Kim Cattrall Says Fizzy Yoga “Saved my life”

Sex in the City star Kim Cattrall is addicted to Fizzy Yoga.

In fact, Cattrall credits it with “saving her life,” in allowing her to survive her demanding role as faded movie star Alexandra del Lago in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Birth of Youth eight shows a week. Cattrall spent 3 months in London this summer in the play.

Fizzy yoga — actually physiyoga, or yoga-enhanced physical therapy — is a mix of massage, meditative breathing, physical therapy and yoga poses.

Cattrall, 56, who has had issues with her knees for the past 2 years, claims the new exercise regimen has significantly eased the pain in her legs.

As I get older, I find that cardio is less important to me. What I want to do more of is intense stretching. And the great thing about physiyoga, I’m not worried about injuring myself because a regular yoga instructor isn’t versed in the way of the body like a trained physio is.

According to Janet Cahill from ICC, a state-of-the-art physical therapy center affiliated with New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, told Cattrall to try physiyoga. “Physiyoga is all about strengthening your weak points. And that’s not always on the agenda when you go for an exercise class. That’s about everybody getting the same exercise, doing it as quickly as possible, sweating as much as possible. Physiyoga is much slower and very hands-on. And the yoga breathing takes you to a great place in your head.”

What is Physiyoga?

Yoga is a mind and body practice with historical origins in ancient Indian philosophy. Like other meditative movement practices used for health purposes, various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.

Yoga in its full form combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and a distinct philosophy. There are numerous styles of yoga. Hatha yoga, commonly practiced in the United States and Europe, emphasizes postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Hatha yoga styles include Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Viniyoga, and others.

Physical therapy (or physiotherapy), often abbreviated PT, is a health care profession primarily concerned with the remediation of impairments and disabilities and the promotion of mobility, functional ability, quality of life and movement potential through examination, evaluation, diagnosis and physical intervention carried out by physical therapists.

In physioyoga, physical therapists with specialized training in yoga, use yoga postures (asanas)  and breathing (pranayama) to rehabilitate patients. PT Jyoti Saboo, feels this is a match made in heaven:

Given the depth of medical knowledge, the level of training and education in movement-related sciences, physical therapists with specialized training in Yoga are uniquely positioned to leverage this system, and effectively treat pain, movement, breathing and posture-related problems.

Pam-AdaptiveYoga can be modified to include the use of adaptations and props. Complicated poses and movements can be broken down into smaller steps and sub-steps. In addition, devices such as chairs, straps, blocks, blankets, walls and  sand bags can be used to aid each individual’s particular needs .

Current research suggests that a carefully adapted set of yoga poses may reduce low-back pain and improve function. Other studies also suggest that practicing yoga (as well as other forms of regular exercise) might improve quality of life; reduce stress; lower heart rate and blood pressure; help relieve anxiety, depression, and insomnia; and improve overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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