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Can Yoga Help You Lose Weight? 8 Myths about Yoga

The Science of Yoga author William J. Broad explores 8 yoga myths that could impact your healthy practiceBy 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:
MYTH:
It’s old.
FACT:
Modern forms date to the 1920s.

MYTH:
Its roots are spiritual.
FACT:
It began centuries ago as a sex cult.

MYTH:
It works miracles.
FACT:
It produces changes mistaken for miracles.

MYTH:
It can stop hearts.
FACT:
It can stop blood flow but not the heartbeat.

MYTH:
It raises oxygen levels.
FACT:
Fast breathing cuts oxygen levels in the brain.

MYTH:
It speeds up the metabolism.
FACT:
It slows the metabolism.

MYTH:
It promotes weight loss.
FACT:
Metabolic slowing means it can promote weight gain.

MYTH:
It’s safe.
FACT:
It can be quite dangerous.

But, the news isn’t all bad, of course. The eight rewards of yoga include:
—Lifts moods
—Enhances health
—Improves sex
—Fosters creativity
—Cuts stress
—Counters aging
—Fights disease
—Improves balance

Do you practice yoga?

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