Is PIVOT Yoga safe?

Yes, it is.

To discuss it thoroughly, we'd start by saying that there are three main safety concerns that we think yogis typically have in mind when they think about PIVOT Yoga:

  1. Electronics - Is it harmful to my body to wear electronics while I'm doing yoga?
  2. Batteries - Can the batteries in the clothes harm me?
  3. Physical Injury - Will I hurt myself trying to do something PIVOT Yoga asks me to do?

Let's discuss these in turn.

1. ELECTRONICS

In the world of consumer electronics, there are two main ways to measure the impact on humans. The first is the amount of energy being wirelessly emitted by the device, and the second related issue is the rate at which that emitted energy is absorbed by the body. 

Total power output is measured in milliwatts, which is written "mW".  Keep in mind that PIVOT Yoga clothes consist of ordinary sensors, which emit no wireless energy at all, and then main units, of which there is one in the pants and one in the shirt. The one in the pants communicates only with the one in the shirt, over quite a short distance, and the one in the shirt communicates with the app, which could be across the room.  So in effect, only the shirt is emitting significant energy at all.  And even then, it's much less than other typical consumer devices (see Exhibit A below)

Exhibit A.  Typical Power Output of Consumer Devices (in milliwatts)
Cell Phone 500 mW
Wi-Fi Router 100 mW
Fitness Tracker  10 mW
PIVOT Yoga Shirt  40 mW
PIVOT Yoga Pants     7 mW
source: TuringSense, Inc.

The second main way to measure the impact on humans is referred to by engineers as the Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR.  This measures the unit rate at which the device's energy is absorbed from a certain distance into the body at a specific point. The limit for this in the USA, set by the FCC, is 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg), averaged over one gram of simulated biological tissue. It's helpful to compare common consumer devices, and note below that PIVOT Yoga is again substantially less than a typical device like a cell phone.

Exhibit B.  Specific Absorption Rates for Consumer Devices 
Device SAR Value % of SAR Limit
Apple Iphone Xs Max 1.16 W/kg (Head) 73%
PIVOT Yoga Shirt 0.94 W/kg 59%
PIVOT Yoga Pants 0.66 W/kg 41%
sources: Apple Computer, TuringSense, Inc.


2. BATTERIES

Our lithium polymer batteries are rated at 620 milliamps (mA) and 4.35 volts (V). This is quite a small amount of power -- about half the power of a typical 9 volt battery -- and not even capable of producing a noticeable sensation on a human body.  Our batteries are also sealed within a 0.75mm zinc casing to protect against failure in the event of high temperatures, and the software in our clothes will automatically shut them down and prevent them from further charging in the event that for some reason they reach higher than operating temperature. 

3. PHYSICAL INJURY

Yoga is a physical activity. Anytime you ask your body to do something it hasn't done before, you are at some kind of risk, not least of which is making yourself awfully sore. So we suggest first and foremost that if you're completely new to yoga that you take it easy.  We'll help by providing a range of classes meant for different ability and flexibility levels, and our teachers will usually as a matter of course suggest modifications or the use or props for the less flexible.  And if you have a temporary issue, like a back injury or muscle pull, you'll need to use common sense and avoid stressing those parts of your body.  In general, follow your teacher's advice during each PIVOT Yoga class, use common sense, take it easy, and you should be fine.  

There are some kinds of yoga poses--namely, headstands--that have been shown to have more serious physical injury risk. We advise that those be done in the presence of a teacher who can intervene if she sees something developing that could be immediately dangerous.  Poses like this aren't a good fit for PIVOT Yoga and won't be featured in classes from our teachers.


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