I’ve been reading William Broad’s book The Science of Yoga, in which he discusses the history of yoga, as well as debunking certain myths and mis-conceptions surrounding the practice. The book also takes a detailed look at modern research on the benefits of yoga.
It’s interesting to me that there is such a strong cultural desire to quantify the benefits of what is basically a practice that enhances quality of life. Simply put, yoga makes people feel good. To find out if this is true, try it for yourself.
But, if you need more, if your left brain simply won’t go along without more information, this is the book for you.
Did you know…
- Yoga actually lowers your metabolism (rather than raising it).
- Deep breathing doesn’t mean you absorb more oxygen (though your body does handle carbon dioxide differently).
- When it comes to aerobic exercise, yoga may not be your best bet.
- Some inverted yoga postures are considered high risk poses for neck injuries and stroke.
- Yoga improves your sex life (many studies have demonstrated this).
The short version? There’s much more to the practice of yoga than meets the eye. Even for experienced practitioners, there’s much in Broad’s book that will be of interest. And maybe even a few surprises along the way…