October 7th, 2011
07:31 AM ET

Yoga helps addicts, homeless find peace

When I first met Sylvia Rascon she told me that what drew her into yoga was her own struggle to find balance in her life. When she found out she could treat people overcoming trauma she knew she wanted to become a teacher, and that’s what brought her to the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center.

When you walk into the center it’s hard to imagine where they would hold a yoga class.

Medical supplies are off to the right, and immediately ahead of you is a small common area where visitors can watch TV, use computers and talk with friends. Signs advertise free and quick HIV testing, counseling sessions and community events.

People walk in and out of the common area as the day goes on, but at 4 p.m. every Friday someone will pull across a metal partition that closes off the room from the rest of the clinic.

Participants get there early to clean the floors and get the bag of yoga mats from a back closet.

Sylvia hopes the class, which she teaches free of charge with Jocelyn Stern, helps the participants focus less on life’s problems, and more on the solutions they can find in themselves.

As the ring of a chime marks the end of the class, the participants sit in a circle and share snacks and stories from their week.

They have a diverse background - many of them struggling with drug addiction, homelessness, or unemployment - and in this room they find common ground.

One of the participants, Dorila Morales, struggled with domestic abuse and drug addiction. For her, yoga is not just exercise. It is an integral part of her life. Dorila told me she’s watched the people in the class change. They let go of their anger and fear and they become her friends. They watch out for each other, whether it’s a yoga pose or life’s daily struggles.

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Filed under: Mind and body

soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. SoundGuy

    You have to be creative to make the best out of your relaxation periods, especially if you are in a place that doesn't necessarily add to the peaceful environment you want to create. I recommend to use sounds of nature during your yoga sessions, since these sounds can help you relax and reach deep states of mind. There's a lot of such resources at sites like TranscendentalTones. For example, I like to use the sound of a forest in the morning. If there is a lot of noise I play something like flowing water or a heavy rain, and again I feel disconnected from the outer chaos of city life for the duration of my yoga or meditation session.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. tabitha harris

    I think that doing yoga is a great way to exercise and i think its healthy!

    October 7, 2011 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. John

    Yoga can be a great step toward a healthier life. Yoga doesn't have to be difficult, and you don't need to have a gym membership. Check out http://blog.wannabuddy.com/2011/05/improve-your-health-and-happiness-with.html to learn more about yoga that everyone can enjoy.

    October 7, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Donna

    This seems like half an article... is the rest missing? It ends so abruptly.

    October 8, 2011 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dale

      I was thinking the same thing...

      October 10, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • Rayan

      Jodene Shaw – This is my first visit to your blog, and I relate very much to the sdeires and dreams that you have stirring in your heart. It was those same things that caused me to begin a blog to start writing and sharing it with others. As you keep going forward, I think you will find more of your purpose with it ~ which will grow and change as you do. I started out writing some journals that had length and depth rooted in what God was showing me. I found that I kept waiting for these lengthy posts of profound things God was showing, and then discovered Him and sharing Him in the daily things of life and family, started sharing my photography, and my journey into art. So it is very different.One resource you might find helpful is the book and workbook by Dan Allender, To Be Told . This helped me in writing some of my own stories.I look forward to watching your blog and seeing your focus develop Thanks for stopping in today!love & grace, jodi

      April 8, 2012 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Don't get deceived...!! Yoga is an eastern religion just look at the roots.. Jesus can only solve mans problems..

    October 8, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Asana

      Yoga is not a religion. I've taken it for several years and I am a practicing Christian. Please do not speak out of ignorance. It's so many people like you, John, who make Christian's look like close-minded ignorant fear-mongers. It's so sad.

      Yoga is about learning to open your heart to the world and others. It's about understanding yourself and the world around you. It's a practice of managing ones humanity. That's what it means to me anyway. It helps me love.

