“Yoga Is Not A Complete Exercise” and other of Fred’s Statements Clarified!

Wednesday Apr 30, 2014 | BY |
| Comments (26)

Funny Guru

 

When I first met Kevin and Annmarie in the summer of 2008, Kevin told me that I come across very differently in person than in my writing.

At the time, I was furiously writing on my blog, focusing mainly on issues dealing with the raw food diet. I did come across in a what that some might qualify as “passionate” while others might use the word “militant” instead…

In person, Kevin told me that he didn’t expect me to be this sort of calm, open-minded mind who’s actually not that militant about diet and health controversies.

Truth be told, both in my writing and during the podcasts, I have a tendency to “say something shocking now, explain it later”…

So now that I’m on board doing the weekly Renegade Health Podcast with Kevin, I thought it would be useful to clarify some of my health philosophy.

That way, readers of Renegade Health can understand better where I’m coming from when I make my shocking statements…

Prove It, Otherwise I Don’t I Don’t Buy It

I must admit it, I’m a skeptical guy. I don’t use the word “skeptical” as a personal trait, but more as a general philosophy.

When I was younger, I followed my emotions and followed what appealed to me, often believing whatever contrarian philosophy was presented to me.

I became a raw foodist.

I thought that “going back to nature” was the solution to everything.

I thought that generally there was a conspiracy behind every major area of controversy.

I rejected almost ALL modern medicine and adopted natural hygiene as a health philosophy.

I did all of that because it appealed to my emotions, it made sense to me, and seemed logical enough.

But overtime, I discovered inconsistencies in this way of seeing the world. It didn’t always work, and it didn’t always make sense. And I realized a few things:

- Emotions can sometimes lead you astray
– We often see what we want to see
– The “contrarian” view is not always the right one
– We must question everything and even question the questioners
– You cannot say “you cannot prove that I’m wrong” as a proof that you’re right
– We always have to look at the big picture
– One’s person experience or subjective view is not enough to make a statement

So I began questioning and questioning, reading like crazy and trying to evaluate every health claim from a purely scientific and objective point of view.

And this philosophy of skepticism is deeply imbedded in me, so that it comes natural for me to question the most basic assumptions that people have about health.

Let me give you an example:

- “Buying local foods is not necessarily more ecological than buying imported foods.”

I made this statement on a recent Renegade Health Podcast, and I can tell it upset a few people. But objectively, it’s a true statement. Forbes reports: “a shipper sending a truck with 2,000 apples over 2,000 miles would consume the same amount of fuel per apple as a local farmer who takes a pickup 50 miles to sell 50 apples at his stall at the green market. The critical measure here is not food miles but apples per gallon.

When you actually analyze the situation, driving to your local whole foods market is the part of who whole transaction that consumes the most energy, NOT foods being shipped from halfway around the world.

Makes sense so far?

When people advocate being a “locavore,” they do it because they think they will help the environment. But when you look at the big pictures, things are more complex than they seem. For example, it’s been found that giving up red meat once a week saves as much energy as eating only foods at the nearest truck farmer.

Another Example:

- “Yoga is not a complete exercise for fitness”

We talked about yoga in the last Renegade Health podcast. And I must admit that it did upset a few people. Why? Because I said that “thin and flexible girls don’t need to do yoga.”

If I had said than “lanky and thin guys don’t need to be running,” I would probably have upset another segment of our readership! But my point was simple:

There’s no exercise that’s good for absolutely everything.  A runner will not get a stronger upper body by running alone. And a weight-lifter will not develop their cardio as much as someone doing endurance running.

Now, I understand that there exists other styles of yoga, probably more inventions of American gyms than the actual styles from India, such as Power Yoga. Those can be very effective for developing cardio, etc.

There are also many exercises derived from yoga that can be good for strength training.

But my point still remains: if you wish to improve a very specific aspect of your fitness, you might as well use an exercise that will get you there faster and more effectively, than expect everything from ONE type of activity.

Yoga is a great activity because it’s not just an exercise, but also a meditation. It has a spiritual component to it. But strictly from the fitness point of view, it’s not a “complete” exercise (just like any other activity), in the sense that it can’t quite develop every aspect of your fitness to their full potential.

Alright, this is getting long winded, and I’m probably trying to stir the pot too much… so let me know what you think in the comment section!

