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Thursday, September 21, 2006

the pink skidless towels are back!

as i walked into yogahop the other day, something bright pink perched on one of the shelves caught my eye and made me turn and look.

it was a stack of pink skidless towels, the ones yogitoes sold last year as a fundraiser for breast cancer research. and now they're back! so if you missed out last time, here's your chance to get your hands (and feet) on one. i've called around; some just got them in, and some have already sold out. they range in price from $48 (at power yoga santa monica) to $55 (at most other studios). and they're going fast.

as you know, october is national breast cancer awareness month, so here are some yoga-related ways to show your support for the cause (i'm sure there are many more out there):

from yogitoes:

Back by popular demand, the Skidless™ yoga towel by Yogitoes™ is available once again in a special limited edition PINK color, while they last. Pink ribbon design for honoring breast cancer awareness. $5.00 per towel sold will be given to the Dr. Susan Love Foundation, research going beyond finding a cure, but to prevent women from ever developing the disease in the first place.

from MatsMatsMats.com:

By purchasing this unique, hip, pink yoga mat, you get a great mat and also help the fight against breast cancer at the same time.
MatsMatsMats.com will donate 10% of the purchase price from the sale of every one of these mats to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), a breast cancer charity that guarantees that a minimum of 85% of all funds raised goes directly to researching the causes of and treatments for breast cancer. The American Institute of Philanthropy recently awarded BCRF an "A" rating and listed it as its highest rated, national breast cancer charity.

from crescent moon:

In 2005 we partnered with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to design a limited edition series of yoga mat bags with 10% of the price going directly to the Foundation. You may view these bags by clicking on their names; The Caring Case, The Microfiber Metro and The Chocolate/Pink Santa Monica.

from new balance:

The popular Nadi Bag is back and now available in our Pink Ribbon Collection! Designed for carrying yoga gear, with adjustable shoulder strap, deep shoe pocket, and elasticized roll straps for carrying larger yoga mats, the Yoga Duffle also offers versatility for multi-purpose use.

Designed for carrying yoga gear, with deep shoe pocket, and elasticized slip panel for carrying yoga mats, the Yoga Duffle also offers versatility for multi-purpose use.

New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. has been associated with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race For the Cure® Series since 1989 and has been a National Series Sponsor since 1991. The Komen foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. View the entire collection of New Balance Pink Ribbon Apparel.

from finestationery.com:

This ecru, lined, Style Press note pad comes with 50 sheets and features a stylish woman going to her yoga class with her mat and yoga bag at the top of the pad. A pink ribbon denoting support for breast cancer research appears on her yoga mat. "So much to do... but first YOGA" is pre-printed in pink underneath her and there is a row of pink flowers along the bottom of the pad. A magnet on the back means you can hang it on your fridge. The pad comes wrapped in cellophane with a pink, grosgrain bow around it.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this card will be donated to organizations that support breast cancer research and education.

Say "Thank You" with this ecru, side fold, Style Press note card featuring a stylish woman going to her yoga class with her mat and yoga bag. A pink border surrounds the front of the card. A pink ribbon denoting support for breast cancer research appears on her yoga mat. Ecru envelopes are included. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this card will be donated to organizations that support breast cancer research and education.

speaking of breast cancer, i'm sure you yoga devotees out there know how good yoga is, in general, for the mind and body. but did you know that there's a scientific study that proves that yoga actually helps those undergoing treatment for breast cancer? the full text of the article highlighting the results can be found at the end of this post.

so in honor of breast cancer awareness month, consider putting together a care package for your favorite breast cancer survivor. a yoga mat, a towel, a bag, and maybe even a gift certificate to a nearby yoga studio would make a wonderful "i'm here for you" gift.

(by the way, santa monica yoga has FREE yoga classes for cancer patients on fridays at 2pm. and friends are welcome to join them.)

so here's the text of the article that appeared in the houston chronicle on june 5, 2006:

Yoga eases cancer rigors
M.D. Anderson finds those with breast cancer can withstand treatment better

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Houston breast cancer survivor Teresita Ladrillo was feeling the usual side-effects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation when she elected to try a different kind of pick-me-up: yoga.

Enrolled twice weekly in a class offered at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Ladrillo performed exercises aimed at calming tension and recovering lost mobility, problems stemming from her treatment. “It proved very helpful”, says Ladrillo, 52, a dentist from the Philippines now preparing to take U.S. licensing exams. "Learning to breathe deeply and slowly gave me relief when I would get tense and some of the poses gave me back the elasticity and flexibility that radiation takes away."

The classes are part of M.D. Anderson's efforts to incorporate yoga into treatment plans for cancer patients. On Sunday, center researchers reported the ancient discipline can help cancer patients function better physically and feel better about their health.

The study, one of the first of its kind in the U.S., found breast cancer patients in such classes were better at everything from lifting groceries to sleeping regular hours to feeling a sense of well-being than their counterparts who didn't do yoga.

"It was gratifying to see that we could make a clinically significant difference in the quality of life of these women," said Lorenzo Cohen, director of M.D. Anderson's Integrative Medicine Program. "This shows yoga can ameliorate the treatment-related side effects that accumulate in cancer patients over time."

Yoga has long been touted for its health benefits, but there has been little scientific study of it outside of India. As its popularity in the U.S. has skyrocketed, researchers are increasingly subjecting the workouts to rigorous studies.

Last year, one study found that yoga, in conjunction with a vegan diet and moderate exercise, can slow the progression of early prostate cancer. Another, by cancer researchers, found yoga can prevent middle-age weight gain.

The M.D. Anderson study randomly assigned 30 women to a test group that took twice-a-week yoga classes and 31 to a group that didn't. All the patients, who ranged from stage 0 to stage 3 in the disease, had undergone radiation and most had received chemotherapy. About half had undergone surgery.

The yoga program was designed specifically for the patient population — emphasizing breathing and relaxation and excluding some positions that would be difficult given the patients' possibly weakened range of motion.

At the end of six weeks, the patients were asked to grade their abilities and sense of well-being. The responses were converted to a scale ranging from 0 to 100, where the yoga group reported higher scores in almost every area. In physical function, their advantage was 82-69.

The researchers also drew blood and took saliva samples in an effort to measure the participants' immune function and stress levels, but those are not yet finished.

Among the study participants was Dianne Landsden, a 58-year-old teacher who had done yoga only once when she enrolled. She hadn't suffered the debilitating fatigue common among people who have undergone radiation, but wondered if it might help her overcome the disease's emotional toll.

"It was great for my general well-being, the feeling that everything's going to be all right," said Lansden, who participated in yoga class for six weeks during radiation and six months after. "Breast cancer is such a solitary journey. When you get the diagnosis, it's hard not to associate it with death."

Still, the one disappointment with the study was that it found no differences in the level of depression or anxiety between the two groups.

The study was just the start of yoga research at M.D. Anderson, which last year began a collaboration with India's top research foundation, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana. The two plan to utilize brain-imaging technology in an attempt to pinpoint precisely where changes take place in the brain as a result of yoga exercises.

Earlier this spring, the National Cancer Institute awarded Cohen and his team $2.4 million to study the effects of Tibetan yoga in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy, the largest such grant.


Blogger joni said...

hi john --

it looks like the yogasprout website has a good selection of yoga accessories... thanks for sending the link!

12:09 AM  

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