Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Om: Yoga For Managing Stress

I was taking a walk in Fort Greene park in Brooklyn when I saw a man doing yoga outside. I stealthily snapped a picture of him, not because it was a bizarre sight (sometimes public yoga can be), but because I thought that was so awesome of him. If one of the best ways to lead is by example, then what an extraordinary leader!

His calm and poise reminded me to go home and unfold my own yoga mat and do stretches:

I'm a very lucky girl. I have gone to Golden Bridge Yoga in Los Angeles and seen Gurmukh herself instruct people on kundalini yoga. When I lived in Amherst, Massachusetts I had an excellent hatha yoga instructor at Yoga Center Amherst. I have great DVDs for my home viewing, and I've a good memory for certain moves and postures. I am able to do my own stretching on a budget! My own meditation on a budget!

The great thing is there's a lot of access to free yoga online ( has a free class each week online). If you have Netflix, request a video! Drop in on a class for a reduced fare. If you learn from books, get a book-- the library will have videos and books. Hurrah! And I really recommend it, especially for people who suffer from any illness where stress is a trigger-- like porphyria.

Whenever I start to feel ill or run-down, I take the time to stretch my body, to meditate, to practice on my breathing, to really try to center myself in my body. A lot of people may scoff and say, "That sounds really New Age and stupid!" But there's a reason people of all faiths, politics, and incomes have started to gravitate towards yoga; it works. The body wants to heal, so let it!

--Miranda Dennis

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