Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and The Rehab Industry
As an academic interested in feminist fitness and a yoga teacher, I anticipated the publication of Becky Thompson’s book for almost a year after meeting her at a conference. Survivors on the Yoga Mat: Stories for Those Healing from Trauma has become an indispensable asset for my work in fitness and academia. Both of us draw from our personal and professional lives, weave the words and experiences of others into our texts, and believe in the power of yoga (and, for me, fitness more generally) as a means toward recovery and transformation. For anyone interested in the healing power of yoga–personally or professionally–this book is a moving and rich resource.
We Did It So You Don’t Have To: Couch to 5K
I was a soccer player in early high school, until a bad knee sprain put me out of commission and away from sports for about eight years. More recently, I’d begun biking to and from work every day, and, because I live in a city, I walk to most places in my neighborhood. But even though I talked a good game, saying I’d start running “next summer,” “next summer,” “next summer,” deep down, I never seriously thought I’d be a runner. And then my Ms. Fit boss, Kathie, asked me to review the Couch to 5K app by Active.
The end of the year is a notorious time for over-taxing your system – overeating, eating poorly (dips, cheeseballs, cookies, eggnogs, anyone?) and over-imbibing. Between friends’ outings, family gatherings, and workplace celebrations, not to mention the stress of holiday shopping, it’s hard to maintain a balance, let alone squeezing in a workout here or there. The result is always the same: you end up feeling sluggish, bloated, erratic, and mentally and emotionally spent.
That’s why, when I had the opportunity to try a three-day cleanse right between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, I jumped on it. Once committed, though, I began having second thoughts.
The workshop flier said, “Yoga for Women”, and I thought, this workshop could go one of several ways:
· The teacher could be a tight-bodied Lululemon model in fuchsia lipstick and eyeliner, who played acid jazz and dubstep to our vinyasas. She could try to bend us into crazy positions and coach us to use our feminine Shakti to make ourselves hotter, more luscious beings (presumably in order to snag or keep some man);
· Or, she could be an “Earth Mother” with hairy legs and no sense of humor, who told us to do malasana over a mirror to look at our yonis, and who would coach us to breathe through our vaginas and smile at our uteruses.