The 80-20 Rule

My health philosophy is also influenced by the 80/20 rule or Pareto principle, which states that 80% of your results come from only 20% of your actions (more or less).

Applied to health, it turns out that some health practices can have a huge impact and ultimately influence the course of your existence, extend your life, etc.

Other practices… well, are not really proven to work, and frankly, don’t influence that much. But sadly, I find that most of the alternative health movement focuses on this latter category.

The “big stuff” is boring. It’s not sexy. It’s not exciting. But it’s the stuff that’s been shown to really work, study after study. Things like:

- Exercise at least 20 minutes a day
– Eat a plant-based diet
– Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
– Eat your greens
– Avoid refined foods
– Get enough sleep
– Get your sunshine or vitamin D
– Do stuff to lower your stress levels
– Spend time in nature
– Have healthy relationship
– Develop a spiritual practice

You know the drill… this is the stuff that makes a difference.

- Just by eating a plant-based diet, you can avoid heart disease later in life.

- By lifting weights once a week, you can avoid loss of muscle as you age (and along with that: a low metabolism)

- By eating green vegetables every day, you get your B vitamins, your calcium, and you improve the health of your arteries

- By eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, and plenty of fiber, you can prevent cancer.

So far so good. This is basic health information.

But people like to focus on the other category of somewhat controversial, mostly anecdotal, and generally unproven health practices that in my opinion, get too much attention.

Let me mention a few:

- Drinking “alkaline” water
– Using organic ingredients when making junk food recipes (organic sugar vs. regular sugar in a pie, for example)
– Avoiding wireless Internet and cell phone radiation
– Eating 100% raw
– Drinking wheatgrass juice, without changing the rest of your diet
– Eating 100% organic
-Removing mercury fillings when they’re not giving you any sign of trouble
– Doing yoga as your sole exercise when you could be improving other aspects of your fitness
– Ear candling
– Eating sweet potatoes but avoiding white potatoes
– Seeking “wild” foods

These ideas get a lot of attention. They’re sexy. They’re interesting. But do they work? There’s certainly no very concrete proof that they will make a major difference in your health.

Can you do some of these things? Absolutely.

But in my opinion, it’s much better to focus on the big stuff than get lost in a million of niche theories that haven’t been really proven to work.

So I guess that my philosophy is very practical, and I understand that it will not resonate with everybody. But I tend to want to focus on the stuff that really makes a difference, because my time is limited.

Do I do some of these things myself?

I realize that I have certain beliefs that have very little scientific validation, but somehow I hang on to them. For example:

- I believe that the full moon has an influence on my mood. It could be totally coincidental. I might be totally wrong. But I hang on to that belief!
– I believe that caffeine is somewhat of a poison… to me.
– I believe that Johann Sebastian Bach is the best composer to have ever lived!

So here’s the deal:

I don’t think that you need scientific proof for everything. I also don’t think that all you should do for your health is simply work out, sleep better and eat a good diet.

Some of these smaller items can really make a difference.

But the key is to make sure that you don’t get lost in the minutia, and also don’t fall for the hype spread by the natural health scaremongers.

For example, I’m convinced that it’s not necessary for health reasons alone to consume only organically grown foods. Some people might disagree with me, but I remain convinced that the current scientific data doesn’t point at all to the necessity of eating organic fruits and vegetables for health.

I think that you probably get more toxins eating a piece of organic steak than you do eating a pile of commercially grown vegetables because animal tissues accumulate toxins and even if the animal is fed the best organic foods, it’s still higher on the food chain, and will accumulate environmental toxins.

So here’s my pet peeve with organic food:

Seeing people focus on eating organic ingredients, but not change too much the general composition of their diet. They still eat a lot of processed foods, but it’s all organic.

I’m quite convinced that someone eating a very clean diet high in (non-organic) raw fruits and vegetables will be healthier than someone eating closer to a standard diet but 100% organic.

Am I absolutely certain to be right on this? Latest studies seem to confirm my belief, but there’s always the possibility that all of those non-organic apples will cause people cancer 30 years down the road. It’s a conjecture, but I personally don’t buy it, because of the basic fact that fruits and vegetables are so low on the food chain and so healthy in general, and can be washed, that ultimately I think it’s the general composition of your diet that matters the most.

Am I against organic food? Absolutely not. Are there any reasons other than personal health to encourage organic food? Yes.

