Stretching the Stillness: Published in the Los Gatos Times Weekly

I want to THANK the nearly 100 people from my general Facebook Friends and the inspiring yoga enthusiasts around the country that are members of the “Yoga Room” Facebook Group who responded to my recent post: 
“Doing Yoga Poses on the Dock of our Pristine Lake at Rinconada Hills." One of the photos that appeared in that post was published by the Los Gatos Weekly Times last Friday along with a brief story entitled: Stretching the Stillness. 

The late Andy Warhol, a leading figure in the visual art movement was credited for the phrase: "15 minutes
of fame," once said: ”In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes. Now, that I have had my 15 minutes of fame, it’s time to wash the dishes🙂

I received some inquiries about how to get started doing yoga. Once a counterculture pastime, this 5000 year old tradition from India has gone mainstream over the years. Thanks to researchers who discovered that the practice of yoga had important health benefits: decreased blood pressure, improvement in cognitive function, positive mood leveling effects, increased flexibility, a calmer, focused mind, the yoga phenomenon began to accelerate. According to The Yoga Alliances latest report in 2016, over 36.7 million Americans (and climbing) have a regular practice. That figure will likely arise to 80 million in the next 12 months.

“The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga,” says nationally known yoga teacher Rodney Yee, “are your body and your mind.” I would add, the “willingness” is also required. Woody Allen once said, “The secret of success is showing up.” My experience is that some people are fearful of attending class, believing they won’t measure up. However, there are no expectations. No judgments. The teacher sets a tone of openness to all newcomers and faciliates a safe zone for people to start where they are.

As one of my teachers, Cindy Walker told our last Sunday morning’s class, “Yoga is not about rushing through a pose, its not a competition, its just yoga.” Even though you share the yoga room with others, It’s your personal journey, not someone else’s. You don’t have to compare yourself with others. Begin with a gentle class or take private lessons as one of my former medical assistants decided to do. Yoga is for all ages, all body types, for people from all socio-economic backgrounds, even people with a life threatening illness (check with your doctor) find the benefits of practice. 

Personally, I am in no competition with anyone. I just want to be happy, healthy, peaceful and free and be able to deal with the challenges of the day with as much grace and equanimity as possible. I believe this is what everyone desires. Yoga is a practice, it’s poetry in motion. It’s life.

The late yoga master teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar,* author of "Light on Life," who lived until to age of 96 once said: “Yoga is like Music. The Rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul…”


*Postscript: B.K.S. Iyengar, is the author of Light on Life: The Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom. In 2004, Time Magazine called him one of the world's most Influential people. He was credited with popularizing yoga in India and introducing it to the Western world. One of 13 children, he lived through a very unhealthy childhood, facing diseases such as malaria, TB., typhoid fever, and malnutrition. 

Photo credit: of Iyengar: Indian Express