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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Is it me, or are dog owners a little nuts when it comes to their pooch? The New York times ran an article on the new half-baked trend of “Doga” – literally, yoga with your dog. Apparently there are classes popping up all over the country, from Seattle to Chicago and Manhattan.

Here are a few excerpts from the article:

One women is quoted, “Doga runs the risk of trivializing yoga by turning a 2,500-year-old practice into a fad,” said Julie Lawrence, 60, a yoga instructor and studio owner in Portland, Ore”

“Paula Apro, 40, of Eastford, Conn., owner of an online yoga retail store, tried a class near her home last summer…Owners struggled to get their very real dogs to replicate the stuffed-animal poses, she said, and bags of treats were used to get the dogs to change positions. “It was lunacy,” Ms. Apro recalled. “Peanuts, my retired racer greyhound, didn’t participate at all. Instead, I did downward-facing dog while he ate the most treats he’s ever had in a 60-minute period.”

My comments:

There’s no question that dog owners are themselves a “special breed.” Many it seems hate to be separated from their dogs  – for some, separating themselves for long enough to take a yoga class isn’t even an option! While I can think of better things to do with $15 – (and I imagine there are several free activities out there you can do with your dog), if it makes you happy, who am I to say it’s crazy?

Another quote from the article:

“Ms. Yang, 39, a financial analyst in Manhattan, has gone to doga classes for more than a year. Though she says that her 10-pound Shih Tzu, Sophie, has helped deepen her stretches by providing extra weight, the main reason she goes is to bond with her dog. “I always leave with a smile,” she said.”

For the full article by Bethany Lyttle, click here:

Bonding with their Downward-Facing Humans

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Bad economy, buff body?
Article in yesterday’s Times By MANDY KATZ:

On Wall Street, when the going gets tough, will the tough get yoga mats?

Adding classes in yoga, meditation and other so-called mind-body regimens is just one way fitness professionals in the financial district are responding to recent economic uncertainties roiling their corporate clientele. Some are also offering shorter, cheaper personal training sessions and, in at least one health club, quiet discounts for members who lose their jobs.

Amid layoffs, concerns about staying buff could seem trivial. (Imagine the headline “World Markets Near Collapse: Muscle Tone Under Threat.”) Yet, businesspeople themselves wonder how a perilous financial climate will affect their physical fitness — and if exercise could help them weather hard times.

Staying Healthy in a Sick Economy

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Hot yoga can be a messy business. You can’t be afraid of a little or a lot of sweat. But we’ve all heard the tales of people getting sick from communal mats. In fact, the concern at one point seemed to be so widespread that the New York Times covered the story a couple years back.

Communal Yoga Mats: Beware of Germs, by Abby Ellin. “In the last two years, Dr. Cohen said, he has seen a 50 percent spike in patients with athlete’s foot and plantar warts. The likely culprit? Unclean exercise mats, he said…

Research has not confirmed the link between unclean yoga mats and fungal, bacterial and viral infections better known as jock itch, plantar warts and staph infections. Nor can dermatologists and podiatrists conclusively trace these ailments to dirty yoga mats.

Still, some are making unofficial connections.

I must say in the past two years, it seems yoga studios have stepped up they’re cleaning protocol on communal mats. At Jivamukti you put your mat in a laundry bin following class to be washed before the next person uses it- and they’re not even a hot studio. At YogaWorks you also hand your mat back to someone at the front desk, but I honestly don’t know what they do with them once they’re handed over. Most common is the spray bottle solution. Studios like Prana Power Yoga offer spray bottles with cleaning solution but it’s up to the individual to decide how diligent they are going to clean up after themselves. Unfortunately, Prana also offers paper towels…yikes…SO not green. Where can we find compromise? Shiva Shakti in Northampton, MA offers spray bottles with sponges. But I question how much bacteria a sponge can host and transfer from mat to mat? I’m no scientist so I say invest in buying and bringing your own mat! Especially if your studio has mat storage. No one wants to grab that rented mat and have to wonder if it’s wet because it’s been cleaned or because it has been sweat on, ew.

And, I know studios make it a habit to try and clean the floors in between each class but some transitions simply don’t allow enough time to mop the floors before people swarm in. But really, there’s nothing like stepping in a puddle of someone else’s sweat that gets you off on the wrong foot (really, no pun intended).

As for cleaning your own mat, Yoga Journal’s advice is this:

If your mat is lightly soiled, use a spray bottle, damp sponge, or terry cloth rag to apply a solution of two cups of water and four drops of dish soap. Rub the soiled areas. Wipe the mat with clean water; then rub with a dry terry cloth towel. Hang to air dry.

If your mat is heavily soiled, submerge it in a solution of warm water and mild detergent; use very little soap as any residue may cause the mat to become slippery during future use. Thoroughly hand wash the mat and rinse in clean water. After squeezing out the excess water, lay the mat on a dry towel and roll the mat and towel together. Stepping on the rolled up mat will squeeze more moisture out of the mat and into the towel. Then unroll and hang to air dry.”- Donna Raskin

If you’re looking for an even deeper clean, visit the sight of your mat’s maker- often times your mat can handle a trip through the washing machine and even dryer!

Stay clean!

-Eliza

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Photo of Estelle by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

The New York Times featured a great article back in July on 8o-year-old Oscar winning Estelle Parsons– currently starring in the Broadway show “August: Osage County”  in the role of Violet Weston attributes her fitness to hiking, swimming and her 30 years of yoga practice.

“…she does yoga in her dressing room and at home whenever she gets a few minutes.”

Find the article here and be inspired: The Role is a Workout, but She’s Fit

by David Belcher

-Eliza

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