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An ecohouse (or eco home) is an environmentally low-impact home designed and built using materials and technology that reduces its carbon footprint and lowers its energy needs.

This includes:
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How Yoga Doesn't Work

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Yes, I’m actually going to say it. Yoga is not a magic bullet. It does not solve all of your health problems. It is not a wonder drug, and it is not the beginning and the end of your health regimen.

As you know, we live in a busy world. It is convenient and efficient to have something that is killing two birds (or three, or ten) with one stone. Our phones are not only for talking, but for checking email, logging onto our bank accounts, taking pictures and videos, and playing music. The more one thing can do for us the better. Yoga is no exception. There are many popular claims about yoga. It is great for toning muscles, boosts your mood, gives you a great workout, AND help you find your spiritual connection. It’s as if yoga would not be worth our time and energy if it JUST accomplished one of those things; It also has to give us flat abs and a killer butt. Now that is a package that sells!

In his book (a great read!), The Science of Yoga, William J Broad actually dispels the belief that yoga is beneficial as a cardio workout. Broad cites several studies from 1920s to current times. One study published in 2007, conducted by researchers from the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University as well as the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, concluded that yoga fails to meet the minimal aerobic recommendations of the world’s leading health organizations. “Its oxygen demands represent low levels of physical activity similar to walking on the treadmill at a slow pace or taking a leisurely stroll.” Studies showed test subjects derived only minimal cardiovascular benefit from doing sun salutations. They found the “oxygen challenge of the pose significantly higher than for the slow treadmill. A practice of incorporating sun salutations for at least ten minutes may improve cardio-respiratory fitness in unfit or sedentary individuals, but offered few heart benefits for seasoned practitioners”. The yoga world has been very defensive in the face of mass publication of this information. Several articles have been written recently which rebut and de-value these findings. 
 

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Why in the world am I telling you this? I do run a yoga business after all. The thing that I find most interesting and exciting is what researchers ARE discovering through these same studies: “The 2010 paper examined more than eighty studies that compared yoga and regular exercise. The analysis, by health specialist at the University of Maryland, found that yoga equaled or surpassed exercise in such things as improving balance, reducing fatigue, decreasing anxiety, cutting stress, lifting moods, improving sleep, reducing pain, lowering cholesterol, and more generally in raising the quality of life for yogis both socially and on the job” (Broad, 73). Yes, yoga was shown to be more effective than exercise in all of these areas. That is inspiring and exciting!
It turns out that yoga is really good at teaching the body to relax. This is why people experience a “higher quality of life” and “lifted spirits.” William Broad’s book goes on in another chapter to expose all of the research done on how unclenching muscle, deep breathing, and resting in savasana are all part of why yoga offers the aforementioned benefits. 
 
It is true: many people come to yoga for the promise of a great workout. It can sometimes be that. But I wonder - in our attempt to “pack more in,” do we move through our practice to quickly? Might we actually feel even better if we did not come to yoga for a workout, but rather to slow down, breathe deeply, and relax? It turns out what yoga is really good at is gifting us the plethora of benefits from living and moving from a relaxed and opened state. When it comes to yoga, less is more. Next time you roll out your mat, notice if you are using it as a way to pack more in, or to let more go. Try to move a little slower. Breathe a little deeper. Notice if it feels like your practice is lacking, or if – by taking time, by moving slowly – you are able to recognize how full and rich not working out can be.

Jan Robinson Interiors

Ecology Center

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