But I think you get my point: I like to focus on what can make the biggest difference in health and not obsess about the details. If you can’t afford organic fruits and vegetables, I think that you’ll turn out ok.

I’m an Optimist

Okay, so I’m a cold-blooded skeptic. But here’s something else that will help you understand my philosophy:

I’m an optimist. Maybe foolishly so.

I really hate it when I hear people say:

- Human beings are like a cancer on the planet
– That things were way better in the past
– We’d be better off if agriculture had never been invented
– This were generally better “back then” (whenever that was)
– What is natural is always better
– That the future is bleak and terrible

I honestly believe that we live in a great time. Yes, it’s not perfect, but think about the time machine fantasy. When would you go back in time if you really could? Do you really think that things were better off in the past, before technology?

I’ve studied enough history to know that the concept of nostalgia is always present in every generation. Pretty much every generation in history thinks, as they get older, that the new generation is “lost” and that generally speaking, they were better off in the past. And science is starting to understand why. 

But if you look at it objectively, being born in a Western country in the last few decades is sort of like winning the lottery from a human existence perspective!

Yes we have our problems, but overall things are pretty damn good.

Because of the media, we think that the world is a violent place. In reality, the world has never been more peaceful.

Because of the media again, we think the world keeps getting more polluted, but overall, it’s been shown that at least in Western countries, things are getting better (See: the Skeptical Environmentalist).

Yes, we have a ton of problems, especially with our health.

There’s never been so much obesity. But I also think that we’ll find a solution. In fact, we already know what to do, the problem is really to find a way to implement it on a massive scale.

Right now, we face problems of abundance. In the past, we had problems with scarcity. But honestly, I’d rather live in the world where people have a few health problems because they gorge on too much food than live at a time and place where people are dying off hunger or of disease brought by insalubrious living.

I believe that the human being is truly extraordinary. Our inventiveness never ends, and I think we’ll keep finding solutions.

The future is rosy if we have a little faith in ourselves and we find ways to work with each other, not against each other.

Conclusion

So I hope that clarifies a little bit where I’m coming from in my health philosophy! If you have any questions or comments, let me know (but try to take a deep breath first…)

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998. He is the author of several books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies.

He was named Best Health Blogger of the year in 2011 by Renegade Health. Frederic has experimented with many diets and specializes in raw food, vegetarian and vegan topics, as well as how to balance a healthy diet in the real world. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

26 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Larry says:

    While I think I know, I am uncertain what you mean when you write, “For example, it’s been found that giving up red meat once a week saves as much energy as eating only foods at the nearest truck farmer.”

  2. Britt says:

    I would like to say that first of all, I agree with all of these things, and second of all I might have said this before (I can’t remember) but I’m really glad that you are at Renegade Health and I hope you stick around! I’ve definitely been reading/following more since you guys have teamed up. Really bold and intelligent work, thank you.

  3. Cheryl Holt says:

    Love it! Frederick this is an excellent summation, I rather enjoyed reading this!

  4. Melissa says:

    ok; Fred. Some other sources to check out the ‘hard science’ on would be the research of Dr. Magda HAvas of Trent University in Ontario (cell phone radiation) – David Wolfe on EM electromagnetic fields and their side-effects … and for those who want a spiritual resource for the health benefits of yoga, see http://www.spiritvoyage.com and have a look at the interesting research by yogis of how ancient sanskrit mantras can effect your brain waves and aid people’s healing journeys…. other hard scientific facts, google Dr. Richard Davidson in the USA & check out California’s Institute of Noetic Sciences to discover other interesting facts about how what we believe affects our health and our lives. For the many people with thyroid disorders, alkalime water sources are important, as the typical city water contains chlorine — of course also eating iodine rich sea veggies & other endocrine system boosters is also a great idea. i dunno Fred, maybe you’ve overspoken here?

    • Faith says:

      To MELISSA: I think you may have missed the point of this article. Frederic did not say or imply that any of the other things were not beneficial. He said that we should not lose our focus to them. IF you are already doing all of the basics all of the time and you still have time, energy and resources for more, go for it. The most benefit comes from the basics first. Some people gravitate to the new and/or sensational…”I’ll get a grounding mat, then all my problems will disappear!” or “Alkaline water will be the cure for all my ailments!”Then they continue to not exercise or eat well or go to bed at a decent time. I’m pretty sure if you read it again you will see it makes a lot of sense. I don’t think he “overspoke” at all. We need his clear, level headed insight, in my opinion.

