Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 14 2010

Empowering Poses

By Mark Sisson
75 Comments

I’m not big on yoga, as most of you know. Too much idle time for me. I’d rather be playing. But last Sunday (a beautiful, sunny, SUP kinda day), I caved to the pressures of my wife Carrie, who loves yoga, and attended a session. It was to be a multi-hour event (a “workshop”) so we brought pillows and fur blankets to be comfortable. As we’re entering the studio, bedding in tow, I run into Michael Anderson, the owner of CrossFit Malibu sitting in the atrium, sipping on a Starbucks coffee. I must have looked like a deer caught in headlights and he just grinned. Mark Sisson, Mr. Primal, with a furry blanket and just moments from striking a pose and singing some oms. I told him that nothing was going on here, mumbled something about research and that he hadn’t seen anything. We winked and went our separate ways. I kid, of course, but there might be something to this after all.

A few months ago, I wrote about the concept of embodied cognition, a relatively new (or renewed, as is often the case) area of study that focuses on the body’s influence over the mind. Our kinesthetic engagement with our environment, our movements both large and subtle have dramatic sway, embodied cognition suggests, over everything from our emotion experience to our learning ability. Yet, new research (PDF) broadens the picture significantly. The findings, I think, can add a new wrinkle to our wellness endeavors.

Professors from Harvard Business School and Columbia University measured the impact of “expansive” and “constrictive” postures on subjects’ subjective sense of power, their tolerance for risk, and hormonal secretion. The researchers directed half of the 42 participants to pose in two “expansive” positions: one in which they sat on a chair with their feet elevated on a desk and their hands behind their heads, and one in which they leaned over the desk with their hands widely spread and resting on the desk. The other subjects were assigned “constrictive” postures: one in which they sat on a chair with legs together and hands on their thighs, and one in which they stood with legs and arms crossed. Participants didn’t know the real purpose of the study and believed researchers were assessing electrode placement in varying positions.

Following the exercises, researchers took samples to measure testosterone and cortisol levels, which they compared to levels taken before the pose exercises. As the researchers note, higher testosterone levels are associated with dominance in the animal world. Correspondingly, higher cortisol levels reflect increased stress and are associated with lower status in animal groups.) The researchers also directed subjects to fill out a form asking them questions that assessed how powerful they felt. Finally, they gave the subjects two dollars and offered them the opportunity to gamble the money with the chance to win an additional two dollars.

The results? Those who had been placed in the expansive poses reported feeling more powerful and were significantly more likely to participate in the gambling opportunity (86% compared to 60%). Their hormone readings showed (PDF) lower cortisol and higher testosterone levels than those who had assumed the constrictive positions.

The researchers attribute the phenomenon to evolutionary strategies of competition and survival. The bigger an animal can make its body appear (by puffing its chest, standing upright, raising its wings or fanning its feathers), the more intimidated – and hesitant – a predator will be. Expansion of physical appearance prepares the animal to fend off an attack. Likewise, the researchers say, constrictive poses reflect a protective stance, such as prey would take during an attack when instinct directs them to shield essential organs.

Although the study only tested four particular poses, the overall expansive/constrictive principle is key. Those who practice yoga have likely observed these sensations. (Warrior pose and goddess pose – two “expansive” positions – have their commanding names for a reason.) Manipulating our physical posture, embodied cognition suggests, can have a dramatic psychological impact. In the case of yoga therapy, open, expansive poses can help initiate the release of blocked emotion. This particular study offers the first evidence that officially links embodiment to both hormonal changes and “behavioral choice.”

The researchers see extraordinary implications to their findings. Individuals can use these kinds of poses to, in essence, practice empowerment. In the short term, striking a power pose before walking into an interview, for example, can give a quick but very real boost in confidence. Yet, the more significant benefits are likely long-term. As the researchers note, high cortisol impairs immune function, while higher testosterone levels together with lower cortisol readings are associated with positive health outcomes like “disease resistance and leadership abilities.” Over time, this pose training can change both our mindsets and our neuroendocrine profiles in positive ways. The result? Better physical health and mental well-being. What’s not to love here?

