This week an article called Characteristics of Yoga Practice and Predictors of Practice Frequency captured my interest. The article is from the International Journal of Yoga Therapy and the reason for the study is to understand ‘practice behaviors’ to ‘better enable health providers to implement yoga for health’. Good so far.
They found that the least frequent place of practice was at work (that’s got to rise!) and the most frequent was the yoga studio. However, most of the people they surveyed (61%) had a regular home practice and, of those, roughly half followed a routine taught by someone else and half made up their own practice. That’s a really high number! Not many people (1.6%) had private classes and a tiny amount (0.6%) used a dvd at home – incredible given the sales in yoga dvds and apps.
I can’t help thinking that the outcomes would have been fascinating if the survey had been taken in India, not America. Yoga therapy in India is taken seriously and has a long history, longer than yoga for sport or pastime or fitness. (To pass his ‘teacher training’, Pattabhi Jois had to cure a sick person with yoga.) However, this survey is looking for answers for health providers. If group classes come out on top then perhaps doctors’ surgeries need to become venues for yoga therapy classes! That waiting room, after hours, can host a class!
Yoga for health is something very different to what we find in gyms or studios. Here’s a list of 101 different health conditions that can benefit from Yoga from Dr Timothy McCall who wrote Yoga As Medicine. People don’t generally go to a happy, skippy gym or studio class hoping to combat alcoholism, obesity, Guillain-Barré Syndrome, cancers, PTSD, Psoriasis, Kidney failure, Parkinsons... - Dr McCall's list is mind-blowing.
Getting back to your home practice, here’s something for you. The totally free method, online video at home, came up with 2.9% in the survey (which doesn’t explain the popularity of Yoga with Adriene – people love her). Here are another couple of videos to try to inspire you: David Swenson 30 minute practice with his beguiling voice; Kino Macgregor’s Half Primary Series, Power Yoga, Mark Gonzales which will work up a sweat for you.
Come to class! Come and be inspired. Come with health issues and I’ll see what I can do. You can see class availability on my website (which I update often).
I received this very kind offer from Sara Castoldi, an osteopath at Osteopathy West London on New Broadway. She would like to offer a 25% on the first consultation and treatment and 20% discount on further treatments for yogis who come to my Home Studio. She also specialises in paediatric and pregnancy care. Contact her on 07988661917 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga in the news
Prince Charles funds yoga and meditation for young prisoners the Telegraph tells us. He wants to restore “hope and positivity” behind bars and so has given a grant to the Prison Phoenix Trust whose project is to bring harmony to young offenders through yoga. £5,000 was granted to yoga; £37,000 to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust; £118,000 to Oxford Plant Sciences.
The independent has Plus-size woman becomes yoga teacher after noticing lack of diversity among instructors. The Californian teacher says ‘she is the healthiest she has ever been, just wants to help and inspire other people to exercise and feel confident through yoga’.
The London Post gives us FREE Yoga Classes at Boxpark Shoreditch. A French yoga company, Baya, is hosting a pop-up yoga shop from January 15th-21st and offering free classes on the 16th and 20th.