    • yachad says:

      Melissa, you’ve offered GREAT, trusted resources. Thank you very much. The book The Biology of Belief by Dr Bruce Lipton
      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+biology+of+belief
      is a great read on “what we believe creates who we are on a cellular level ” I don’t think Fred is against any of what you are pointing out, I think rather he says that most of us can live healthy , uplifting lives without worrying too much about all the details in the 20%. After all, many people can’t take a cell phone out of their lives because of work or can’t afford organic food but if they follow The Big Stuff on his list ( LIKE SLEEP MORE!) , they ‘d do themselves world of good.

  5. Yoga is definitely not a complete exercise and there is recent evidence showing that many yoga poses can actually cause more harm than good. Myths permeate the yoga world such as standing on your head will bring more blood to your brain or doing the plow pose will stimulate the thyroid. There is no evidence that supports these claims and I have found that headstands, plow, and shoulder-stand are unnatural body positions that can constrict blood flow, compress the spine and stretch nerve tissue.
    Mindful exercise and deep breathing are certainly beneficial but some of the poses that people practice such as straight leg forward bending and bound twists can compress the discs in the spinal column and loosen the necessary ligament tension in the hips and knees needed for functional joint mechanics. Yoga poses should ideally simulate how you would be moving in your body in real life. Toe touching with the knees straight torques the lower back and sacrum and is like driving a car with the brakes on. Yoga glamorizes flexibility that can become a liability when the ligaments are so loose they can no longer stabilize the joints during movement.
    As a bodyworker of several decades and a yoga teacher and practitioner for more than 40 years, I developed a new style of yoga called YogAlign which can be done by anyone without painful stretches or poses. After just one to four classes, you can learn techniques that align your posture from the inside out using deep breathing. Yoga is a great way to get in touch with your body and rewire the postural software that dictates how our body is aligned. please check it out. thanks for your articles. Michaelle Edwards, Creator of YogAlign

  6. Faith says:

    Well said.

  7. yachad says:

    The mind is a PIG and I so admire you Fred for how you explain your thought processes to us. Personally, I didn’t hear either podcast so i didn’t have a chance to react like you say some people did. But you are a gem to not only teach people, but teach them HOW TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES. As a 47 year old mom of 2 teens, I can still ski expert slopes in the Canadian Rockies, run a few miles on hills with my daughter, swim laps for well over an hour and I do eat as much organic , healthy , raw, sprouted and home-cooked food as possible. I rarely eat fried, processed, packaged, fast or junk foods. Today in the pool (my daily 30 minute minimum) — or was it the sauna afterward — I contemplated what a world would look like if we were taught as children that every 5 or so years, our perspective on life and what we believe could radically change. Haha, and hours later i read this! If we grew up with that concept, I believe we’d all be much more open to changing OURSELVES , because our egos wouldn’t be attached to making ourselves wrong for what we stood for previously , so vehemently . Think about it, how many of us won’t try something new because in the past we said “I’ll never…. or i don’t”
    As “evolved and aware” as I am , I personally am embarrassed to let people know that I occasionally eat organic chicken because i was known for so many years as a raw and/or health-foodest . i am a role model and have been a nutrition coach. So if I say , after 25+ years as a Veg , that now i choose to eat organic chicken because it suits my family that i cook it, my mind tells me that i will be a disappointment to so many strict vegetarians. Or worse, some people who might benefit from eliminating meat might not do so because even SHE (me) , after 25 years ,” fell off the wagon”. Thank you , Frederic, for being who you are for us in our abundant world or positivity , creativity and hope. You are right on target with your 80-20 approach and i hope that the younger readers will grasp the wisdom of that ; a wisdom that usually only comes with age. I remember a great phrase from a card given to me in my 20s from a 60 year old mentor of mine, which i am only now really beginning to grasp , (are you out there all listening?) “Youth is wasted on the young.” Gain Fred’s wisdom now and let the journey be easier!!