In the pursuit of wellness, there’s naturally a lot of focus on maintaining a positive attitude. The mental game we bring to our efforts can obviously make a huge difference in our motivation and staying power. Nonetheless, embodied cognition teaches us that the mind-body connection is a two-way street if not a full-on cycle of physiological and psychological linkages. Our brains can influence our physiology, yes. Conversely, our physical actions and postures have the power to alter our mental state. The cycle continues through the course of attitudes, choices and hormonal responses that stem from this initiated mental state. As the researchers say, “fake it ‘til you make it.” It opens up a whole new angle of thinking about motivation and success, doesn’t it?

How many of us find ourselves identifying here? Yoga buffs, what perspective does your practice add to this research? I’ll be interested to read your thoughts. Have a great afternoon, everybody.

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75 thoughts on “Empowering Poses”

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  1. Interesting stuff. I sit hunched over working at a computer for many hours at a time and I always feel stressy afterwards. If I can just find a way to work at my computer while sprawled out. 🙂

    Also even though yoga may be kind of sucky for a primal person it just goes to show that *any* new experience is good for the mind and leads to happier healthier brain that comes up with interesting ideas.

    We should all be doing something unusual for us on a regular basis.

    1. Check out the Queen of posture and back pain … Esther Gokahle (Mark has articles about her). See her book in amazon (8 steps to a pain free back). I worked for me big time!

  2. I like yoga. I find it fun, and it’s the only tribal thing I do.

  3. Great post. Don´t be ashamed of yoga! Even USA Marines are using it today for their training!

    I have done yoga for a long time, and I am a new paleo, thanks to your site.

    Yoga is an excellent complement to paleo workouts.

    I use it in a soft, stretching way but some other days as a full strength paleo excercise. Yoga could be a very demanding strength excercise!

    By the way, I have kept doing “dands” and “bethaks” (hindu squats and pushups). They are in between yoga and body weight. Excellent companions of the excercises described in your bluprint.

    Best regards from Uruguay.

    Jose.

  4. I actually picked up a yoga book/DVD earlier today. My reasons were two-fold: stress reduction and increased flexibility. I have actually been practicing mindfulness meditation (aka not new-agey chakra stuff) for a few weeks now, and found it extremely helpful with my stress levels and ability to sleep. I think of yoga as the next step from there.

  5. Oh yeah, and the feeling of well-being afterwords is unrivaled by any other workouts.

  6. The things we do for our wives eh? 🙂

    I just hope no PETA-vegan yoga disciples saw your fur blanket.

    Interesting column though. I’ll try a few warrior poses before my next presentation and see if it doesn’t boost my confidence.

  7. Makes a lot of sense. If you stop to think about it, you’ll recall a whole lot of ways that this idea has manifested itself in our culture.

    Athletes do things to psych themselves up before competition – jump, pound their chests, etc. In entertainment, especially extremely stylized entertainment like video games and anime, the characters very particularly and deliberately strike iconic and “powerful” poses before attacking.

    Plus, there’s all that great dimestore psychology that we can all bring out to talk about the various ways dominance manifests itself physically!

  8. Very cool, Mark. I started practicing yoga quite reluctantly a few years ago, and now it’s part of my daily physical practice in some form or another – usually as a cooldown from my strength training, but also as a stand-alone practice, too.

    There are a myriad of benefits to be had from a regular yoga practice, but when speaking in terms of empowerment, I think that empowering poses are only a small part of it.

    A yoga practice that addresses your specific needs will always be empowering because it forces you to actively seek out your weaknesses and overcome them. It forces you to take control over your breathing, structure, and movement in the present – and that is quite empowering. Not to mention the postural benefits from a balanced yoga routine that will naturally translate to feeling more empowered in your day-to-day life.

