First Street Yoga Community News and Blog

summer message from jane

I have learned silence from the talkative,
Tolerance from the intolerant,
And kindness from the unkind;
Yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
-Kahlil Gibran

Dear Students,

We know from our yoga practice that injury is often the circumstance that spurs the greatest learning. Pain is a compelling teacher, demanding that we spend some energy considering: how did we get here? Where can we go from here? The difficulties our society faces today offer similar opportunities. It is time to consider what we truly value and to focus our energy and resources on those things that give our life meaning.

Health is one of these basic goods, affecting all aspects of our lives from comfort to effectiveness of action. As a form of exercise, yoga benefits us by improving muscle strength and flexibility, respiration and circulation. But the practice of yoga does not merely prevent health problems; it can be a powerful treatment (see our digital resource 40 Ways Yoga Heals). Because of this, yoga is a perfect practice for healthy aging. From improving athletic performance to simply keeping the bladder strong, yoga offers practical tools to support the individual and ease the strains of daily living.

This summer, I’ll be teaching two workshops that use yoga in this directed manner (yoga for women and yoga for weight loss). Like all treatments, the practice of yoga has side effects. The most common include increased energy, decreased depression, improved digestive, respiratory, and immune function.

We cannot avoid the difficulties of life. Sickness, accident and loss are inevitable aspects of the human experience. Instead of letting this wear us down, yoga teaches us to use pain and discomfort as guides to lead us to a better life. That discomfort you’re feeling? Be content; you are in the presence of your teacher.


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