Geeky wellbeing favourites: May
Information, misinformation and more evidence that yoga drives health engagement
A couple of years ago I become a pro-vaccine influencer. It wasn’t intentional – I was involved in an innovation project and my competitive nature and immunology background dragged me into it with quite a bit of force. I was suddenly pushed out of my pro-science (and common sense) bubble and into a world of vaccine hesitancy and straight-up anti-vaxx. I completely lost faith in humanity, if I’m being totally honest.
The past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself in the same spot, tackling misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines, trying to friends and family to get vaccinated and helping spread scientifically valid information. It’s no surprise that this month’s theme is information and misinformation in wellbeing (plus a few other goodies for you). Enjoy!
I’ve literally just discovered the Conspirituality podcast (thank you Jennie for sharing that blog post on Facebook, which referenced it) and I’m loving it. Set up by yogis Matthew Remski, Julian Walker, and Derek Beres, each week the podcast tackles misinformation and conspiracy in the wellbeing industry.
Check out the Back to the Vax episode – it’s super long so if you are short of time you can listen to just the first hour. Of particular interest is the ridiculous comparison of vaccine passports with Apartheid or the Holocaust, and the absurdity of Russell Brand’s rants (which is scary given the size of his platform).
Not quite misinformation-related, but Yoga Body by Mark Singleton tells the true origins of modern postural practice. While most yoga teachers will be aware that modern yoga is really only just over 100 years old, the influences of what we practice today kind of blew my mind. Yoga aerobics anyone?
Read a bit more
It’s perfectly valid to be worried about things you don’t understand, especially when there is so much misinformation around. Here are some useful resources that hopefully will help to answer any questions you have:
David Spiegelhalter and Anthony Masters have an excellent series of articles in the Guardian. Check out why we should be vaccinated (spoiler: to help ourselves by reducing the chances of infection and help others by reducing the chances of transmission) and the truth behind the blood clot risks with the AZ vaccine
Two overviews on the different types of vaccines available, one from the CDC and one from the Wellcome Trust
Common vaccine myths and the truth behind them, by the team behind the Zoe app and Memorial Sloane Kettering
After all that anger control needed when immersed in conspiracy and misinformation, I feel like I need something relaxing. I’ve never really been into restorative yoga (I much prefer yin or yoga nidra if I’m going to go slow or still yoga). But I recently attended a class by Adelene Cheong and it felt as guilty as eating chocolate for breakfast (which I do sometimes, don’t judge, I’ve been stressed recently).
If you do feel like a little indulgent treat, she has various resources online and a regular teaching schedule (that for now is 100% online).
Yoga science highlights
More evidence that yoga (and Pilates) supports people in adopting healthy behaviours and being more actively involved in their health
Similarly, virtual mind–body programmes that include yoga, meditation, tai chi among others, have been beneficial for patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting them to maintain healthy behaviours, but also tackling stress and anxiety by fostering social connections
Small study finds that stressed or depressed teenagers could benefit from yoga, but find in-person classes intimidating – online classes might be a better option, so something to think about if you teach teens or have teens who might like to try yoga
In case you missed these…
Why everyone should practice yoga – yoga has the potential to increase how actively involved we are with our health, which means we live longer, healthier lives
What do depression, inflammation and yoga have in common? – possibly my most read blog post to date, find out about the link between depression and inflammation, and how yoga could help
Yoga, self-compassion and being a better friend to yourself – seriously, why are we all so awful to ourselves? We should be more cat.