Like many people, I came to yoga in the 1990s mostly out of curiosity. And, like many people, I was interested in yoga for its physical benefits. I had always been involved in some type of exercise or sport, starting in high school with field hockey and volleyball, then continuing through the tennis and racquetball boom. In the late 70s, I worked at the YMCA for three years and have maintained a gym or health club membership ever since. Running, aerobic classes, stationary bikes, weight machines…did them all. For me, yoga’s best offer was a subtle promise to stretch my spine. As a short, small-boned woman whose grandmothers and aunts all had the shrimp-backed, sure signs of osteoporosis, this had great appeal. Any help with concentration and attention would be a bonus. Surprisingly, there were other unexpected benefits.
It’s happened to everyone. You walk into your regular weekly class, the one you love with the teacher you love, and — OH NO! — there is someone else on a mat at the front of the room. It’s happened to me as a student and I’ve also been that unfamiliar, spurious person nervously smiling at the front of the room. Continue reading
As yoga gains in popularity, the claims of its benefits are numerous, ranging from the technically medical to the wildly metaphysical. At times it seems like a cure-all, which can also make it appear over-rated and perhaps bogus.
Yoga is a both a weight-bearing and stretching exercise so it is expected that it will improve your strength and flexibility. From my own practice and the comments from my colleagues and students, I’ve decided that there are three simple yet wonderful things that are particular to yoga and can be widely achieved.
I’ve always seemed to be directionally challenged. I am not alone. Left-right confusion is a common phenomenon affecting about 25 percent of the population. Over the years I’ve learned to work around it. I always take an extra pause before registering which is my right or my left and I prefer to draw a diagram than give verbal directions. If navigating in a car, I will tell the driver to turn to your side or my side because it takes me too long to get the correct word out. I’ve been told not to worry; it is not a form of dyslexia nor a neurological problem. Great. But, now that I’ve become a yoga teacher, I’ve found this to be more troublesome then ever.
I enrolled in yoga teacher training over 2 years ago and, soon after, started teaching a little bit here and there, mostly to family, friends, and neighbors. Last January, I embarked on my own weekly gig, a beginner’s mat-based class at a local dance space, Yoga at the Lindy Lab. This is when my REAL education began. Here are six lessons I’ve learned in my freshman year of teaching.
Yoga has been around for 5-10 thousand years, give or take a few thousand, and now — maybe more than ever — it is a much needed practice. In fact, because of the way modern living affects us both physically and mentally, it’s likely that most people today need (or will benefit from) yoga. I truly believe that yoga can be the perfect antidote to modern life. Here are the reasons why.
Yoga is no longer an esoteric ritual practiced by spiritualists in foreign countries. It has entered mainstream American consciousness BIG TIME and with that has come a proliferation of hybrids, variations, and spin-offs, all competing for your interest. So…how do you choose which class or style is right for you? An important thing to consider is what you want to get out of your yoga classes. Here are 7 common goals and some classes that might match.