Yoga already has lots of known benefits, like better posture, flexibility and physical health, but now we can add something new to the list: increased brain function. According to new research through the University of Illinois, practicing hatha yoga three times a week helps you think more clearly, especially compared to stretching or toning exercises. The study examined a group of 100 people aged 55-79, and found that the 61 of them who practiced hatha yoga at least three times a week for eight weeks showed major improvement in ability to recall information, mental flexibility, and task-switching. The members of the group who did stretching and toning exercises for eight weeks instead of yoga showed no significant change in their cognitive abilities. The researchers controlled for other factors like gender, age or other demographic circumstances, so it’s pretty clear that yoga is the direct cause of the improvements. Keep reading »
If you live in Manhattan, a new app called PRIV will send beauty, fitness, or wellness pros right to your apartment within an hour. Through PRIV, you can request a personal trainer, yoga instructor, masseuse, hairstylist, manicurist or aspray-tanning pro to pay a house call (or even visit your office). Essentially, it’s like the Uber of beauty and fitness. Where was this service during all my high school sleepovers? Considering how far ahead I have to call to get a hair appointment in New York, this app is a potential lifesaver. I keep daydreaming about how nice it would be to ring up a manicurist and have my nails done while I sit on the couch watching Netflix, or have a yoga instructor pay me a visit when I’m in a funk. Scrolling through the app is like looking at a shopping list of available certified professionals in your vicinity. The pros have profiles posted that share their work history and talents, and service is available 24/7. The app itself is free, and each service has a set price listed when you choose it, including tip, which is a far cry from that awkward moment at the end of a salon appointment when you find out a surprise fee has been tacked onto your bill. PRIV intends to expand beyond Manhattan to the rest of New York City shortly (come visit me in Brooklyn, PRIV!), and services will be available in San Francisco, LA and Miami by 2015. Sounds like a sweet deal to me. New Yorkers, have any of you tried it? [PRIV]
You know that moment when you’re trying to get into downward dog, only to be interrupted by your actual dog? Apparently, it’s pretty much an epidemic among yogi pet owners. Whether yoga is your thing or not, it’s hard not to giggle at these pets stealing the show while their humans are trying to get their namaste on. [Huffington Post]
From what I understand, one of the things that many yoga practitioners like about the practice is that it can be done by anyone at anytime. But I think we can all agree that one yogi took that a little too literally when she decided to strip down to her skivvies and started doing yoga poses on a Ocala, Florida (duh), roadway. Michele Cernak, 51, was charged with multiple drug counts after police responded to 911 calls alerting them to a nearly nude woman doing downward dog in the middle of the street. When the cops arrived, they found heroin, a syringes, hydrocodone pills and a crack pipe in Cernak’s still-running car nearby, and she admitted that she had injected herself with heroin. While Cernak looks blissed out in her mugshot, you know what I imagine is not good for your qi, no matter how much naked outdoor yoga you do? Opiates. [NY Daily News]
Hilaria Baldwin — Alec Baldwin’s yoga instructor wife and mother of his baby daughter — is doing some Instagram challenge, posting a daily photo of herself doing yoga with the hashtag #yogapostureoftheday. This is one way to make use of your grossly expensive designer stove! I’m inspired! I’m starting late, but for the rest of the year, I’m going to post one photo a day of me staring dead-eyed at my laptop screen with the hashtag #bloggerfaceoftheday. Get excited. [Instagram]
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that originated thousands of years ago to involve your mind, body, spirit soul and … horse?
That’s right, we said, horse. Watch this horse and trainer practice together on Huffington Post…