“Role of Yoga for Patients with Type II Diabetes” and Lack of Methodological Rigour in Yoga Research

If you have a copy of “Light on Yoga” by Iyengar, in it you will find a whole index of asana and pranayama suggestions for a wide range of ailments. For example, if you are suffering from diabetes, Iyengar suggests that you do inversions, seated and standing forward folds, backbends, and twists (Yes, that’s right! All kinds of yoga poses)*. The point is that traditional notion assumes yoga practice is healing for “obvious” reasons. Exciting as it may sound, I would say that unless such claims are supported by solid scientific evidence, they should be taken with a large dose of scepticism.

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Is Yoga Safe? Is Yoga Safer Than Other Types of Exercise?

I haven’t been doing yoga for a very long time therefore I wasn’t even aware of the very traditional notion that yoga poses are supposed to be healing and yoga cannot harm you. I’ve always assumed that yoga would affect one as any other type of exercise would for better or worse. It turns out that it actually is the case. Reliable studies indicate that yoga is a physical exercise that could cause injuries in the way that any other type of exercise would when one does not pay attention to safety. It is neither more or less dangerous or safe than other physical practices, so there can be no such assumption regarding the inherent safety of yoga poses or practice.

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Mindfulness-based yoga practice vs Daily Walks on Depression in Women

In yoga research, the most common research designs is to compare pre and post measures of a group of people completing a yoga programme. The second most favourite  design is to compare a yoga group to an inactive group. Both these designs are unreliable. The first one usually fails to produce similar results, thereby causing serious issues for generalisation of those results. And the second one carries the potential to exaggerate the results in favour of yoga and ignore the fact that other types of exercise have similar benefits.

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Is Pranayama Effective in Asthma Treatment?

Asthma and Pranayama

A 2014 study by Cramer, Posadzki, Dobos, and Langhorst reviews and meta-analyses the available data on efficacy and safety of yoga in alleviating asthma. Based on their findings, they conclude that “yoga cannot be considered a routine intervention for asthmatic patients at this point. It can be considered an ancillary intervention or an alternative to breathing exercises for asthma patients interested in complementary interventions”.

ref:

Cramer H, Posadzki P, Dobos G, Langhorst J (2014) Yoga for asthma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, vol. 112, issue 6 Published by American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology DOI: 10.1016/j.anai.2014.03.014

Feel Better at Work

Winter is dark in Norway, unless it snows and it hasn’t snowed enough to light up the town. At the heart of the winter, it becomes very difficult for me to maintain an optimum level of work motivation and engagement throughout the day. I feel drowsy and less focused. I know many experience it, too. Fortunately, the days are steadily getting longer so we can have almost a decent amount of sun light but sun light cannot do much unless we decide to feel better and do something about it.
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Stress – I: What?

It is that time in the semester! As the exams and deadlines for hand-ins approach, many have already started to feel the pressure.

Stress symbol isolated on white background

Stress is pressure. It is neither good nor bad. It is just that: pressure. How we feel under stress/pressure depends on our expectations regarding the consequences of the origin of stress. Stress is anything that influences our homeostasis, that is our balanced and content state. This could be as insignificant as a quick summer drizzle that cools your skin down for a minute or as significant as the death of a loved one, a loud noise in the middle of the night, an exam at the end of the semester, falling in love, a youtube video of very cute kittens, exercising, watching a favourite programme on the telly etc… anything that gets your heart beating up and creates even a quantum of excitement or surprise.

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