Can We Make Things Better? (Spoiler - Yep)

Transformation

Transformation is a catchword in yoga circles. Wanting to see things change, both personally and societally, is often what motivates people to practice. But the ability to bring about change does not always correspond with things getting better. Life has a curious way of balancing our desire for something new with the obstinate reality of the way things are.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

18 Amazing (and Scientific) Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is becoming more mainstream in western cultures as those who practice it realize the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with the ancient art.

Science has proven that yoga can have a transformative effect on the body, resulting in everything from lowered blood pressure to disease prevention. 

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About The Author

Jacky Miller's picture

Jacky Miller is a Registered Dietician based in New Zealand. She specializes in chronic conditions and through diet and lifestyle changes helps her patients improve their health, and lead richer, more fulfilling lives. She writes regularly on health related topics for blogs including MindBodyGreen, Jen Reviews, and The Huffington Post. 

Follow Jacky on Twitter and Facebook.

 

Brogis Need to Recognize - #TimesUp in Yoga, Too

Given the patriarchal history of yoga and society, the predominance of women in yoga classes and the marketing efforts to entice men is not only profoundly ironic but indicative of changing gender dynamics. As universal concepts continue to be teased out of the dogmas, we are challenged to let go of deeply ingrained modes of communicating. While both men and women need to play a role in restoring mutuality, it behooves men to bear the greater burden.

I am nonetheless a white privileged male who has assumed a position of authority.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Yoga Teacher as Friend

The traditional roles of yoga teacher and student have collapsed under the weight of cultural appropriation, capitalism, and scandal. In the aftermath, yoga teachers often find themselves trapped in a nowhere land somewhere between fitness instructor and life coach. But yoga is learned in relationship, the nature of which largely determines the understanding. So for yoga teachings to retain integrity in the modern world, updated models may be required.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Where Community is Found

In the new connection economy, community is an invaluable asset. When people identify with a particular set of motivating ideas, those inclinations can easily be targeted to encourage behavior with either honest or nefarious intent. Too often, calls to rally the “yoga community” fail because they inadvertently become veiled attempts to follow a model of coercion rather than camaraderie.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Yoga is Not Hard

Ohm or Ouch?

When I meet someone who is new to yoga and they learn that I am a teacher, they always say the same thing: "I went to a yoga class and it was really hard." While it's encouraging that so many people are trying yoga, that their early experiences always feel like "hard work" is unfortunate. Setting this precedent becomes the basis for many of the pitfalls that beset practitioners today.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

King and Queen of Yoga Dethroned

Royal Pain

Perhaps the most questionable convention in yoga practice is the assertion that headstand and shoulderstand are the “king and queen of asana.”  Deeply rooted in classical traditions and adopted by modern hybrids, the emphasis on these poses is an example of a broader disconnect between ideals and actualities.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Unimposing Yoga

In the pursuit of health through yoga, the challenge is often more about shifting ingrained sensibilities than addressing physical limitations. Attempting to tune, fix, quantify, purify, or explain a human body, as though it were more a piece of equipment in need of optimization or repairs than a highly temperamental organism, is not likely to heal the wounds or set a necessary course for well being.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Are You a Balanced Person?

Advertising gurus know how to use imagery to create associations and a precedent of thought that steer behavior. As yoga has grown into a common pop-culture reference, the image of someone executing balance poses has become the symbol of one's steadiness in life.  But many are learning the hard way that, actually, equanimity within requires more than these sort of displays.
 

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

Yoga and the Placebo Effect

Mind Over Matter

Recent studies are calling into question what we really know about a wide range of health conditions. Placebo is often found to be as effective as conventional treatments. The tendency to gloss over these findings with merely a warning against "fake medicine" overlooks more important implications.