      October 8, 2011 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Diana

      Yoga is not a religion...it is a way of life. It helps you to embrace the challenges of everyday life and give you a different perspective on how to deal with these challenges so that you can emerge stronger. Yoga helps you to connect deeper to whatever faith you have, be it Christianity,Muslim, or pagan beliefs. Maybe you should practice some yoga to open your heart to see that 'Jesus' isn't the only way to connect to the divine within all of us.

      October 8, 2011 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
    • rachkath

      I know people who attend yoga class and church. I am not one of them because people like you have turned me off of Jesus.

      October 8, 2011 at 18:49 | Report abuse |
    • DrDoIT

      Amen, brother.

      My pastor warned me against yoga and all other new-agey stuff. The devil will come in many deceptive forms it is written. beware.

      October 8, 2011 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Gee, I wonder what Jesus' exercise program was? Must have missed that part in the bible...

      You people are so worried about the afterlife, you can't be bothered to make anything better about THIS one...

      October 8, 2011 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • BruceNY

      John, I'm not sure you are aware that "religion" as an optional part of everyday life is a western concept. In some countries, the question "What's your religion?" makes absolutely no sense. Sticking to this definition of a religion well, any form of dance is a religion (just look at the roots), all eastern martial arts are also a religion (look at the roots), and Christianism is a branch of Buddhism with different beliefs on the afterlife. Of course, you would argue that Christianism is Christianism regardless of the similarities with anterior religions or beliefs and well, you'd be right. The fact is, there is as much of a spiritual aspect to yoga as there is a physical aspect to christianism, I mean 3 of the seven deadly sins are squarely targeting the body: Lust, Sloth and Gluttony.

      October 8, 2011 at 20:07 | Report abuse |
    • runner305

      People like you are very ignorant! Yoga is beneficial for many people, regardless of what religion they believe in, if they believe in one at all! Maybe you should do some research on Yoga before you make a thoughtless comment on it.

      October 8, 2011 at 21:19 | Report abuse |
    • hydrangealove

      Yoga is not a religion, is all about enrichment of the mind and finding inner peace.

      October 8, 2011 at 22:32 | Report abuse |
    • Krishna

      I really pity some of these religious fanatics, be it Christians, Muslims, Hindus or whoever. Why don't these idiots realize that One God is being worshiped by all. Their scriptures might sometimes very clearly or sometimes allegorically mention the same truth. Jesus Christ or Krishna, they belong to all human race as they are beyond the confines of human narrow mindedness. Yoga is divine and is available to all human beings regardless of their race, creed, or nationality, and is intended for their emancipation. It is of Eastern origin because numerous Indian saints have delved much deeper into subtleties of human existence and evolution to realize the One God. They have found that following these Yogic practices one may accelerate their evolution into perfect beings like Jesus because every soul is "potentially divine", encased by the gross body, and is a manifestation of God in you. If people here in the Western World similarly would have done that, Yoga would have had a western origin. You can be a true Christian and yet practice Yoga. All those people who teach hatred against Eastern religions are in fact not true Christians, because they are not following the footsteps of Christ who died for the sins of his followers and prayed for their enemies as well. Finally, one misconception that needs to be cleared is that although Hindus worship many personal forms of deities they believe that these are but different manifestations of a SINGLE, IMPERSONAL, GOD (Parabrahma Paramatma).

      October 8, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
    • Uday

      John You are right in saying its Eastern religion, having read the yoga and its roots i totally deny this form of practice, and Asana christians you call close mindedness and as you said "open up the humanity to the world", not sure what you mean by world here. Your open mindedness is what opens to realm of unknown spirits, when you talk about Yoga first level of exercises its just a form of worship to the gods and godesses. Know the roots of it clearly have discernment when you allow some philosophies. At the end if you die for Christ that brings Glory to God. Open mindedness, if paul would have taught physical exercise can bring glory he would have done that but he laid his life for truth understand the bible, its ways are so narrow its not open or broad mindedness. I read a article that this yoga teacher claims that becasue of yoga he might have had been able to bear the physical persecution ridiculous it is! if thats the open mindedness you are adhering to be careful. And also, understnad the world you are living is broken in health wealth and everything around. Yoga is form of encouraging self-help substandard teachings. Read the word and depend on His Holyspirit and you will know the closemindedness of what Christ teaches ...Narrow is the path.

