This yoga is pretty much the antithesis to Ashtanga

No, I’m not talking about Iyengar. Not even paddleboard yoga.

I’m talking 3-D Yoga.

And you’re saying, “Whatcha talkin’ about?”

Honestly, I have no idea. And, no, that hasn’t stopped me before. But here’s what I saw in a Hello! magazine (I think it’s right there with Yoga Journal as an authentic resource) piece. I wouldn’t be sharing it except one line really jumped out at me:

3-D Tips to improve your practice

• Don’t practice the same postures over and over again. The body gets used to them and imbalances are created which weaken the muscles’ ability to ‘spring’ back

• Instead of holding a pose, move the body in and out of it so you are working with and against gravity, momentum and ground reaction

• Change the position of the feet and arms. The joints and muscles will experience different degrees of rotation and motion.

It was the first bullet point that caught my eye. I’ll admit that Bobbie and I at times struggle with the repetitive nature of Ashtanga; it’s among the top complaints about the practice. (Probably the top one? All the chaturangas, which ultimately amounts to the same thing. Complaint No. 2? All the forward folds in the Primary.) But, I assume like many of you, the repetition is also Ashtanga’s most compelling feature. The sameness is a strength, as it allows you to explore your body and your breath (and a bunch of other, inner things) instead of exploring a new pose or a new sequence or a new teacher playlist.

The sameness is what helps you progress inward through all the Koshas.

And so I’m struck by this 3-D Yoga, the name of which is so clearly a marketing gimmick, right? But here’s a bit more on it:

This modern style is the brainchild of instructors Vicky Holmstock and Simon Whithall, and – as the name suggests – provides the kind of practice that jumps out of the exercise studio and deep into your physical wellbeing.

“With 3-D, postures aren’t just a case of stretch and hold. They are based on the biomechanics of how the body naturally moves and responds in its environment” Vicky explains.

“Our yogis push their poses through three planes of motion – forward and back, side to side and rotating all at the same time. What we really want is to train and keep the body and mind as elasticas possible so that both reach their full potential.

A typical sequence might be to take a traditional posture or sun salutation and constantly change the hand and foot position within the 3-D planes of motion explained above. Each tweak would work different muscles, giving more of an all-round workout with quicker results.”

I’m not going to throw down judgment on this based on one quick mag piece. I’m working on my judgmental nature, after all. I just note that what this yoga is suggesting is bad is what’s central to Ashtanga.

OK. So that was a bit of an empty yogic calorie information. Not to worry, because there’s also this to pass on:

Yoga may help stroke survivors improve balance

July 26, 2012

Study Highlights:

  • Group yoga can help patients’ balance improve long after a stroke.
  • Yoga for chronic stroke patients appears to be cost effective and might help them become more active.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 3PM CT/4PM ET, Thursday, July 26, 2012DALLAS, July 26, 2012 — Group yoga can improve balance in stroke survivors who no longer receive rehabilitative care, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.In a small pilot study, researchers tested the potential benefits of yoga among chronic stroke survivors — those whose stroke occurred more than six months earlier.“For people with chronic stroke, something like yoga in a group environment is cost effective and appears to improve motor function and balance,” said Arlene Schmid, Ph.D., O.T.R., lead researcher and a rehabilitation research scientist at Roudebush Veterans Administration-Medical Center and Indiana University, Department of Occupational Therapy in Indianapolis, Ind.The study’s 47 participants, about three-quarters of them male veterans, were divided into three groups: twice-weekly group yoga for eight weeks; a “yoga-plus” group, which met twice weekly and had a relaxation recording to use at least three times a week; and a usual medical care group that did no rehabilitation.The yoga classes, taught by a registered yoga therapist, included modified yoga postures, relaxation, and meditation. Classes grew more challenging each week.Compared with patients in the usual-care group, those who completed yoga or yoga-plus significantly improved their balance.

The piece goes on, but that’s the gist, and more to add to the every-expanding catalog of research that yoga (meaning both asana and internal focus/meditation) is good for you.

So get that Ashtanga app, right?

Posted by Steve