Lahari Yoga

Health~Honesty~Equality & Loving Kindness

L A H A R I • Y O G A

We stand for health, honesty, equality,

treating people how

you'd want to be treated, helping those in need,

and loving kindness.

Cultured Foods by Gabi Weaver,RYT, CHNM, YoR

Lahari Yoga teacher and certified Holistic Nutritionist  Gabi Weaver shares why eating naturally cultured foods are a must-try for optimum health.



“When you think of dipping a delicious  asian-style rice roll in sesame sauce, yummy bacteria probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. However, eating cultured foods is becoming very popular, and for good reason.”


Good Bacteria (called probiotics) in our foods are good for digestive health and strong digestive health means good overall health.  This is because cultured foods have an incredibly wide variety of healthy probiotic bacteria strains and they transfer a lot of different health benefits, such as:

  • Improves digestion

  • Boosts the immune system (most of which is in our digestive tract)

  • Improves mood (because digestive health is closely connected to optimum brain health)

  • Studies have shown that our balance of good to bad digestive bacteria also has a large impact on weight

So, now that we know all about the many health benefits of good bacteria, how can we incorporate their use in what we eat? There’s such a wide variety of cultured foods, such as kefir, kombucha, fermented veggies like (sauerkraut, kimchi,) miso, tempeh, and organic cheeses and yogurts.

Here are a few of my easiest ways to incorporate delicious and healthy cultured foods into your recipes and diet:

Vegetarian Protein-Packed Salad with Sauerkraut


  • 4 cups of spinach, field greens or red leaf lettuce

  • 2 cups cooked whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, or other

  • 1 cup cooked or canned beans or lentils, drained and rinsed

  • 3 green onions, chopped, or ¼ red onion

  • 1 cup raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut, white or red-should be in the refrigerated section of store

  • ¼ cup pumpkin, sunflower, walnut or hemp seeds

  • 2 cups chopped vegetables of your choice, a mix of cooked and raw is ideal.  My suggestions are tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted or raw peppers, sprouts, diced avocado, carrots, peas or edamame

  • Optional: handful of black olives and cheese such as feta, goat, or sharp cheddar, or maybe some minced fresh herbs, Italian parsley, mint or dill



  1. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl, combine with about ½ cup of homemade lemon dressing and toss well

  2. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste

  3. Top with any optional ingredients

Basic Lemon Dressing


  • 1/3 cup olive oil

  • ½ cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons, juiced)

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure maple syrup

  • ½ tsp sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

  • Optional: ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic


  1. Place all ingredients into a glass jar with lid and shake vigorously to combine. (Makes about 1 cup and stores in fridge for a week)


Kefir Ranch Dip with Veggies


  • 1 ½  cups of plain kefir (goat, sheep, cow or coconut)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 Tablespoon of each of the following fresh herbs, all finely chopped; dill, chives, and Italian parsley

  • 1 Tablespoon sauerkraut brine or fresh lemon juice

  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Strain kefir at least 30 minute to create a thicker consistency like yogurt. (Simply pour into cheesecloth or coffee filter placed in a mesh strainer above a bowl. The liquid will drop to the bottom of the bowl.) When kefir is desired consistency, dump it into a small mixing bowl

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until evenly combined

  3. Store in a mason glass jar in the fridge up to a week

  4. Serve with your favorite raw veggies, cut into desired pieces

Kimchi Rolls with Miso Sesame Sauce


  • 12 rice paper rounds (large size) OR wraps of your choice

  • 6 leaves of romaine lettuce, stems removed

  • 1 cup raw, fermented kimchi (can purchase in Asian grocery, has a deep red color)

  • 1 cup grated carrot

  • 1 cup of cucumber, cut into matchsticks

  • ½ avocado, sliced into strips

  • handful of fresh chives, or green onion minced fine

  • Optional:  add some cooked tofu, chicken, prawns, or tempeh


  1. Gather all filling ingredients (lettuce, carrots, cucumber, kimchi, avocado, chives or green onion (and protein- if using) in one place for easy assembly

  2. If making rice rolls, fill a large mixing bowl or pie pan with very warm water

  3. Dip each, individual rice paper round into warm water for about 10 seconds until paper is just starting to get flexible and soft. Remove with both hands; let excess water drip onto clean tea towel and place flat on smooth surface