  8. Frank says:

    An “arrogant atheist” ? Have you looked in the mirror ? How did you get here ? You started as one cell, and ALL of your organs were in it. Are you breathing ? Air ? That just proves the existence of God. I have a challenge for you. You prove that God doesn’t exist. And what about nature ? Creation is found in nature. God is all and in all. I challenge you to SEE with the eyes of your HEART – your Hebrew HEART, that is. We are learning all about the HEART and it amazes me how much the so-called experts, ph-d’s, etc., that don’t know what the HEART is ! They don’t know what it is , where it is, or how to get there , or what language it speaks.
    Check out my website and SEE for yourself !

    • yachad says:

      Thank you , Frank. Please elaborate on “The Hebrew Heart”. You say “They don’t know what it is , where it is, or how to get there , or what language it speaks.” who does? How can THEY be sure? What is your website, it didn’t show up on your post. In Hebrew , “heart ” is Lev. How can refers learn what you are referring to ?

  9. Weltha says:

    Thanks, Fred for the explanations. People always get too upset if others don’t see it from their point of view (as you pointed out).
    Keep up the great work! You are a treasure. :) Blessings to you both.

  10. Carol says:

    I have a Denise Austin Tape I go back to time and time again. I am a 67 year old woman with some health issues and I find this is something I can do. I mainly continue to do yoga to prevent back pain. I feel Yoga gives me strength and helps maintain some flexibility.

  11. Terri says:

    Frederick, you rock! Just sayin. :)

  12. Elizabeth says:

    That last podcast was the first I have listened to and I must say I found the conversational tone to be much lighter and relaxed than your posts, which was very nice. Yes, you do sound a little “militant” in your writing. :)
    To clarify a bit on the yoga as not complete exercise: Ashtanga yoga (or power yoga) was invented in India and not some American gym, includes many sun salutations (the cardio component if you will) They were designed to put the yogi thru a full range of body motion (apparently originally designed for energetic 12 year old boys) They also require you to “press’ your own weight (my own weight being much more than I have ever lifted with free weights at the gym!) So I do consider it pretty good all-around fitness. But you know, to each his own.

  13. Tim Miller says:

    Excellent post! Thank you.

    The thing that made me want to protest most in your and Kevin’s most recent podcast was, amazingly, your comments on pasta. And I hardly ever eat the stuff anyway. Still, I have a friend who sometimes brings spaghetti made with whole grain pasta he buys at Kroger to our weekly potlucks. He’s no cook, so he simply mixes the most healthy (according to the label) commercial tomato sauce he can find with the pasta. And I have to say I find it incredibly delicious. That said, I hardly ever eat out (like at an Olive Garden) and rarely if ever make pasta myself, so I’m comparing his spaghetti with, well, nothing. Maybe if I ate more pasta I’d see that refined pasta tastes way better. But with unjaded taste buds, I have to say I don’t see what you mean about whole grain pasta tasting yucky.

    You did a blog post a while back about the first few days of water fasting at TrueNorth and said you would do another post about the subsequent days. Did you ever? If so, I missed it. I would love to read/hear your detailed impressions of TrueNorth and water fasting. I am scheduled to go there later this year.

  14. Yogi says:

    Yoga is complete in every way – nothing more to be said.

  15. Renee I says:

    I enjoy your articles and open minded perspective. I applaud your candid and honest admissions in respect to your previous commitment as a 100% raw vegan and then your decision to modify this extreme practice. I read and research many natural/holistic health blogs and find a road somewhere in the middle to be the best practice. Our bodies are all unique and as you’ve commented before, what works for one person might not for another. There are so many variables and one size fits all just doesn’t work. Geographic location is another huge factor. For example, eating raw imported produce from thousands of miles away, can’t be better for someone living in the more northern regions eating local organic produce that indigenous people ate for thousands of years. The information circulating out there is constantly changing and contradictory, what’s true one day is proven false the next. Having said that, I am surprised that you condone eating non organic produce as most of them are GMO and surely that can’t be good for anyone. I don’t believe in any extreme practice but I am committed to eating only organic food whenever possible. All our food should be consumed as nature and our Creator intended. In my opinion, how you prepare it, cooked or raw is a personal choice but it is a crime against humanity to allow others to alter our food supply without our knowledge or permission.

  16. Diana says:

    Thank you so much for your statement. I’ve seen friends were they buy everything organic and its all process food. Their health is in shambles as well as their finances, due to the expensive prices of organic food. My point is that they are so focus on buying all organic and not focus on what they’re consuming. I believe it defeats the purpose.
    Thanks again for your courage to speak your mind.