      October 8, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
    • Uday

      Krishna, God is one he doesn't need to have million dieties to talk to the creation you and me. the concepts of hinduism are so subjective that you can make gods and dieties out of anything. So please consider reading the Character of One God who is only One.

      October 8, 2011 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • EMW

      Diana – way-of-life = religion = = Yoga. It's humanism, worship of man and mans' ability to control all things, backed by the belief of evolution. Please check the meaning of the terms you use, a simple mistake that I have made many times.
      John – you are correct, but need to present your points in Grace and in Truth. Jesus is the great physician, healer of all who ask of Him!
      All – do you know who many miracles are needed to make evolution feasible? I don't have that much blind faith my friends!

      October 9, 2011 at 02:10 | Report abuse |
    • sam

      really dude are you trying to say america is a christina country..you know what if america will fall down it may be because of people like you thats called christian taliban mindset..you heard about steve jobs of arabic decent..he practised budhist meditation and build the company and fed thousand of workers in america..thats what america need..This country has been build by all,christian,muslim,jews,hindus,native american every part of good human soul..Openness and embracing all good practices from other part of the world only makes america better place to live..if you are so much worried about christian faith..its better pack your bags and take your narrow minded friends and go back to Europe..same for every other religious narrow minded fanatics.

      October 9, 2011 at 02:27 | Report abuse |
    • @DrDoIT, @John

      The devil is in the trolls, here on CNN, who are trying to highlight differences in cultures as opposed to bridging them.

      May all humankind enjoy peace and progress.

      October 9, 2011 at 05:15 | Report abuse |
    • Arjun

      I am not sure why you want to limit God to anything. You have variety in everything you do in physical world. You have many tastes many types of foods. Can you say if all foods are same, why not just one form of food. People like different types of poetry, different types of movies etc. Different people like different colors. All these things are there because we wanted them. Similar God has different forms because we have the tendency to like different forms.
      That's why Krishna says in gita that "In whatever way one approaches me, I respond accordingly"

      A person following one religion will have strong faith in that religion. That does not mean he should treat rest of them false. On the other hand for a person following one religion, there was no need for following other religions. For Christians, if they follow their religion it is good enough.

      Yoga is more spiritual than religion. There are physical aspects to it, which do not have any dependency on what you believe. Even the meditation can be done on any deity. If you like you could meditate on jesus. Though it could help you, It is not essential. Prayer is another form of meditation

      When it comes to various Hindu gods, there is some misunderstanding in many Hindus as well. There many demigods who are similar to angels in other religion. But God is different from them. He incarnates throughout the universe for various purposes. One such incarnation is in the form of Jesus.
      All these incarnations of God like Siva, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Jesus are worshiped in various parts of the universe. There is no difference between God and his incarnations. Just like a digital photo is same form its copy.

      In short just follow your religion and respect other religions.

      October 9, 2011 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
    • Sathyavrath

      Jesus Christ was a Yogi. He Preached Bhuddist/Vedic thought. For Hindus/Bhuddists that predate Christianity by a few thousand years, nothing that Jesus taught is new. Amen is a watered down version of Om.

      October 10, 2011 at 01:33 | Report abuse |
    • PORTLAND tony

      If Yoga turned you away from Your Jesus, your faith in Christ is weak. My God gave me a mind to use.To say "My pastor told me not to engage......" ranks among the most inane remarks I have ever heard ...Amen

      October 10, 2011 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
  6. HollyAnnG

    Wonderful article (I agree, it looks like somebody cut off the end). My hat is off to the woman leading the class, She is really helping other people.

