What mental image does the word “yoga” conjure for you? Probably a spandex-clad individual in downward dog or balancing on one leg in tree pose. Or maybe they’re in a complicated full-body knot that requires five times more flexibility than you’ve ever had? Does it look like hard work?
That’s certainly one version of yoga, the kind that dominates the modern notion of yoga in the West, but it’s not at all what we’re talking about today.
What if I told you that there is another kind of yoga, one in which you don’t move at all? You don’t even sit or stand; you lie down the whole time. That’s yoga nidra. “Yoga nidra” literally means “yogic sleep,” sometimes translated as “conscious sleep.” The goal of yoga nidra is to achieve an altered state of awareness where you are neither awake nor asleep but in a liminal space in between—or maybe surpassing both. (Technically, the term refers to the state of consciousness beyond wakefulness or sleeping. That is, “yoga nidra” is the destination, not the journey it takes to get there. But in common parlance, people use it to mean the entire practice.)
Fitness, Recent Articles
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answer two questions from readers. First, does Bikram yoga qualify as sprinting or high intensity training? It’s certainly intense, and it’ll make you sweat bullets and work hard to the point of nausea, but does it actually accomplish the same training effects as sprinting or intervals? Find out down below. Next, you often hear that body fat is the main repository for environmental toxins. This is true, but does that mean the body “holds on” to body fat to prevent systemic dispersal of the toxins it contains? Can stored toxins make losing body fat harder that it already is?
Diet & Nutrition, Fitness, Lift Heavy Things, Weight Loss
In this edition of Dear Mark, I provide rapid fire answers to five of your questions. First, I discuss another situation where the deload week(s) make(s) sense and may even have to be extended: when exercise starts taking away from the quality of your life. Next I explain why for some people raw milk is a highly-coveted food, and then whether or not a banana should be breakfast. After that, I discuss the potential impact of ketosis on breastfeeding. Finally, I discuss the benefits and potential downsides of Bikram yoga.
Dairy, Diet & Nutrition, Fitness, Primal Lifestyle, Stress Management