  17. JOACIM OSTERHOLM says:

    plesent ideas.
    At last someone is spredding a global philofosy about physicaly healty living.
    I still long fore “the gilden middle way”
    wich inclouds the very simple fact that some things works fore most persones but not everybody.
    I belive: In general we have a natural good health by ceaping our body in a good Ph level.
    I know a little abuot a lot of things.
    Looking forwards to further contact.

    Un saludo from spain

    Kim

  18. Sylvana says:

    Thank you for this Fred. I’m a registered nurse & midwife with a leaning towards natural as much as possible with food, treatment of disease and the birth process. Anyone who is critically ill or has had a life threatening accident needs to go to hospital for urgent repair…then, once the crisis has been averted, natural remedies can help to stabilise the body. I also believe that the best way to prevent degenerative disease is the small consistent practices that have been shown through research to make a difference. Yes, making good food choices on a daily basis is more helpful than eating organic processed food, although avoiding man made chemicals in food as much as possible is always better – some fruits & vegetables absorb more pesticides than others – and if you eat meat – the fats in free range are healthier – depending on where the animal has grazed the meat may be devoid of or full of chemicals including traces of antibiotics which is contributes to the development of antibiotic resistant ‘super bugs’. People may think that they are too healthy to need antibiotics, but a long hospital stay following a serious accident can expose anyone to risk – another reason to maintain healthy habits on a regular basis so that if the unexpected occurs the body is in the strongest condition to heal. I totally agree with the level of discernment that you apply to assessing what to believe or not believe Fred. Blind faith in every new ‘natural’ health theory can lead to spending huge amounts of money and lining the pockets of charlatans – many of whom totally believe in themselves and their powers. I am often reminded of the story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. I am a Nia teacher – a blend of movement forms: dance arts, martial arts & healing arts put to music = fun!! addresses Flexibility, Agility, Movement, Stability and Strength.

  19. Andrew Green says:

    Generally an interesting piece, but this comment – “fruits and vegetables … and can be washed” is based on the misconception that pesticides and fungicides are just superficial applications.
    In fact, many of these are systemic, in that they spread in the sap system of the plant, in order to make the plant itself toxic to fungus or insects. Such chemicals cannot be simply “washed off” and it is silly and misguided of you to think this is the case.
    Eating non-organic fruits and vegetables means that you are likely to be consuming toxic chemicals … no matter how much you wash them!
    And toxic chemicals are NOT good for our health!

  20. Laura S says:

    What a find! An interesting and stimulating article and an equally spirited conversation to follow- I feel I have just had a delicious and satisfying meal- Thank you!
    I agree with Faith :) Keep the focus on the basics to start and try not to get distracted as shiny bright interesting things are thrown in your path.
    Thanks again Frederic for a very enjoyable read.
    Best wishes
    Laura

  21. Jan says:

    Your point is taken. I agree, there probably is no “complete exercise” that covers all aspects of fitness. Although I do think yoga comes as close to it as any other form of exercise without damaging joints (as running can do), or over-developing muscles (as body-building can do). My point was, and is, yoga is a gentle exercise that holds real benefits for anyone at any age. So if young people are practicing yoga while they are still young, it will only reap benefits for them as they age. Your comment “young, thin and flexible girls don’t need yoga” I realize was spoken off the cuff, but it was not relevant to your point. It reflected your assumption that yoga is the only exercise these girls are practicing, which they may be, but why laugh when you see them leaving a yoga studio? They are there to do something very good for themselves. And when you see older people, like me, leaving a yoga studio, it’s probably because we are there to help reverse the damage done to our joints, bones and muscles obtained in our younger years possibly caused by too much running, jogging and performing a lifetime of physical labor that takes its toll on shoulders, hips, knees, etc. These young girls may already be protecting their joints, bones and muscles from damage done from other exercises they’re practicing by also practicing yoga. Smart girls! It’s a lot easier to prevent damage than try to reverse it after it’s all ready done.

    I enjoyed the rest of your column, agree with your 80/20 rule, am also an optimist, and buy locally grown foods. Although my reason for buying local is to support my neighbors and our local economy. I support local, family-owned restaurants, coffee shops, hardware & book stores, etc.. Choosing to bypass the large, corporate owned chain stores and restaurants. They have more than enough money all ready. My neighbors and local businesses do not.

    Sorry this got long-winded. I thank you for your clarification on the yoga comment.

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