  9. If I ever try it again, it will be with an instructor. I have only tried it at home (with videos) and as soon as I start really getting into it, I end up hurting myself and have to stop. 🙁

  10. I do the P90X yoga about once a week. I hate it while I’m doing it, but I always feel great after wards.

    1. Me too! I actually look forward to it, and at the same time kind of dread it because it’s such a long video. I have to admit though, I love the way it makes me feel!

  11. Yoga integrates body and mind, not through new-age hoohaa, but by strenthening neuronal connections…in the same way that walking barefoot can.
    It can be very athletic, or a simple, gentle way for seniors to regain their sense of balance and prevent falls.
    I think that primal and yoga are a great fit, and I don’t understand why men get embarassed; its great for your golf swing.

    1. Actually, yoga screwed up my golf swing by making me more flexible and able to rotate too far.

      1. No offense, but your swing must have been dysfunctional prior to the yoga.

  12. Sorry, I’m Christian so I don’t do yoga!

    Kidding of course! I just thought it was funny that this post came up now, with all the talk of Yoga being somehow incompatible with Christianity in the news lately.

    I’m actually reading a boook on Yoga at the moment(its free online if anyone is interested – http://www.swami-krishnananda.org/intro/An%20Introduction%20to%20the%20Philosophy%20of%20Yoga%20by%20Swami%20Krishnananda.pdf ), trying to get a basic idea of the philosophy before I go into the physical aspect of it. Once I do start that, though, I’ll definitely pay attention to how my body and mind are reacting to the various poses. Thanks!

  13. Cool! I can finally enjoy yoga because it has an official study that gives an evolutionary explanation. (rolls eyes)

  14. I love yoga! I love how it challenges me, how it strengthens me, how it loosens me up, how it relaxes me…

  15. I feel these same sensations after tai chi class. Tai chi gives so much, especially when you really need it.

  16. Mark,
    I read the whole post and you never said if you liked it or not. Would you go back?

  17. Over the last several months, I have almost entirely reshaped my body practicing the warrior poses, triangle poses and sun salutations with heavy focus on the plank position. The warrior pose has greater thinned my thighs which were very thick and heavy. Together with the triangle pose and plank position core poses, my gut is gone, down from a 42 waist to a 38. I like yoga because I frankly could not practice the more aggressive and cardio challenging primal workouts, but now I find that I can and my body is encouraging me to run and practice those Grok moves. I have concluded that these simple but effective yoga practice is a great gateway to more advanced primal exercises.

    1. Sorry for the terrible grammar, I usually do a better job of checking myself

  18. OMG! I am so excited that you are onboard. I have been easing into the primal lifestyle and was disappointed when I read that you were not a fan of yoga. I stopped going and have missed the stress relief that only yoga offers. Thank your wife for me.

    1. are you serious? MDA has turned into a freaking cult with Mark as the almighty guru.

  19. As someone whose primary physical exercise is yoga I can say that it has huge benefits for the primal lifestyle. However it depends on the style of yoga you chose to practice. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga when done carefully and slowly can be extremely invigorating and one hell of a work out. With the emphasis on breathing slowly and deeply and the correct balancing of strength and flexibilty, it can be a great workout in itself. Check out Youtube for some amazing examples of strength, flexiblity and balance.
    Eating primal just enhances the practice for me, I recover faster, I have less inflammation so I feel more flexible, and I still have more than enough energy to play. The best part for me is the flexibility will allow me to play into my later years without a busted back or broken hip.

  20. I don’t practice as much as I’d like to, but when I’m consistent, it provides huge benefits as far as stress relief, strength and flexibility. It also helps dealing with the “pain” of Crossfit — I handle that better because I breathe through the tough parts.

      1. Same in the East, but that does not stop me from going to the yoga class (single guy and like 15 ladies!)

  21. Now I’m kinda worried that my yoga practice might make me into a compulsive gambler…

    I started practicing yoga when I had a hip injury that led to back pain, when I was around 40. I couldn’t do the gardening work that I loved, and the pain was really debilitating sometimes. I started with some “gentle yoga” videos and progressed through some more difficult videos. And the back pain went away!

