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Where older religions promised heaven, the church of yoga promises quicker, more practical, earthly gratification, in the form of better heart rates and well-toned arms.
Yoga means union, in all its significances and dimensions.
I have had moments where I've had mental-health issues and I've felt like yoga and meditating and reading these Buddhist self-help books actually really help.
When I ask my medical students to describe their image of a woman who elects to birth with a midwife rather than with an obstetrician, they generally describe a woman who wears long cotton skirts, braids her hair, eats only organic vegan food, does yoga, and maybe drives a VW microbus.
Exercise helps me with stress. It changes your brain chemistry. I turn to Ashtanga yoga when I feel the need to relax. I love it, but it's not right for everybody. It's taught to you a little bit at a time, according to your body type and your strength. That keeps things challenging.
Before, I would play a little hoops, a little tennis. Now it's more yoga, Pilates, stretching, some light weight work, push-ups, sit-ups, resistance things. When I used to live on the eleventh floor, I would take the steps. I don't do that so much now. I'm taking the elevator a bit more these days.
I enjoy going on hikes, and I enjoy the occasional yoga. The one thing I'm good at athletically - and I don't know if I'm good at it anymore because I haven't done this in a while - I can throw a pretty good spiral in football, but I have no idea how to play.
I was really involved with other people's opinions of me, and it got heightened during my film career. I don't have any opinion, good or bad about it, it just was. It's not the way I feel now, and I think yoga has a lot to do with that.
Yoga only works one way.
In Los Angeles, parenting is a competitive sport. From Beverly Hills baby boutiques to kids' yoga classes, L.A. fuses high style, industrial-strength materialism, and parental outsourcing into our own unique version of child-rearing.
I find the world pretty overwhelming, so I'm getting into meditation and doing lots of yoga. And I love my garden, and I love nature, and I feel like that grounds me and keeps my mind clear.
Bat for Lashes
A lot of exercise is mindless; you can have music or the radio on and not be aware. But if you're aware in anything you do - and it doesn't have to be yoga - it changes you. Being present changes you.
To keep my back from getting stiff, I have a strict regime every morning of stretching and do yoga once a week and Pilates. 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2008 was great for my fitness.
I work out at home. I don't have a gym, but I use light weights. I do calisthenics, which is basically using your own body weight, like you do in yoga, to strengthen your core. I also do a bit of cardio.
Yoga did not just help me with my body, I became fitter from within. It helped me to focus better. In the movies, we may look very glamourous and fit, but believe me, not many of us are actually fit from within. Yoga has helped me achieve that.
I believe the biggest challenge is just getting the courage to try something different or new. Try to forget the stereotype in your mind. Yoga is for everyone - children, athletes, moms, dads, accountants, truck drivers, even country stars.
I'm from Wisconsin, and I love snowboarding, hiking, yoga and soccer.
Yoga reduced my stress and bodily tension. It allowed me to bring my body back into balance, to emerge from my fertility struggle with my sense of self esteem and self worth intact, and to forge a stronger bond with my husband.
When I started 'Third Watch,' I knew I was going to be with the firefighters and lifting, so I was doing yoga, running, and swimming - all at the same time. I didn't have a kid then. Now I don't have time for that. I want to spend time with my son and my husband, so it's mainly just yoga now.
I understand that it would be smart, career-wise, to line up something, but it wouldn't be smart for my personal life or my sanity. Some people thrive when they're working. I thrive when I'm hanging out with my friends and doing yoga.
I think yoga builds strength, flexibility, and calming of the mind - which is never a bad thing.
When I first started working on 'Secret Diary,' I definitely felt like I needed to shape up. The idea of being in my knickers on TV was a great incentive! Now I try to eat right, and I go to Bikram yoga three or four times a week. I have my 'naughty' days, and I indulge in pizza and cake, but so what!
In private, I'm a hippie who follows Buddhism, does yoga, meditates and loves to dance wildly.
As you get older, stuff starts to wear down. I can't play four basketball games a week anymore. It takes me three days to recover from one. I'm a little older, a little scrappier. So now I do yoga instead. And whatever else happens in the day, I'm set up in the best way possible. I feel great. I'm so flexible.
I used to get nervous so I took up Yoga to help me calm down.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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