by JoAnn Jones
It used to be walking, but in today's high stress, fast paced, ever-changing world, the experts agree that yoga is the most recommended form of exercise. According to Stephen Cope of Kripalu Institute, "Yoga is probably the world's most perfect form of exercise. It cultivates cardiovascular health, and muscularskeletal strength and flexibility without the painful and damaging side effects of high-impact aerobics. It tunes up every organ system - respiratory, digestive, reproductive, endocrine, lymphatic, and nervous. It cultivates the body's capacity to relax and dramatically reduces the negative effects of stress." It does not require years of training and apprenticeship and the benefits are immediate!
The word yoga means yoke, conjugal, and union all referring to the connection of the body to the mind, the movement to the breathing, mental focus to relaxation, awareness to activity. This harmonious cooperation honors that the body and mind were meant to be equal partners and brings about a blissful feeling of wellbeing and health.
I learned Yoga and Tai Chi in college where they were taught as support practices to the highly stressful careers in the creative arts and have found them to be just as supportive for a stressful life in general. The slow, low impact meditation- in-motion is especially effective as I get older. I enjoy teaching a class in the beauty of the sunset on the roof at Fort Fredrik Museum every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We would love to have you join us.