    October 8, 2011 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Abid

      – Oh, where to start, Tiffini? I have to say that I agree with Erin and Amy. And I think this blog is about FREEDOM. Freedom in your life that will echo onto these pages. Perhaps this space is to be a reflection of the oichces that you are making in your life the oichces that bring you closer to freedom, closer to Jesus.I blog for the reason I posted on the top of my blog. Here it is:Most days it is so easy for me to get bogged down in my reality, the tangible, day-to-day happenings that make up my life. Oh, but so much more is waiting for me if I would come and sit awhile with Him. No matter what situations seem to define my life, there is a piece of Heaven waiting for me a place of peace, restoration, and comfort. Being in this world is hard. Daily struggles, tribulations, and people pulling us in all different directions can take a toll on our lives. Somehow, though, finding a piece of Heaven can give us a new outlook, a new purpose, and direction we may have never considered. Finding God in those quiet moments brings refreshment to our malnourished souls. I am not great at keeping a personal journal, but thought that I might be more willing to write down my revelations if someone else might respond. That's a good reason to blog, right?

      April 8, 2012 at 03:17 | Report abuse |
  7. Jim

    Yoga is not a religion though it comes out of the South Indian religious mix. It means "yoke" or "union" with the Divine within. There are many yogas–hatha or postures, bhakti devotional, karma social action, jnana scriptual and moral, etc. Would Jesus do yoga? You bettcha! In India he is considered Divine as are many who point the way. So Christians, don't be afraid. Being Christian and doing yoga are complimentary–not at odds with each other.

    October 8, 2011 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hindu

      I agree yoga is not religion but it is part of Hindu religion. As a Hindu, yoga is very spiritual for me rather than just an exercise as it is for Americans. And yes we allow Christians to practice yoga with out having to change their religion to Hinduism.

      October 8, 2011 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
    • folru

      Yoga is union with God. But, people get very focused on the physical part of Yoga and have made it into a huge fad. The bigger portion of Yoga is surrender to God, whichever form you may search for God.

      We are all humans and are trying to understand God and creation. Finally, all religions point to the same and they also have differences and each one adds a useful aspect to the understanding.

      Hinduism in fact discourages people from giving up their own religion. Many Hindu leaders have said that if you cannot be true to and follow the religion you are born into, you can be expected to follow any other either. Some further say that anyone searching for God in any form is a Hindu.

      October 8, 2011 at 23:01 | Report abuse |
    • Arjun

      Science is accepted by everyone irrespective where it originates. Different people like different sub divisions of science. Sometime they don't agree each other. But they try to hear each other. But in religion, I close my mind for anything not coming from his religion. Hindu religious books called vedas. which means knowable. Actually Hindu is not religion. It is kind of framework for religions. Within that there are 1000's of religions literally. i am serious about the number. No one knows actual number. We call them sampradaya (means traditional religion). But a person is free to follow whatever he likes. No one really cares about it. From a Hindu point of view Islam and Christianity, Islam another few such traditional religion.

      That's why there is no rules for anyone to convert to Hinduism. But what we have is some thing initiation or Deeksha to one of these these sampradaya.

      October 9, 2011 at 06:34 | Report abuse |
  8. DrDoIT

    Yoga = devil worship!

    stay away from it. when you say Ommmmm you are worshiping some idol like them hindoos

    October 8, 2011 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • runner305

      Saying "Om" does NOT worship any devils! The word "Om" is thought by many to be the first sound that was ever heard in the world. Even if you do not believe that, saying "Om" has a very relaxing and calming effect. Oh, and by the way, Hindus (not spelled "Hindoos" like you stupidly spelled it) do NOT worship the Devil. They worship their own Gods! They even have a Trinity, like Christians do... they call it Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva. Learn about it, it won't kill you to do that!

      October 8, 2011 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • folru

      Worshipping graves of the dead is the real idol worship.

      October 8, 2011 at 23:56 | Report abuse |
    • Arjun

      How do you explain Jesus idols in church, Jesus photos, Mary idols, Cross you wear etc. You have been cheated by devil long back. 🙂
      You have no problem for all the modern entertainment, But somehow you see something wrong in peaceful yoga. 🙂

      Can you explain what is the wrong with idol worship? Is it because God told that way to Moses? So in that case it is applicable only for his followers or descendants. He never told hindus anything like.