    Now I practice the Bikram yoga series every other day. I find that it’s a good complement to Lifting Heavy Things and walking and gardening.

    1. Do it! I think you’ll enjoy it. It adds a whole new dimension to your workout routine – also nice for the “rest” days… try a class. I am fortunate to have a yoga studio across the street. They offer all kinds of different classes along with pilates.

  22. I did yoga for years and loved it, but when I went Primal I gradually began more sprinting and body weight workouts and left yoga behind. At first this was OK, but now after about 6 months I’m losing the flexibility that I guess I had begun to take for granted. I realize now that I never should have stopped, and intend to begin yoga again very soon. It makes sense to me that lifting heavy things and sprinting are very tightening movements and that ideally we stretch to provide balance. And I mean regular yoga, not just a few quick stretches before lifting.

  23. I wasn’t much of a yoga person either until I tried a Les Mills BodyFlow class. It’s a tai chi warm-up with yoga and a short segment of pilates (the CW yuppies have to do crunches to tone up that belly). Crunching aside, I really enjoy it because it’s more focused on yoga as exercise (as opposed to meditation) and thus more challenging and stimulating for me. I’ve become addicted to it because after each session I feel like I’ve just come back from a massage – everything is in its proper place and I am ready to keep rolling. I’m standing taller and straighter, the booty is looking good and it’s helped my dance (I can kick higher and turn out more). I love it! I have also just returned to school (for my PhD) and am feeling more confident and assertive than I did as an MA student. Related to the yoga? Possibly.

  24. That’s an amazing study–what would happen if women stopped putting themselves in “ladylike” poses all day?

  25. As someone who is still checking out the Primal lifestyle (especially the fitness part), I feel empowered by this post…

    I always have a constricted posture, even when standing, and that is going to change today! I notice elevated stress levels and a weaker immune system. I thought it was from working in law enforcement, but having been laid off for 15 months now (and loving working at home) i still notice the stress and weaker immune system… never thought it’d be from how I sit and stand.

    For those that sit at work all day, a yoga ball/balance ball can be a good alternative to your share because it almost requires that you sit up straight… still a little constrictive, but not as much as a standard desk chair.

  26. Yoga for me is indispensable: makes your body supple and after you complete a session you feel like a new person. I have done it by myself for many years and I have the incredible luck to have at work yoga and pilates sessions (given by the same young lady instructor, who is super good). It is a very good complement for the day when you do lift heavy things in the morning, and then you do the yoga session in the afternoon (note: to do it in the other order would be blasphemous!)
    No shame for me with the yoga, I am used to be one of the few guys in sessions at work.

    Yog-On and Grok On

    🙂

  27. I am entering my 12th year of practicing yoga. there is nothing like it to promote health and positive attitude. it is also my one year anniversary of going primal..! I followed 95% of Marks plan..the result was losing 32 lbs….four inches off my waist,and reclaiming my life. My blood work is remarkable. I regret not having a “before” picture, but I did have to donate a lot of clothing that did not fit anymore..! thanks Mark for the path.
    best internet discovery ever!

  28. Ha! Have this primal vision of Mark’s wife clubbing him, then dragging him by the hair into the studio LOL
    Yoga Rocks!! I’ve been a Yoga teacher for over six years now, and just started Crossfit about six months ago… luv the combo. Yin & Yang. Great Article! There are soo many different styles of Yoga, so it’s important to find a class that connects with us. Hope you enjoyed it ;0)

  29. I have only been practicing yoga – regularly – since the beginning of the year (approx. 10 months now);

    I decided to start practicing after some big injuries practicing martial arts which left my core muscles damaged, my pelvis out of alignment and… some issues with regards to fear of injury… technically I took on Pilates once a week and Yoga 3 times a week & I ride (road or off road) about 100km a week roughly.

