, some of the benefits were enjoyed between the sheets, such as:

  • Improved endurance. Yoga increases your lung capacity, which, in turn, improves performance and endurance in sports and sex alike. You can push yourself harder, faster and longer. As Martha Stewart would say, “it’s a good thing.”
  • Increased flexibility. Being able to tie your feet in a knot behind your head just may change your sex life forever. In all seriousness, an increased range of motion opens up sex to a wide range of possibilities. The impossible becomes possible, and the number of positions are limited only by one’s imagination. Headstands, binds and splits all make for some interesting options.
  • Better circulation. Yoga helps get – and keep – your blood flowing around your body and, in particular, to your pelvic region. It promotes healthier skin and organs, your penis included. It may not be Viagra, but it is natural and without the side effects.
  • Yoga boosts your energy. Like exercise in general, yoga helps keep your energy levels up. It’s better than a cup of coffee – so no more “I’m too tired” excuses.
  • Improved self-image. Yoga can make you feel a lot better about yourself. Confidence is sexy – other people will take notice.
  • Be more sensual. Yoga promotes a deeper awareness of one’s body and the sensations that it produces – including the really wonderful ones experienced during sex. Deliciousness.

Of course, yoga’s benefits go beyond the bedroom. You’ll also enjoy better posture, more controlled weight, inner peace (hopefully!) and improved concentration to name a few.

So, sign up for a beginner level class. Don’t be intimidated, even if there aren’t any other men in the class. Or download my Underwear Yoga program and try it at home. Use promo code “sex” during checkout (before Sept. 5) to save $10 off the purchase price – and if you’re not happy in 30 days, return it without a question asked.

Anyway, maybe those Lululemon-wearing middle aged housewives are onto something. Maybe it’s time for you to give yoga a try.

Have you ever taken yoga? Did you enjoy the class, and why do you think so many men are afraid to try it? Let me know in the comments below.