Today was the first-ever giant master yoga class on a busy street in the heart of White Plains, NY. The class was led by Gwen Lawrence, team yoga instructor for the Giants, Knicks and Rangers. Over 500 people flooded the street with their yoga mats in nearly 100° weather, ready to relieve the stresses of their days through balance and strength-building movements.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, so I handed my ticket to my mother, who attempted yoga for the first time. Upon both of our return home, she gave me a condensed lesson of what she learned today. She taught me the basic yoga poses including downward dog, bow pose and the extended side angle pose. She said that although her back and shoulder hurt during the workout, she came home with her body feeling relaxed and free of pain.
Exercising in a mob setting is powerful! My mother claimed she felt a higher impact than if she was exercising on her own. She felt she couldn’t give up and was encouraged to keep up with the movements. Just like we have study groups for midterms and finals, it’s important to have workout buddies to support each other.
My mother learned that yoga is not only beneficial to our bodies, but is an exercise for mental health. While performing the movements, instructor Gwen Lawrence said to escape from our current world. We must leave our stresses behind and enter a different world. This is not to say that we are hiding our stresses. Instead, we are entering a new world, a stress-free world for a moment so that when we return to our busy schedule, we can handle it with the attitude we discovered during yoga.
Next time you get on your mat, think about how you can use the yoga poses to not only relax your body but your mind as well.