      If you keep a picture of your loved one in their absence, It helps you feel them. Is anything wrong with it. If you could feel their presence simply by thinking about them you don't need a picture.

      If idol worship helps someone to remember God, what is the problem with it? They are other forms of worship like meditation etc. But idol worships helps to concentrate in the begining stages.

      I feel idol worship done by Jews before Moses is different from what Hindus does. Hindus does not worship random forms. They have the revealed books to describe worship-able forms of the Lord.

      October 9, 2011 at 06:47 | Report abuse |
    • Arjun

      runner305, The Omen it self is coming from the word Om. Actually it is difficult to write Om in english. It is single syllabule sounding A U M. Usage of this is as old as vedas. It's origins are not traceable.

      October 9, 2011 at 06:53 | Report abuse |
    • Sathyavrath

      Amen is watered down version of Om. That all.

      October 9, 2011 at 08:25 | Report abuse |
  9. Pwilson

    There are atheist trolls posting here pretending to be Christians saying stupid stuff to make Christians look bad. Ignore them please. Yoga is practised by some Christians and their meditation helps with prayer. Exercise is good for the body and meditation is good for quieting the mind after a long day.

    October 8, 2011 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lenny

      Don't be silly, trolls are by definition Norse pagans

      October 8, 2011 at 20:18 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      And some are Christians that make Christians look bad, don't try to pretend otherwise

      October 8, 2011 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
  10. BruceNY

    "For her, yoga is not just exercise". I think this sentence shows how well most people understand yoga. Yoga practice should not be approached like a threadmill. It should be approached like a martial art. It's both body and mind: you don't go through the poses, you practice them giving full attention to what you are doingand staying in control. Doing so will effectively teach you how to handle your body and encourage you to respect it. As you learn to keep control of your body, you learn to control your mind, you learn to quit greed and envy the same way you would quit alcohol. DrDoIT, I think you're a bit harsh, especially when you know the great lengh the church has gone trough ovr the centuries to outright ban physical exercise as it was viewed as a form of egotism. But isn't our body God's temple? Shouldn't we be working everyday to make a better home for the Lord inside ourselves so that we may be better prepared to receive him? We need to be strong so that we may be useful not just to ourselves, but to others....

    October 8, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Molly's Dolly

    hmm.... I agree with some of you... yoga, is an exercise and you guys shouldn't just judege a book by it's cover. Alot of ppl are ignorant bcuz of what they see on tv or otherwise. Yoga is an exercise and although it IS true that Jesus is the only way to the father, not to the divineness *within us* but the diviness within him, which is in us through the holy spirit, yoga is anexercise and I see it as just that and as a way to increase flexibility. Just don't see it as anything else.

    October 8, 2011 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Diana

      Jesus is NOT the only way!!!...just your way...

      October 8, 2011 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
  12. Molly's Dolly

    don't e turned off of Jesus, friend, maybe you simply need a switch of ppl and environment to truly approach him.

    October 8, 2011 at 19:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. 20 Year Veggie

    I say go for it. You see how well the good will of a Christian nation has worked for these guys. They should take any attempt at peace they can get.

    October 8, 2011 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. TheLeftCoast

    There are several successful yoga and meditation projects for addiction recovery in the Bay area ~ Niroga, The Mind Body Awareness Program, Meditation in Recovery at the SF Zen Center, etc. etc. All very popular and thriving!