  4. If using wraps, take out how many you will be making, and place on a clean tea towel

  5. Place filling on the lower third of the circle of an individual rice paper in any order you like and roll into fat, cigar shape. Place seam-side down on a platter

  6. Repeat until you have filled all of your rolls, leaving a bit of room in between so they don’t stick together. Slice in half or in quarters if desired. (Best to use a wet knife for this to avoid stickiness)


Miso Sesame Sauce-for Dipping


  • 2 Tablespoons of red (or other color) miso paste- purchase in Asian section of grocery store

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 3 Tablespoons of honey or maple syrup

  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

  • Optional: 1 tsp sesame seeds, ¼ tsp red chili flakes, or ½ teaspoon sriracha


  1. Add all ingredients into a mason glass jar and shake vigorously until miso dissolves and everything is fully blended

  2. Keeps well in re-sealable glass jar up to a week in fridge

Tea CAKE for Digestion


Along with our Yoga For Digestion this month. I'd like to share this Tea Cake recipe with you. Although I love almost all teas, I have to say Pu’er tea is definitely my holy grail. As someone who has dealt with a lot of stomach upsets in my life, I find yoga twists and Pu’er tea are the most natural way to alleviate some symptoms.


Unique Process

For those who are not familiar with Pu’er tea. It is from YunNan province, which is located in southwest China. There are two main categories: Ripe Pu’er and Raw Pu’er. The Ripe Pu’er goes through a specific man-made fermentation (sort of like the process of yogurt), some teas are aged more than 20 years. The tea’s taste and aroma develop with each year stored, becoming smoother, more flavorful, and more defined. (for my wine drinkers, yes, it’s similar to a fine Wine process). On the other hand, Raw Pu’er are naturally aged. Once the leaves are picked from trees among various mountains, they are blended together and left to wilt in the sun then oxidized to the stage of raw Pu’er tea.


Weight Loss & Hangover

I like to drink straight Pu’er tea couple of hours after meals and re-steep for up to a dozen times, especially if it’s a good quality tea. I find that’s the best time to drink Pu’er tea to remove excess grease and eliminate unwanted and hard-to-digest fats after meal. I would not call this “Miracle Wight Loss” tea but it does help me maintain healthy weight. However, if you drink Pu’er tea couple of hours before the meal, I find it makes me starving and ends up overeating. You can give it a try and see which one works better for you.


While I don’t have any studies to support this claim, but many Chinese, including myself, believe that Pu’er tea can cure hangover symptoms. If you are curious about it, next time when you need some extra help, try it and see if this helps to lessen the hangovers.



Yes. Pu’er tea is usually packed into bricks or a round shape, thus, some people refer it as to “Tea Cake”!


I usually stock up on tea cakes when I visit home in China. If you live in Canada, I'd recommend Organic Silken Pu'er from Davids Tea or Pu'er Tea Cake from the Chinese Tea Shop. (Note: I'm not sponsored by the companies. Those are just my personal favourites. )


Hopefully you find this is informative and interesting. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or like to share your digestion tips.



The Art of Mindfulness-Gabi Weaver, RYT, C.H.N. Y oR.


Do you feel like you are on autopilot much of the time?

Are you unable to relax?  Do you find yourself  thinking about what happened yesterday, last week, last month, or last year, or maybe even years ago?  Or maybe you are thinking about the future?  

What is Mindfulness?  Mindfulness is about learning how to live fully within the present moment, to help teach us to awaken to the joys of daily life, with peace and with clarity.  

Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you to:

  • Build awareness and centered attention

  • Discover how to savor routines

  • Build fulfillment in your work

  • Enhance and heal relationships

  • Change unhealthy habits

  • Connect to peace in the midst of uncertainty

Here are 3 ways in which you can begin the practice of mindfulness in your life today:

  1. Rid yourself of any unnessessary distractions.  Make a conscious choice to rid yourself of any distractions that you are able to each day.  Examples of this might be to put your cell phone away, or to turn it off in your downtime.  It may mean choosing not to look up your favorite internet sites or social media that day.  Maybe it means turning off radio on the drive home, or not watching TV.  Essentially, this is about choosing to rid yourself of any distractions that may take away from the practice of Mindfulness.