    Apart from the obvious benefits I have got out of this program – including: increased flexibility, improved balance – even over the peak of my martial arts training career, increased strength…

    Physically I have become aware of parts of my body that I wasn’t previously consciously aware of… by that I mean: for example; due to my injury a few muscles that make up what we consider core muscles would not fire, under no conditions could we (my trainers, teachers, physios, osteopaths etc.) get those muscles to fire – this was one of the reasons I wasn’t able to recover from these injuries or continue my training because of the back problems this caused. Over the last 10 months progressively internal awareness of these muscles (and others that again I wasn’t consciously aware of) has grown to the point that I now have control over them again (i.e. can get them to fire or contract on command) and I have managed to get to the point where I can do everything I used to do and more.

    The emotional & mental journey was something I didn’t truly expect when I started doing yoga but it has been very much an “awakening”; so many things that would put me “over the edge” are now nothing more than an “itch” that can be worked with or ignored… I have lost a lot of my fear of injury… I am better at work and can deal with stressful situations in ways that I never really considered before and to be honest I attribute most – if not all of this – to the practice of yoga.

    Anyway my 2 cents

  30. In an average week I do yoga once, run once and do two or three crossfit workouts. I love it! It helps me with my posture and I have improved my flexibility. Plus, I just feel good after an hour of yoga.

  31. I love when scientific evidence supports personal anecdotal evidence. I challenge anyone to flow into a good, strong Warrior II and not feel powerful. P90X was my yoga starter drug and with a couple classes, several videos, Inhale on Oxygen, and podcasts (which are helping out here in Afghanistan), yoga is a marvelous component of my personal primal plan. And, hey, Mark, thanks for the six-pack (after 44 years of wondering where it was).

  32. Once again, science has proven what humans (in this case the yogis) have known for centuries.

    I have practiced yoga for a few years now, and for me it is a perfect compliment to my primal lifestyle. I use it to satisfy many elements of Primal exercise from low level cardio to lifting heavy things)as well as play! It is most definitely my “go to” form of exercise both mentally and physically.

    The mental clarity and overall peaceful feeling I feel after a good yoga practice is a huge reason why I continue to make yoga a priority.

    I’m just now delving into the philosophy and am reading content very similar to what you have written today!

    I would also love to hear what you thought of the workshop! Huge kudos to your wife for managing to drag you there, I am still trying to convince my husband he should join me!

  33. Very interesting read. I’ve been practicing the 5 RITES for a few months and some pre-workout yoga postures for a few years. I definitely notice a considerable amount of adrenal rush soon after, as this preps me mentally for my HIIT-style cardio and strength xrcises. I mix in some Karate-Kid breathing techniques to complete my mental readiness. BUT Grok on, I’ll look further into yoga. Thanks for the 411.

  34. Yoga is amazing, and I’m so glad to see your post about it. When I practice regularly I notice great benefits in all areas of my life. It makes me more flexible, stronger, and more at peace – in body, mind and spirit. I haven’t been able to practice for the last three months and boy have I noticed the difference! It is my very favorite workout.

  35. Great post! It’s awesome to see research confirm some of the things we have experienced in practice. I have taught yoga for several years and have seen the positive effects in my own life as well as countless others. Although popularity rises and falls, there is a reason this practice is still here after thousands of years!

  36. Love to see you gave it a shot Mark. What did you think? You never mentioned how that workshop went… 😉

    I adore yoga. My favorite styles (now) are vinyasa flow and/or Ashtanga. (I would recommend newbies start w/ a slow moving Hatha class in general–learning the basics of alignment is VERY important before picking up speed/flowing movements in yoga–too much risk for injury IMO when you don’t have the alignment down.)

    I absolutely get a yoga ‘high’ after going to a class, and often after practicing at home. I personally like to use it as part of my moving slowly–the LHT component of my fitness practice has only enhanced my yoga practice. There is really nothing like it that I’ve experienced though! I LOVE IT! It absolutely was the beginning of my path to health and contentment. Improved my life in every way.

