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1. A growing body of research shows that yoga can improve sex and may even prevent and treat sex problems by increasing the overall health of the cardiovascular system.
2. Yoga can improve orgasms. When a person has an orgasm, the pelvic floor muscles that run between the legs rapidly contract. In yoga, the pelvic floor muscles are known as moola bandha. Yoga strengthens them, providing benefits similar to Kegel exercises.
3. A 2008 market study in Yoga Journal reports that some 16 million Americans practice yoga and spend $5.7 billion a year on gear.
4. Pierre Bernard (1875-1955), also known as the “Omnipotent Oom,” was one of the first prolific American yogis. He founded the Tantrik Order, a secret society which taught its initiates Hatha yoga, philosophy, and Sanskrit and which also sanctioned sacramental sex.
5. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to yoke or join together. It most often refers to the yoking of a conscious subject (jiva-atman) with a Supreme Spirit (parama ta man) in order to reach an ecstatic condition (Samadhi, a “placing or putting together”). It is derived from the Proto-Indo-European base *yeug-, meaning “to join” as in jugular.
6. The lotus pose is a sitting pose meant to resemble the perfect symmetry and beauty of a lotus flower. Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, and Shiva, a major god in Hinduism, are typically shown in this pose.
7. “Hot yoga,” or “Bikram yoga,” is under criticism from the larger yoga community for allegedly plagiarizing traditional Hatha yoga postures.
8. “Doga” is a type of yoga in which people use yoga to achieve harmony with their pets. Dogs can either be used as props for their owners or they can do the stretches themselves. It reportedly started in New York in 2002 when Suzi Teitelman started “Yoga for Dogs.”
9. Swami Vivekananda is credited for being the greatest proponent of Yoga in the West.
10. Lenovo has a tablet named Yoga.
11. The yoga symbol “Om” is found in Hindu and Tibetan philosophy. It is said to be the primordial sound of the universe and is connected to the Ajna Chakra (the conscience) or “third eye” region.
12. The Guinness World Records currently lists 85-year-old Bette Calman from Australia as the world’s oldest yoga teacher. However, 90-year-old yoga teacher Gladys Morris from Royton, Oldham, is petitioning the Guinness World Records to be recognized as the oldest.
13. There are over 100 different schools of yoga, including Hatha yoga, Raja yoga (“royal yoga”), Jnana yoga (“path of knowledge”), Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, (“discipline of action”), and Bikram yoga. While each school of yoga has different practices, they have a unified goal: the state of pure bliss and oneness with the universe.
14. Researchers at the Mitre Corporation found that Democrats were more likely to tweet words such as “upscale,” “yoga,” “and “sushi,” while Republicans were more likely to tweet “weapons,” “blackberry,” and “marine.”
15. Studies show that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease by improving arterial flow. Similarly, studies show that yoga also helps treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.
16. In 2008, a council of muftis in Malaysia banned yoga for Muslims. The believed that the Hindu elements of a standard 60-minute yoga class could “destroy the faith of Muslims.
17. A York University study found that practicing yoga reduced physical and psychological symptoms of chronic pain in women with fibromyalgia.
18. Hatha yoga is the type of yoga most frequently practiced in Western culture. Ha means “sun” and tha means “moon,” representing hatha yoga’s attempt to combine both complementary forces.
19. The Indian Postal Service will be releasing a commemorative stamp on the occasion of the first International Yoga Day on June 21, 2015.
20. Aaron Star teaches “Hot Nude Yoga” in a Chelsea studio. The classes are men-only, and there are only two rules: “no kissing and no touching penises.”