Last night, while gym climbing with a science manager, I found he also did outdoor climbing, hiking, and yoga.  Yoga is a great exercise system.  Scientists need healthy bodies to match our super-healthy minds.  Yet a websearch on 'Yoga for Scientists' reveals nothing about how Yoga can help Scientists!  Well, except for "Yoga-- Naked Scientists Discussion Forum" (go ahead, I know you want to look).

However, my interest in the health benefits in Yoga was chilled a bit at this NASA worker's comment, intended to be upbeat-- "tried Bickram Yoga (the Hot yoga) today with a colleague.  Woah!  This is an activity that feels fantastic when it's over."

I think that last bit needs emphasis.  "This is an activity that feels fantastic when it's over"? I can think of many things that fit that category (being tasered, for one), but not many that I'd volunteer for.

Neverless, Bickram Yoga wins the "Yoga for Scientists" prize because it has the coolest names.  First, 'the Hot yoga'.  Hard to beat.  We scientists love literalism-- VLA = Very Large Array, beginning explosion of universe = Big Bang, we're all over the witticism map.  And for Bickram, they mean hot in a scientific sense-- you basically do it in a sauna.

Plus, it's named after its founder, much as we have Mach speed (Ernst Mach) and Heisenberg Uncertainty (after Heisenberg, I think).  So it's consistent with scientific naming conventions.

And it gives great names for the poses.  My favorites: Utkatasana (Awkward pose), Savasana (Dead Body pose), and Poorna - Salabhasana (Full Locust pose). Because, you know, half-locust would be silly.  You can view these at

So the next time you're thinking about doing some science, consider hopping to your nearest sauna to engage in some Awkward pose.  It's the scientific thing to do.  Or, suggest your own favorite exercise for Scientists.


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