Lovely news for Yogis (and Yoginis).

It’s an exciting time to be practicing (and teaching) Yoga.  Every time I read health literature (or any kind of ‘trendy’ magazine), I find new research published that shows more ways in which Yoga is a glorious boost to one’s health: physically, mentally, emotionally, even spiritually.

Yoga T-Shirt

Here are a couple recent finds from a random read today on the treadmill… Fabulous.

Taken from Fitness Magazine, December 2008  

Fitness Mag Website Screen Shot

Outsmart Your Fat Hormones:

Hormone Culprit: Cortisol

Wreaks Havoc: During stressful situations

The Science Behind It:

When you’re tense, your adrenal glands increase the release of cortisol, the infamous ‘stress hormone.’  Your body interprets the sudden surge as a response to a fight-or-flight situation, causing you to crave high-fat and high-sugar foods — meant to replenish the energy your body believes it spent warding off danger.  What’s worse, cortisol is also partly responsible for the unsightly – and unhealthy – belly bulge, a known risk factor for heart disease and diabetes, say researches from teh University of California at San Francisco.  ‘Because the abdomen has a greater density of cortisol receptors than other areas in the body, stress affects that tissue the most.  So eating sugary or fatty food in combination with high cortisol levels tends to cause fat to be deposited around your middle and central organs,’ says Emily Newman, Ph.D., lecturer in health psychology a the University of Edinburgh.

Your Outsmart-It Plan:

Exercise.  Elite athletes have lower levels of cortisol under stress than nonexercisers, find a recent study from the University of Zurich.  Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins that ‘signal to the brain that everything is okay, helping to drive cortisol production down,’ says neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Female Brain.  Not a marathoner?  Yoga and meditation suppress the hormone too.  In fact, cortisol levels dip as much as 25 percent after just one 50-minute yoga session, according to the Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.  

CobraAnd another, from the same issue…

Get 5 Pounds Thinner This Month!

…Perfect posture is the easiest way to look as if you spent a week at a weight-loss spa.  To stand taller, start your day with yoga.  An hour and a half twice weekly for nine weeks added a centimeter to the stature of women, found a recent Temple University study. 

Yoga class, anyone?  Oh how I’d love to see you some more.  Cheers!

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