In the next few weeks, we would like to focus on yoga. SEEK is prepping for a yoga event in Orange County, New York. The event will feature yoga instructors from different styles of yoga explaining and demonstrating their practices. We will also discuss some of the ways to keep yourself safe when practicing, especially when looking for an instructor to follow. Unfortunately, the popularity of yoga has led to some dangerous trends, such as teachers who are not well qualified, or retreats where one’s boundaries are pushed too far. As with any fitness or self-improvement regime, you have to take some precautions. But when you find a safe practice, yoga can be a great experience.
I was first introduced to yoga by Kirby when visiting her in Baja. Kirby practiced Bikram yoga at a local studio right on “Gringo Hill” where she lived in San Jose Del Cabo. She was very disciplined about her practice and absolutely loved all types of yoga for mind and body strengthening. In the morning, we would walk over to Mercedes’ palapa, warm up and then start a one and a half hour practice of breathing into challenging poses in a very hot environment. Mercedes, a excellent teacher, allowed me to do what I could, never pushed me, but challenged me to stretch and feel my body in a new and envigorating way.
I practiced some of these poses with Kirby when she came home to visit. She always emphasized proper hydration and gently breathing into positions. I would do some practice on my own over the years. However, I must admit I was not as consistent or disciplined as I would have liked to be.
Recently, after meeting Kelly Loiodice, I signed up for a local classes here in Orange County. Kelly offers “Gentle Yoga,” less challenging than Bikram, much more relaxing yet equally energizing. I cried thorough that first class, suddenly realizing it was the first time I was doing yoga since Kirby’s death. Now at class or when practicing myself, I feel a lovely connection in doing something Kirby loved.
Yoga has a long tradition in the East and is presently exploding in the West. Like many self-help modalities, there have been scandals about abuses in the yoga community. It can be a wonderful practice for both physical and mental health, but always when seeking growth, we must be aware of our teachers and our environment. In the next few weeks, SEEK will be sharing information for consumers to learn about yoga, how to maximize its benefits, and practice safely. If you’re in the Orange County, NY, area, look for more info on our Yoga event!
Featured Image: “Roll-up Yoga Mat on a White Background” by Marco Verch on Flickr (Attribution CC BY 2.0)