    October 8, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. pooh_just_is

    The great thing about yoga in recovery is that the body gets to relax and the mind gets to relax. Since addiction really affect the nervous system, this comes as great relief. Just proves to the self that living without using can be OK. Another benefit is that meditation gets introduces in a form that is not associated with a religion. For recovering people that are atheistic, this can help then to work step 2, and then will help them to work step 3 without feeling like they did not find a spiritual part of themselves. Yoga tells that our bodies are beautiful, bountiful, and prosperous. Recovery is supported by a spiritual change in the personality. This has nothing to do with religion, its concepts, or its rituals. A person that is recovering can develop their own spiritual practice. Whats important not every being in the disease of addiction. When coming from a state of addiction to a state of recovery, nothing is more important than recovery. Everything else, everything has less importance.

    October 8, 2011 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Ex Boozer

    Yoga was invented by meditating monks as a means to make it possible for them to sit longer in meditation without the need to move. It has nothing to do with worship of anything except the present moment. One can move to the edge of pain and linger there, stretching the body and getting the mind use to the idea that the pain can be static and tolerable. Most of us feel pain and automatically assume that it will continue worsening. This creates a panic that labels the pain "bad". Yoga teaches us that pain can be tolerated while simultaneously teaching the body to withstand the next occurrence of the pain-causing position. It's a religionless win-win situation, but one can pray to their hearts desire all they wish. Nothing wrong with that either.

    October 8, 2011 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • runner305

      Very well put! You know what you are talking about, contrary to a lot of others here...

      October 8, 2011 at 21:26 | Report abuse |
    • Hindu

      I dis agree with what you are saying. Yoga is more than just an pain reliever or an exercise. It is a way to connect to your inner self and having control over you mind and body. Every one has a god within themselves (according to Hindu beliefs) and yoga is a way to connect to it. You have to be spiritual to understand the full benefits of yoga. Without it, I think it is just a mechanical thing like any other form of exercise.

      October 8, 2011 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
  17. Hindu

    Yoga was fist introduced in Hinduism as a way to connect people to their inner self. Hindus believe that every human being has a god within themselves and yoga is a way to connect with that god (stronger self) which is inside you. For Hindus it is part of their religion and yoga is very spiritual rather than just an exercise as it is for the western world. The most important thing is that Hindu religion doesn't specify which god you need to believe in to practice yoga. You can believe in any religion or not and you can still do yoga.

    October 8, 2011 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ex Boozer

      I think that it is interesting that you insert the word "just" for other people's interpretations of the purpose of yoga, as in "not just for exercise". This article was written regarding the use of yoga as an augmentation for those in recovery. People with addictions often have pain associated with the early part of their recovery. They also tend to be very closed down emotionally and physically. Yoga greatly helps to alleviate both of these conditions in my opinion by opening both body and mind to a new way of being and thinking. But I wouldn't (and haven't) said that yoga in "just" for these purposes. As a very spiritual person who practices yoga, it is ironic to me to hear another – particularly with a name like "Hindu" – poo-poo anyone else's positive reflections on their own experience with the practice. Such a tone could represent a barrier for some. I welcome anyone to the practice who would benefit from it, whether they do it right and think about it right or not. It's an inward journey and we must all start from wherever we are. Peace.

      October 8, 2011 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
    • Sathyavrath

      Yoga predates Hinduism and Sanata Dharma. It used to be actively practiced in South America, by the ancient Egyptians, the region West of the Caucasus like Hungary including Turkey. However, Yoga, both its text and philosophy, is still preserved in India and Hinduism in SOME of its original form. India and Hinduism does not have a monopoly on Yoga, it belongs to all mankind.

      October 11, 2011 at 01:40 | Report abuse |
    • Hindu

      @EX Boozer- I said just as an exercise as in physical exercise because it is take in that way by many people here. I am speaking for what yoga is for me as Hindu and other people alike. If it sounds like a barrier I am sorry but yoga is taken very differently by Hindus than non Hindus. The word Om said at the beginning in the video is a Hindu word and it refers to Hindu god (God of sound). I am pretty sure you don't even know that. I am happy it is helping people in their lives and as I said before we have no problem whole world doing it (that is why it is popular all around the world as Hindus are open minded), I just don't like how it has been commercialized into some form of physical exercise as it is in US.