  2. Visualize and begin new activities.  Use this new time to begin visualizing several new activities that might be more nurturing to you, and think about how you could start these changes. It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Some examples could be: reading a good book you didn’t have time for before, taking in a yoga class, calling a good friend to chat or even better, meeting in person.  You could use this time to simply relax and breathe deeply and fully, pet or snuggle a family pet for several minutes, or maybe take a walk outside and really tune in to all of the smells, sights and sounds of everything around you.  

  3. Practicing Gratitude.  Here is a gratitude practice that can have an immediate and positive impact in practicing Mindfulness.  Every day, look back over what happened and write down at least one thing that you are grateful for. Gratitude is a powerful way of learning how to overcome short-term pleasure seeking.  It allows us to tap into deeper and more sustainable ways of experiencing fulfillment.  When we learn to be grateful for what we already have, we don’t have a reason to be disappointed.  This could be an appreciation for a kind act someone did for you, or any of the small things in life that we often take for granted.  That comfortable chair, the flavor of a particular food, the book you are reading, the music you love listening to, the hot water in your shower.  Try this practice for a period of four weeks, to see and measure its results.  

If you like, you can even track how gratitude affects your mood, your sleep, how you eat, exercise, and interact with others.  One idea that I have enjoyed was to write down my daily gratitude on post-it notes in my favorite colors and to post my daily Gratitude on a special place in my home.

Every day you and the members in your family can write down one thing that they are grateful for, it doesn’t have to be complicated or especially profound either- small things are okay too, don’t overthink it, and have some fun with it!  Example:  The beautiful bright sun made my walk with my dog Lucy amazing today, and I felt so happy☺

Finding Purpose

Every day, we spend a lot of our time working or taking care of our loved ones.  Sometimes we perform our tasks with detachment, and these tasks can weigh us down.  Ultimately the purpose that we feel must be generated from within us. As an example, when I get up each day, I make my kids breakfast.  This act shows love and caring.  I am giving them important nutrition to help their bodies and minds stay healthy and happy, I am teaching them that a healthy breakfast is important, so when they grow up and have others to care for, they may choose to do the same.  Take a few minutes and write down the answers to these following questions:

  • What can I learn from my daily work?  Even if it is a job you dislike, you can learn to find meaning in your tasks.  It is an opportunity for learning and service and possibly even adventure!  Is it the job that unlocks a door to meaning, or do you hold the key to freedom, doing the work you already do? You can learn to love everything that you do.  Choose to do your daily work cheerfully, with great care and love, and the very best way you know how.

  • Think about all of the ways that your job serves others- for example, if you are a maintenance worker, you make floors, bathrooms, offices and entrances and exits safe and healthy for people to be in, you help to ensure their safety and wellbeing as they enter the buildings that you care for.  If you are a waitress, you are giving the people you serve a well-needed break, you are serving them in a kind and gracious way, and you are serving them food that will nourish them in both body and mind.

Mother's Day Trio Sale

Give that special Mom in your life the gift of YOGA!

Maybe she needs a mat to take some time for herself or maybe she just needs a new one. Come in and grab her a Jade Small Mat, a Half Moon mat strap to carry it and pure Mat spray to keep it clean.

The Jade Mats are made in the United States and contain no PVCs – making their mats the first “green” yoga mats.

The Half Moon Mat strap carries any yoga mat for easy transporting, no bag required. When you get to class the strap can also double as a yoga strap.

The pure Mat spray was specially made for LAHARI•YOGA Studio by pure essentials which is a local St Albert company providing an all natural cleaning product.

The Sale is on from April 30th - May 8th, 2016


You can also give her an eGift Card.


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Shavasana in the City... By chubbyskinnybrowngirl


March 16, 2015

Flexing My Self Control Muscle


There have been SO many times that I’ve wished (albeit 


the fact), that I would have practiced more self-control BEFORE I got carried away and went too far.  I hate the feelings of guilt that follow an emotional reaction to a friend, an impatient word to a parent, an empty bag of chips or carton of ice-cream, spats with my spouse…(and on and on I could go). But self-control is something that is so hard to regain once we lose it, and truth be told, I’d been letting mine decline for years now.

In this weakened state, what has harmed me the most is haphazardly falling too far into people’s lives, feeding too much on their energy and stories causing me to lose balance and tip right into their stories; taking on their moods and feelings as if they were my own.  Being such a people person, it sometimes hard for me to create those boundaries that fence in and protect my own livestock from the elements. Sometimes their winters freeze my seedlings.  But drawing the line, putting on the brakes, proceeding with caution, yielding, rationalizing, measuring for moderation, exercising patience, backing off, walking away are all ways of practicing self-control….hmmmm funny, as I’ve recently come to learn; so too are breathing, balancing, holding and posing on my mat?!