  37. Just wanted to add that we all are so different. You mentioned,

    I’m not big on yoga, as most of you know. Too much idle time for me. I’d rather be playing.

    Yoga is totally play for me. I’d much rather do that than participate in *any* sport, game, etc… WAY fun!! (And seriously, get to a vinyasa class and tell me about the idle time then!)

    If I want to be certain to have a joy-inducing experience, the best option is ‘get to an awesome yoga class’ for me. (By awesome I mean a class at or around my level with an excellent teacher–I’m kind of picky–it needs to be a challenge but semi attainable for it to be enjoyable for me.) When I go to a great class, I get a blissful feeling every time that I take home with me… (sometimes its hard to find my way home with that ‘yoga brain’! 😉 It’s always a happy drive though, even when its a meandering one!)

  38. I got beat on here a few times for talking about yoga. For me (us)at home, yoga is play. Now we have a son, we’re going to introduce it to him as well.

    I don’t get the spiritual part out of it as much as I get connected with own inner spirit. Mind and body connection and the challenges it brings while doing. Thinking it’s the be-all end-all to youth and enlightenment is a bit much.

  39. I’m glad you discovered the secret… Yoga is why your wife appears so S*XXXXY HAAAAAWWWT.

    *haa ahaa!*

  40. I’m always surprised when people think a yoga class isn’t a proper work out – in my class, I regularly practice hand stands, head stands and press up position (chaturanga), all of which are tough upper body work outs, not to mention all the core & leg-strengthening endurance work involved. My yoga teachers are unbelievably strong and athletic.

    It’s often those who mostly do weights/running that struggle the most in those classes because they haven’t built up that type of endurance 😉

    1. I can attest to that: in our yoga class once in a while a weightlifter with arms like my thigh tries and it is funny to see him sweating all over, while all the regulars (including ladies in her sixties) do not miss a breath. The weightlifter never comes back …

  41. Hi Mark:

    peer pressure is mounting …
    your wife … the grok crowd here …
    everybody wants to know how you fared in the yoga …
    I think that you discovered a lot of yogines and maharishis (meat eating ones, of course) …
    just say it aloud, no shame on it: I love yoga, I have seen the light (you can use it as a mantra)

  42. I also LOVE Yoga and do a class/session at least once weekly- it’s the one essential (to me) addition to my PB workouts. I enjoy my sprints, walking, and bodyweight workouts, but Yoga is the one that leaves me feeling the most… powerful, peaceful, balanced, centered- I continue to do Yoga simply because I just feel fabulous afterward. And it lasts- Yoga has been an important part of naturally and successfully managing anxiety and stress for me. I’ve loved that my PB workouts have increased my strength and now I am able to do moe in my Yoga classes- better stability in my poses, better form, etc.

  43. I have done a little vinyasa myself so far but for a Primal compatable yoga routine you could look into the “5 Tibetan Rites” This a very rigourous routine that can be done in 10 minutes, there are a few youtube videos and free info out there!

  44. Yoga is great. Very primal, as far as I am concerned. There is a lot of evidence that yoga gives a multitude of physiologic and psychological benifits. From a purely anecdotal perspective, my practice gives me stellar hip, thoracic, and ankle mobility.

