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pic:  D-cat and i take an evening stroll (by Durango standards, which means tracking Bear and collecting hundreds of ancient snail shells upon the Mancos Shale intensely hilly topography)…Cardio is a most traditional Yogic discipline; inherent to the Ancient Enlightened Ones Practice (consider Gandhi’s Salt March, Swami Rama’s Himalayan treks, etc., etc…)



Hey Steve,
I recently read your Total Body Transformation book and found it very useful in balancing all aspects of our training.
However I have been attending Shadow Yoga (an extension of Hatha Yoga) and when I queried why it is better not to elevate the heart rate when exercising (especially running) this is what the yogi responded:
“Regarding the heart rate, the cultivation of energy is simply not possible by raising the heart rate and any activity which does that would be a hindrance, if not an insurmountable obstacle. It is for this reason that many of the practices of Hatha Yoga are designed to reduce the heart rate. For instance, in uddiyana bandha, the deep contraction of the abdominal viscera towards the spine causes the lungs to stretch, which in turn sends an afferent impulse via the vagus nerve to the brain, which sends back an efferent impulse to the heart telling it to slow down. The same thing is achieved during the retention of the breath in some of the more advanced breathing techniques, by the pressure of the chin against the carotid sinus. And the same again is achieved by mulabandha which is held throughout the whole process) by its influence on the parasympathetic nervous system. Yogis have been working with these things for about 5000 years, give or take. I could be wrong but I’m guessing that the fitness industry does not operate with quite that range of experimentation and empirical observation. There is also no evidence that exercise of that nature (i.e. which raises the heart rate) actually contributes to longevity. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that the internal practices of disciplines like yoga and quigong (where the heart rate is reduced) do. I think this is to do with the relationship between the heart and breathing. Of course, the goal of hatha yoga is kevala kumbakha, which is the complete cessation of the breath.”
What are your thoughts?
Thank you,
Screenshot 2015-05-24 20.20.59
“sounds to me like your Shadow Yogi teacher ought to test his or her Practice and toe some various Start Lines;  he/she might just discover a WHOLE NEW HIGHER DIMENSION to his/her current understanding of Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, and Uddiyana Bandha!”     pic: this past May during Day 1 of 3 at Iron Horse Bicycle Classic;  feeble yogi ilg testing his inner Practices outwardly to finish in the top ten percent of the 250-person field. shown here on Molas Pass, 10,960′.

Noble Seeker,

thank you for your kind words about my most recent book.
sadly, the yogi that chose to purge those somewhat inflated facts and prose regarding “Shadow Yoga’s” stance on not using cardio to increase heart rate has obviously
forgotten that within his/her stated 5,000 years of yogic history,   yoga teaching required students to walk (usually barefoot on minimal food with minimal clothing) over 100 kilometers to
lofty Himalayan secret places in order to take study before their guru/teacher.   if that’s not cardio,  then i haven’t competed in 7 World Championships in 5 Different Cardio Sports.
sounds to me like your Shadow Yogi teacher ought to test his or her Practice and toe some various Start Lines;  he/she might just discover a WHOLE NEW HIGHER DIMENSION to his/her
current understanding of Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, and Uddiyana Bandha!
head bowed,
spirit vowed,
feeble ilg



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