The more I get into yoga, the more I find it penetrating and strengthening me in ways I hadn’t expected.  Last week I realized I’ve been acting and behaving in much more self-controlled ways, more than I have in a long time, and I attribute this strength to yoga.  I find that I’ve been acting more intentionally, eating more intentionally…just 


 more intentionally!   Regaining my self-control is something I’ve been meaning to do for such a long time, but I just couldn’t seem to accomplish it on my own.  On the contrary I’d find myself more times than not, losing control; gorging, dumping or reacting.  But wow, not so much lately.  

In class, Michellene with Lahari Yoga calls it finding your “sweet spot”.  One’s sweet spot is that place between pleasure and pain.  It’s that point where you feel poised and balanced – where you are not leaned too far forward or too far back.  It takes time, patience and practice finding one’s sweet spot.  What a huge accomplishment it was for me recently to balance on my arms and successively lift my feet into crow’s pose.   In life, finding my sweet spot parallels these concepts, I find myself gaining self-control off the mat while I learn to balance and pose on it.  These physical experiences in class, are providing the mental building blocks of developing and rebuilding my self- control outside of class. It’s the acts of intentional breathing, posing, balancing and intentional holding that are all seeming to flex this muscle making it stronger and stronger each day.  And I am just so damn grateful for that, (similarly my waist line, my friends, my spouse, my parents and everyone else around me can reap the benefits of too)!

Practicing self-control is also directly related to mindfulness…but alas, I’ll table that for now. I’ll instead just gently yield to this present recognition and bask in its light for a while.  The more I pace these thoughts, the more life giving they are for me…. <3


~Betty Mathews


3 Subjects Schools Should Teach To Improve The World - By Andrea Schulman

By Andrea Schulman

As a former teacher who spent 7 years in the system, one of the things that really bugs me about today’s schools is the undercurrent of fear and control-based social conditioning that they subject our children to.  Yes, our children do learn valuable skills and information, but often at the cost of their overall health and prosperity.  Our schools, while they do indeed try, ultimately fail to fully harness the power of today’s young minds because they emphasize routine, discipline and testing over exploration, compassion and innovation.

Another problem today in education is that we simply aren’t teaching kids what they really need to know to be successful in life.  While it is important to  learn basic math, science, and reading to survive in today’s world, it is also important to teach kids how to thrive.

With some slight adjustments, we could quickly start to improve education by adding a few new subjects aimed at helping kids become healthy and successful adults.  By teaching students information that will truly benefit them, we could start to transform education (and the world!) in a positive way.  Here are 3 subjects school could teach to improve the world:

1) Meditation


Meditation is a fantastic practice that many people do not have any instruction on whatsoever.  Meditation clears out the clutter of anxious thoughts, helps people focus, and increases mental (and physical) health.  The positive effects of meditation are well-documented.

How wonderful would it be if each morning students had 10 minutes of mindful meditation before beginning their school day? They’d start their morning centered and peaceful rather than rushed and scattered.  I would imagine this would have tremendous effects on learning gains as well as behavior.

Beyond that, 10 minutes of meditation would be easy to implement!   Most teachers need a few minutes at the beginning of class to take attendance, so many of them already give silent work to get students settled and ready for the day at the start of class.  Replacing these “bell ringer” activities with meditation could be a quick and seamless way to start improving education.

2) Proper Nutrition


Why aren’t schools teaching our children how to take care of their bodies?

Particularly in the United States, we are failing to educate our kids on the importance of nutrient-rich, organic, and non-GMO foods.  The genetically modified food packed with chemicals that stocks our shelves and feeds our schoolchildren is very likely responsible for skyrocketing obesity and cancer rates.  Especially in a time when health hazards like these are on the rise, wouldn’t it be wise to teach our children how to make sound nutritional decisions?

Sadly, I’ve seen first hand what “lunch” (I use the quotation marks with much exaggeration) looks like in a school cafeteria.  The choices our schools make in regards to nutrition leave much to be desired, and that’s putting it mildly.

I think the education system would be wise to honestly address this issue and take measures to educate today’s youth on the importance of TRUE nutrition.  No more BS about how fruit cocktail is a “fruit” or how chicken nuggets are a good source of protein (claims that I’ve seen with my own two eyes on the school lunch menus sent home in my daughter’s backpack).

