Posts Tagged ‘Yoga Accessories’

Questionable Yoga Accessories

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

online yoga courseBy Gopi Rao

The expression, “to gild the lily” means to take something that’s already beautiful, and give it unnecessary trappings to make it even better. In America, gilding the lily is a way of life. We have become so used to the commercialization of so many of our activities, that we barely notice any more when we are the target market. Yoga, due to its increasing popularity, has become such a focus. Below, please find some accessories that marketers have tried to pair with Yoga, that not only fail to improve practice, but can actively hinder it.

Essential oils

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) found, in a 2007 study, that lavender and tea tree oils can mimic estrogens, causing some extreme effects, such as young boys developing breast tissue. Use these oils with care and constraint.

Boot cut, floor-grazing pants

These pants are certainly more flattering than tapered, slim fit pants. However, stepping on the cuff, and falling over, is much more common in these styles. Select your pants for a close, comfortable fit.

Toe Rings

Wearing toe rings, during Yoga exercises, can be harmful if the foot swells. In addition, asanas, which bend the toes forward, can cause the toe ring to cut into the flesh of the toe. In India, where toe rings are commonly worn, doctors see many such foot injuries, and amputations are common. Toe rings, and other jewelry, should always be removed before practice.

Incense

A 2008 article entitled, “Incense Smoke: Clinical, Structural and Molecular Effects on Airway Disease,” in Clinical and Molecular Allergy Journal, lays out the dangers of incense smoke. Cigarettes produce particulates at a rate of about 10 mg per gram burned; incense produces more than 45 mg per gram burned. The authors of the article, and researchers, found inhaled incense smoke pollutants to cause respiratory system dysfunction, and to be indicated in allergic contact dermatitis. Incense smoke can also trigger asthma attacks. Do you really want smoke in your Yoga school?

Black Henna

Henna, a flowering plant, can be used to temporarily stain skin, nails, or hair with designs. However, “black henna,” a product illegal in the United States, can be made from the dried indigo plant or from para-phenylenediamine, an ingredient in black hair dyes. The “tattoos,” produced with black henna, can result in chemical burns and in future allergic reactions to printer ink, perfumes, chemical hair dyes, textile dye, sunscreen, photographic developer, and some medications.

Temptations, to make Yoga training more glamorous, abound. Before buying an expensive or potentially dangerous accessory, consider what you really need for practice: an open mind, a willing body, and a simple space.

© Copyright 2011 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

See our selection of Online Yoga teacher training courses and programs for continuing education(CECs).

Use Yoga Accessories to Relieve Back Pain Now

Friday, December 25th, 2009

By Denise Loubert

A centuries-old tradition can help relieve chronic back pain with a modest investment of time or money. Millions of Americans have turned to Yoga practice and its easy yoga accessories to cure one of the most incapacitating problems of modern life – chronic back pain.

Yoga History – It is estimated yoga began in India in prehistoric times, more than 5,000 years ago. Although Yoga probably arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, it did not become fashionable with it’s use of various yoga accessories to aid the practice until the 1960s.

Growth of Yoga in America – Yoga’s enormous growth is a reflection of how hot this solution has become for chronic pain. A 2008 study by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau indicates that 15.8 million people practice yoga, with almost half (49.4%) of current practitioners using yoga accessories such as blocks or straps in concurrence with their practice to improve their health overall. Numerous people state that a doctor or therapist recommended yoga as beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for chronic pain.

With the comparatively low cost of yoga accessories such as videos for private practice, it is no wonder that this economical and proven relief for chronic back pain has grown. “Yoga is no longer simply a singular pursuit but a lifestyle choice and an established part of our health and cultural landscape,” says Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal.

Scientific Research – In 2005 researchers at Group Health Cooperative and the University of Washington looked at patients suffering from back pain and concluded that yoga used in combination with simple yoga accessories was the most effective relief method resulting in the most mobility and the least pain. A similar study by West Virginia University found that participants who completed a yoga program reported appreciably lower levels of back pain. In addition Harvard Medical School reported that mind-body medicine including yoga is the most widely used and effective alternative therapy for such chronic pain as back pain.

Yoga Heals Back Pain Quickly – “Yoga works on stretching and strengthening, and the key to long-term healing is strength,” says Liz Owen, who studied with B.K.S. Iyengar, founder of the Iyengar yoga discipline. “Since the emotional effects of chronic pain are often devastating, the calming, grounding benefits of yoga can be very therapeutic.” Viniyoga is an modified form of yoga that focuses on slow stretches and deep breathing and the use of several yoga accessories such as blocks. It is used in many medical institutions such as UCLA’s Pediatric Pain Program which features yoga, and the Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center which offers yoga classes along with acupuncture and nutritional counseling.

Get Relief Now – For many people who suffer chronic pain, yoga has proven to be a simple and economical first step in becoming knowledgeable about how to cope with their pain. By using a few yoga accessories to help them achieve the poses, even a beginner can find relief quickly. Their symptoms vary-from headaches and arthritis to chronic back pain and anxiety – but their stories are astonishingly similar: For those looking for help in coping with their pain problems, yoga works.

Deni Loubert is a twenty year practitioner of yoga and a published author. She became a big supporter of yoga when she found profound relief from chronic back pain from a car accident a few years ago. If you suffer from this kind of pain – you don’t need to any longer.