By William J. Broad
Author of The Science of Yoga
Yoga (which means “union”) is one of the world’s fastest-growing health and fitness activities. Practitioners are estimated at 20 million in the U.S. (and more than 250 million around the globe):
—70-80 percent of practitioners are women, median ages 35-45
—90 percent have college degrees
—60 percent are managers
Here are the 8 great myths about yoga, none of them based in reality:
Modern forms date to the 1920s.
Its roots are spiritual.
It began centuries ago as a sex cult.
It works miracles.
It produces changes mistaken for miracles.
It can stop hearts.
It can stop blood flow but not the heartbeat.
It raises oxygen levels.
Fast breathing cuts oxygen levels in the brain.
It speeds up the metabolism.
It slows the metabolism.
It promotes weight loss.
Metabolic slowing means it can promote weight gain.
It can be quite dangerous.
But, the news isn’t all bad, of course. The eight rewards of yoga include:
Do you practice yoga?