The thing is that kids already learn about nutrition in school, so we don’t have to completely overhaul the system to fit in new courses on nutrition.  We just need to start being honest with them about what’s really going on with our food.  Let’s be serious: 20 years from now, proper nutritional education  (or the lack thereof) will have a much more profound impact on the lives of young people than Algebra 2 will.

3) Law of Attraction


From a very young age, we have had it beaten into us that there are rules we must follow and a very specific path we must walk down if we want to be successful.

Many of us buy into the idea that we must go to college (usually by taking on massive loans), and get an acceptable job (like being a doctor, accountant or a lawyer) if we want to be successful in life.  This rigid thinking sways many young people away from exploring their true passions.

If we could teach our young people that anyone can use the Law of Attraction to create a successful career out of their passion, we could improve the world dramatically.  New career options would emerge, and innovation would go off the charts.  More importantly, people would be happier because they would be doing what they really wanted to do, rather than wasting their lives away doing work that didn’t inspire them.

Teaching students about the Law of Attraction from an early age would give kids the tools they need to go after their big dreams and live fulfilling lives.  It’s nothing new agey.  It’s just the simple practice of believing in yourself, and aligning your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs with the results you wish to achieve.

To be fair, I do believe that education does serve a valuable purpose, and we are fortunate that most people today learn literacy, mathematics skills, social studies and science (amongst other subjects). However, this is a very narrow scope of what we could be teaching the students in our schools, and I believe it misses the mark on what our children really need to know in order to be happy and successful in adulthood.

By teaching kids how to meditate, proper nutrition and the Law of Attraction, we would give students the tools they need to not only be knowledgable, but to flourish.  We would improve our nation’s health (both physically and mentally), and our economy would expand as more people would have and create innovative and passionate careers for themselves.  With happier, healthier and more prosperous citizens, we’d also very likely reduce violence and crime.

It’s something to think about.  At the end of the day,  I just couldn’t hack it as a teacher anymore because I couldn’t be a part of a system that I felt was hurting more than it was helping.  As a mother and as a human being, I want a better future for our children, and I think that many people out there probably feel the same way.

We have the ability to be the generation that improves the world through education and I hope we can say one day that we were the ones who finally did it!

- See more at:

Shavasana in the City by chubbyskinnybrowngirl

Don’t Just Bill Me, BUILD ME!!!!


Ever walk into a Dentist or a Doctor’s office and the receptionist flatly ignores you while you stand at her desk, waiting to check in while watching her finish up whatever she’s doing (that’s so much more important than saying hello to you)?  Or, ever been asked while you were going through a grocery check-out line if “you found everything you were looking for”, but when you (God forbid) tell them you couldn’t find any zucchini and hold up the line, they look annoyed and put out?  I remember once having a membership to a World Health and never once being spoken to and often times not even receiving a greeting when I swiped in at the front. I’m not sure what your expectations are when it comes to service, but personally, I want to feel genuinely welcomed and valued when I spend my hard earned dollars at a business, especially since I could have easily chosen to go somewhere else!

Businesses are everywhere, they are a dime a dozen (as I reminded every time I flip through the yellowpages)….but GOOD service is hard to find.  Never mind just good service, how many businesses can actually call themselves communities? (Shouldn’t that be the measure of a good business?)  Better yet, how many of themfeel like a community?  A community is defined by “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. 

Funny, the last time I went to the Dentist, I didn’t feel a sense of camaraderie with the staff or other people receiving dental work.  Actually conversely, I vividly remember the time that I had to go and get a couple of my wisdom teeth pulled. “Fortunately” instead of having to put me under, they were “just” going to freeze part of my mouth, which sounded fine and dandy until they actually froze me! I hadn’t received dental work since I was a kid, so I was already a bit nervous of what to expect. They put me in a bed, injected me, then left me alone telling me that they would check back on me…OMGSH, the sensation of my mouth slowly freezing almost sent me into a full-fledged panic attack!! I could feel my eyes welling with tears as I started to involuntarily worry that I might not be able to breathe when my tongue froze….and when I could have used some support or wisdom the most…there was no one around.  I mentally fought through the fears trying to rationalize the fact that the procedure was so common place but it didn’t change how horrible and unpleasant that experience was.  What could have made it different? A dental assistant who would have taken the time to tell me, what to expect and that it was going to be okay…geez I would have accepted some consoling from the janitor – for the love of God, someone throw me a bone!!!  Maybe it seems silly to want to build a sense of community at my Dentist office, but why can some people do it?  How do some people manage to successfully build that sense of community in their business?