  45. great Job My friend i respect what u did realy it’s a great job

  46. I do bikram yoga and although the class is the same each time it really is different too.
    I practice a balance of yoga, cardio and weights I like to call strength fitness and relaxation.
    I feel like I am prepared for anything with this balance.
    Really appreciate your site Mark.
    Thanks
    JuzzieD

  47. PS I have tried Iyengar yoga but Bikram is the ultimate for your mental health and physical health for me.
    I have heard of these blankie classes where you spend half the class lying down chanting and it just doesn’t have the physical challenge for me, no disrepect to anyone.
    Do yourselves a favour everyone and give it a crack! Need to stick it out for a short while and see if you can complete a class fully without feeling overcome. When you get o that stage you leave every class feeling twice the person you were when yo went in.
    Imagine what that does for your mental health.
    Good health everyone.
    JuzzieD

  48. Yoga just isn’t masculine enough for me, I put it in the same class as Pilates i.e., “chick stuff.”

    1. lol. We have a triathlete/Army guy who comes to our Ashtanga classes. In the beginning he couldn’t believe it, looking around at all us middle aged women moving through the practice while he had to take breaks. I sweat like a horse doing it, more than when I’m running. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried Ashtanga or Bikram. It’s not all sitting around getting in touch with the universe, though there’s nothing wrong with that either.

  49. I hated yoga until I had the pleasure of doing it in person with Susan Powter. I learned to modify and got a kickass workout. I had to stop going when she moved the class to her home studio (she has a beloved dog and I have horrible allergies). I need to get back into it but I have NEVER stopped doing the “hang”. I do it at work whenever I get up (and my job does require me to run around a little bit) and sometimes when I’m waiting at the printer. I showed some co-workers and they were impresed that I could place my hands easily on the ground! I said if they did the stretches everytime they got up they’d be able to, too!

    So, anyway, am glad you liked it, Mark!

  50. I just now got around to reading this post. My experience of yoga really supports this- backbending and chest expanding poses as well as wide-stance standing poses give me a feeling of energy and power, and I often use them to wake up my body and brain. On the other hand, forward bending poses are very calming and can quiet the mind and counteract stress. Although a healthy yoga sequence should include poses of both types, it makes sense to put the emphasis where you need the most help at the time. Thanks for the yoga shout-out, Mark!
    greenkatie, primal newbie

  51. I found some of the more challenging yoga poses to be very beneficial, though it took me time to get into them.

    Forward poses help relieve anxiety and tension for me, and the wheel pose (http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/info/wheel-pose.asp) clears any nasal congestion if I have a cold… head stands are just, fun!

  52. I love Yoga. But our love wasn’t “at first sight”. I tried it a few years ago and thought it was just too stationary for me.

    I think I enjoy it now because I can see exactly how I progress with my strength and flexibility. But it’s also excellent for cleansing and meditation. Ha! Just about everythign they say Yoga should do — hahaha.

    Great article though.

  53. OH boy Mark. I just introduced my Mom to our site last week (Friday), and she is a yoga teacher (35 years and she practiced it when it wasn’t so cool). So the first thing we see when we log on is about yoga and how you consider it idle time. I tried to click around as fast as possible so she couldn’t read that part. Needless to say she is going to recommend you to a lot of her students, lol=). I know you weren’t dissing yoga so all is good, but it was just a strange coincidence for sure. And it is really good that she is not a computer person and won’t be able to read up on anything I tried to shield her from.
    Cheers

  54. I’m always telling my guy friends to give yoga a shot because it’s awesome. It hasn’t worked yet…

  55. I love yoga – and for someone who is just coming out of fifteen years of being a workaholic, carb addict, it’s been a real help to get balance again in my life and slow down a bit. I’ve just discovered this site and ordered Mark’s book. When I get back from my two week yoga retreat in Goa at the end of January I shall be going primal. I can’t wait!

  56. Where does Bikram yoga fit into the work out pyramid? I tried tooking in the forum and past blogs, but I can’t seem to find a true answer…

  57. I have done yoga on and off. It does leaves you feeling balancled, more centered. I think the meditative part is the main reason, but I do think stretching is key. If you have pets what is the first thing they do when they have been seditary for even 20 minutes? Instinctively they stretch. If you watch animals they instinctively move primarily. They like to walk around. They have the all out 100% sprint moments. And they do little stretches and poses.
    I am not an expert, but certain poses and stretches are a good for the body and mind. They feel good Even if they don’t become full on yoga routine.