Monday, June 11, 2012

Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast & Slow

Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast & Slow was a delight to listen to. Kahneman, the psychologist who won a Nobel in economics, shares his insights from years of research and study about why we do what we do. He describes our brains as having 2 separate systems, one fast and one slow (among other characteristics). These different systems lead to quite different outcomes, depending on which one we use in any given situation (and "fast" of course, always arrives first!). Read (or listen) to this book and you'll have a better understanding of yourself and those around you. Really delightful, and told in some measure through autobiography. 

William J. Broad: The Science of Yoga

The Science of Yoga provides a thoughtful and measured consideration of hatha yoga. Broad, a science writer for the NYT & yoga practitioner since the 1970's works to separate the factual from the fanciful. Among his points:
  • yoga isn't that effective as an aerobic workout (yoga should, for the most part, slow metabolism over all)
  • we don't get "more oxygen" from pranayama or by doing more vinyasas. We're pretty much saturated with oxygen all of the time anyway. No, it's the level of carbon dioxide in our system that can effect our physiology
  • yoga can help the old (or young) sex life (enough said!)
  •  yoga does help with mood & overall well-being
  • you can suffer serious injury doing yoga
This is just a brief overview, but if you do yoga or are thinking about it, it's a worthwhile read to let you know what may or may not happen to your body as you engage this practice.