I am not super versed in yoga, but I have gone to a couple of different studios.  I have tried bikram and moksha and to be quite frank, those businesses don’t hold a CARD to the community I found at Lahari.  The minute I first walked into Lahari, I was greeted as if I were family, the warmth and the energy buzzing in that front room was brilliant.  And yes, I admit, sometimes it’s hard to JUMP into a new community without reservation and some shyness, but their welcoming was just so damn genuine and immediately disarming that I couldn’t help but catch that same bug.   It’sbecause I’m not super versed in yoga that I needed this community to practice, play and learn in. 

·         I needed the space and room for failure – I needed to feel like I could practice, fail and practice again.  In this community, I don’t feel like I need to be perfect because I’ve already been welcomed, truly, just as I am.  

·         The support is unreal amongst all community members.  I was attempting a head stand last Friday, and Shawn and Norine (other participants in the class) noticed me struggling and immediately came over and offered their help and suggestions in my hand positioning without me asking for it, and POOF I did it!

At Lahari, it isn’t that superficial “did you find everything you were looking for” vibe, but a real and genuine interest in each other.  Oh my Goodness, Michellene took it to another level last Friday during Blissology when she made us step out of our comfort zones (yet again) by asking us to introduce our sweaty selves at the end of class with a hug to 3-5 other members we hadn’t met before.  What bigger taboo than meeting a person for the first time, in this vulnerable and sweaty (certainly NOT our best foot forward) state?  But that’s what community is, it’s built on perfect ideals by imperfect human beings, and this is what we can celebrate and stand in. 

So back to that definition of community, “as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals” – what does it take to be part of this community?  What are the common attitudes, interests or goals one should ascribe to?  My best guess would be:

Be human, be open and be prepared to fall in love…. <3

Betty Mathews


3 Reasons why Yoga is Great for the Heart



The practice of yoga is growing in popularity but it is still rare to see yoga classes incorporated into hospital programming or office based clinics. There are obvious mental and physical benefits to the combination of physical exercises, breathingand meditation

Recent scientific studies have documented benefits of a yoga practice on important heart functions and a wider use of yoga in therapy of heart patients should follow.

1. Yoga reduces the frequency of atrial fibrillation (AF).  

Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac rhythm disturbance and leads to frequent office and hospital visits, costing millions (if not billions) of health care dollars. 

It's an unpredictable disorder of the heart rhythm and can interfere with work, vacations and family gatherings when out of control. 

Recently patients with intermittent AF were studied for three months as a baseline and then followed for three more months while practicing yoga twice a week for 60 minutes. 

During the three months of yoga practice, episodes of AF dropped in frequency and patients rated their quality of life as better.  There were also decreases in blood pressure and resting heart rate. Patients up to age 80 were studied.

2. Yoga is good for people with high blood pressure. 

High blood pressure or hypertension (HTN) effects millions of people worldwide and can result in heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. The usual therapy is medication and dietary.  Recently 50 patients with HTN participated in a yoga practice for 15 days lasting 2 hours each session. Cardiac function was assessed before and after this training.  

After practicing yoga for two weeks the resting heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly reduced.  A comparison group that did not do the training did not experience these beneficial trends.

3. It reduces stress. 

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls silently controls the function of the heart rate and blood pressure. A heart that is healthy demonstrates a wide swing in heart rate and blood pressure during inspiration and expiration and a disease heart shows little of this variability, a measurement called heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is influenced by the two parts of the ANS: the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system.  

Scientists compared HRV in long term practitioners of yoga compared to matched controls who did not practice yoga. The HRV was increased in the yoga practitioners and they showed less sympathetic tone (stress, adrenaline) and more parasympathetic tone (relaxation, vagal) of their ANS. Their cardiac response to day-to-day stress was improved with yoga.

Yoga should be considered by patients and practitioners as another "tool" in the tool box of controlling stress, HTN, and heart rhythm disorders. As many cardiac patients are elderly, modifications such as chair yoga and predominantly pranayama breathing exercises may be necessary, but are still beneficial.