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Jennifer Dispatch

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Calling All Yogis


Jen takes a break from writing to do a little posing
When you think of yoga, do you picture a man in a long beard meditating on top of a mountain, searching for the meaning of life? That's how it may have been a long time ago. Today you can find just about anyone doing yoga. It is being used in hospitals, schools, and private to gyms to help deal with everything from stress reduction to cancer treatment. Yoga and the meditation that is part of it is now being practiced by people all over the world. It is something that anyone, of any age, color, or religion can practice.

So what is yoga and meditation? Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "union." Yoga can be described as a way to unite the body and the mind. By twisting your body into various poses and concentrating on your breathing, yoga helps you become very aware of both your body and mind. People choose to do yoga for a lot of different reasons. Some people do it as a form of exercise that is not too hard on the body, like say, running. People think it is just stretching but don't know it also helps work on strength, balance, and flexibility. A yoga class can be very challenging and it works your whole body. Usually at the end of a class you sit very still and meditate. This allows your mind and body to be at peace and working together as one.

Yoga is more mainstream than you may have realized
No one knows exactly when Yoga was first practiced but it was a long time ago. Yoga has been around, practically forever, or at least as far back as 5000 years. Over those many years, yoga has been practiced and refined by people who have dedicated their lives to it. It began in India but has spread all over the world. One reason it has caught on so quickly in America is probably due to the crazy world we live in. If you look around at today's hectic world of fast food, fast paced jobs, and fast paced lives, where is the time to take care of our bodies? Yoga and meditation are not just ancient forms of exercise performed by mystic yogis but are seen by many as a scientific way to take care of bodies, minds and spirits.

It is exciting that yoga and meditation are becoming a part of American society. In some jobs a yoga teacher will travel to offices and teach a lunchtime class. You can take yoga at the local community college. And I remember reading that Courtney Cox, from Friends, does power yoga. Hospitals are using Yoga to help provide relief for certain kinds of cancer. More and more people are realizing what the ancient people knew thousands of years ago. Taking the time for some yoga and meditation is good for the mind, body, and the spirit too. When these things unite, a person can find peace and balance. In our hectic world, that's something pretty important to strive for.


Please email me at: Jennifer1@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

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Stephen - What do 15 million Americans know that you don't? Find out!