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About The Author

J. Brown's picture

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, NY.  His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, and across the yoga blogosphere. Visit his website at jbrownyoga.com

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Woman leaning against red wall helplessly with head in a pipe
03/07/2018
Transformation Transformation is a catchword in yoga circles. Wanting to see things change, both personally and societally, is often what motivates people to practice. But the ability to bring... read more
Woman on beach in silhouette practicing yoga at sunset
03/02/2018
Yoga is becoming more mainstream in western cultures as those who practice it realize the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with the ancient art. Science has proven that... read more
Two people yoga pose palms up on knees
02/01/2018
Given the patriarchal history of yoga and society, the predominance of women in yoga classes and the marketing efforts to entice men is not only profoundly ironic but indicative of changing gender... read more
Illustration of guru in the forest teaching his disciples
01/10/2018
The traditional roles of yoga teacher and student have collapsed under the weight of cultural appropriation, capitalism, and scandal. In the aftermath, yoga teachers often find themselves trapped in... read more
Many hands surround stick figure drawing of friends holding hands
12/17/2017
In the new connection economy, community is an invaluable asset. When people identify with a particular set of motivating ideas, those inclinations can easily be targeted to encourage behavior with... read more
Comic image of woman stretching in the grass with look of agony.
10/19/2017
Ohm or Ouch? When I meet someone who is new to yoga and they learn that I am a teacher, they always say the same thing: "I went to a yoga class and it was really hard." While it's encouraging that... read more
Annoyed cat wearing paper crown and ribbons.
09/28/2017
Royal Pain Perhaps the most questionable convention in yoga practice is the assertion that headstand and shoulderstand are the “king and queen of asana.”  Deeply rooted in classical... read more
Close up of hand in bandage in front of red cross symbol.
09/15/2017
In the pursuit of health through yoga, the challenge is often more about shifting ingrained sensibilities than addressing physical limitations. Attempting to tune, fix, quantify, purify, or... read more
Man in business suit sitting in yoga lotus position with laptop computer.
08/25/2017
Advertising gurus know how to use imagery to create associations and a precedent of thought that steer behavior. As yoga has grown into a common pop-culture reference, the image of someone... read more

Pages

Woman leaning against red wall helplessly with head in a pipe
03/07/2018
Transformation Transformation is a catchword in yoga circles. Wanting to see things change, both personally and societally, is often what motivates people to practice. But the ability to bring... read more
Woman on beach in silhouette practicing yoga at sunset
03/02/2018
Yoga is becoming more mainstream in western cultures as those who practice it realize the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with the ancient art. Science has proven that... read more
Two people yoga pose palms up on knees
02/01/2018
Given the patriarchal history of yoga and society, the predominance of women in yoga classes and the marketing efforts to entice men is not only profoundly ironic but indicative of changing gender... read more
Illustration of guru in the forest teaching his disciples
01/10/2018
The traditional roles of yoga teacher and student have collapsed under the weight of cultural appropriation, capitalism, and scandal. In the aftermath, yoga teachers often find themselves trapped in... read more
Many hands surround stick figure drawing of friends holding hands
12/17/2017
In the new connection economy, community is an invaluable asset. When people identify with a particular set of motivating ideas, those inclinations can easily be targeted to encourage behavior with... read more
Comic image of woman stretching in the grass with look of agony.
10/19/2017
Ohm or Ouch? When I meet someone who is new to yoga and they learn that I am a teacher, they always say the same thing: "I went to a yoga class and it was really hard." While it's encouraging that... read more
Annoyed cat wearing paper crown and ribbons.
09/28/2017
Royal Pain Perhaps the most questionable convention in yoga practice is the assertion that headstand and shoulderstand are the “king and queen of asana.”  Deeply rooted in classical... read more
Close up of hand in bandage in front of red cross symbol.
09/15/2017
In the pursuit of health through yoga, the challenge is often more about shifting ingrained sensibilities than addressing physical limitations. Attempting to tune, fix, quantify, purify, or... read more
Man in business suit sitting in yoga lotus position with laptop computer.
08/25/2017
Advertising gurus know how to use imagery to create associations and a precedent of thought that steer behavior. As yoga has grown into a common pop-culture reference, the image of someone... read more

Pages