      Sathyavrath- Hindu form of yoga is the only one which exists today and is practiced all over the world. But it has been been commercialized and doesn't have the same sense on spirituality as it originality did in some part of the world.

      October 14, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  18. FNDup

    Too bad it doesn't help them to stop making bad life decisions and to get off their as& and become productive members of society.

    October 8, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Diana

      I have quit the productive, happy, healthy life...maybe you should try it

      October 8, 2011 at 21:58 | Report abuse |
    • Arjun

      Yoga makes your body fit, mind to be concentrated, sharpen the intellect and makes the desires stronger. Unless your desire of practicing mediation is good, It can have wrong effects as well. Yoga must be practiced along with knowledge and devotion to get the best out of it. Without knowledge (knowledge of purpose of life importantly) Yoga does not achieve much except few physical and mental benefits.

      October 9, 2011 at 07:12 | Report abuse |
  19. cm

    LOVE yoga!

    October 8, 2011 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Darren Littlejohn

    I've been clean for almost 14 years. This last year has been one of the hardest for me. I started yoga though about one year ago and have become a yoga teacher. My life as a recovering addict is totally different because of yoga. I wrote about how Buddhism can be integrated with the 12 Steps in my book, the 12-Step Buddhist. Now I've found that the practice of yoga can also be integrated into a comprehensive recovery program. It is one of the best things I've eve done in my life. I teach a class here in Portland called Yogis in Recovery. Of all the yoga classes that I teach, this is my favorite because I know where my recovering friends come from. It's beautiful to watch their love for yoga increase and their happiness deepen. Namaste.

    October 9, 2011 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Bob

    Ergo, jogging is Devil worship because Aboriginies (pagans) do it. Swimming is out because animals do it. Boxing is out because, yikes, kangaroos do it. Etc. etc. Hmmm . . . seems like Christians have no other option than to stand (not sit, that is a meditative pose) and wait to die. Sad for them.

    October 9, 2011 at 02:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. KnowSelf

    I think yoga is about making yourself better and thereby this world (after all we are connected). It is about understanding yourself – your body, your potential, your spirituality..... It is up to you how far you want to take yoga. You can make yoga your exercise, practice or religion. You have freedom. You have to only believe in you and your universe at the minimum. I know non-believers and believers of God doing yoga.

    October 9, 2011 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Natalia

      if you want to loose weight I think yoga will be good.- try surya nskmaaar every day and consult a yoga teacher for more exercises.physical training in a gym will also be very good- try going to golds gym. its very nice.i think if you manage ur time to do both it will be excellent. like you cud get up at six and do surya nskmaaar and join a gym in the evening. wish u all the best 2 grow slim and trim and look very beautifulReferences :

      April 14, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
  23. lemmeC

    these posts make me sad to live in amurika! i can't read half of them and others are just dumb. are the posts made by those with english as a second language? do christians get educated outside the church? is stretching gonna' send me to hell or enlighten me? dammit all amurika! i need a drink, a home, and some yoga.

    October 9, 2011 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PD

      What you need to do is to get born again by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You're going to go to hell because of your sins unless you receive the forgiveness that is offered through God's only begotten Son, because he shed his blood on the cross and was resurrected three days later.

      October 9, 2011 at 06:42 | Report abuse |
    • Arjun

      Is God so cruel to put his children to eternal hell and never forgive them and give a chance again. Your understanding of Christianity is blasphemy of God. If God does not forgive, he does not have the right to ask us to forgive. Do you agree?

      October 9, 2011 at 07:20 | Report abuse |
  24. PD

    To have true peace you need to become born again by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus heals and makes whole as he is the Son of the living God.

    October 9, 2011 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sathyavrath

    Actually, Yoga existed in all parts of the world eons ago. It is now evident that the Mayans, Egyptians and some ancient Caucasians in Hungary and Turkey practiced Yoga in advanced forms. This is predates all forms of religion. Yoga only happens to be preserved in India and does not belong to India or Hinduism. Hinduism is really not a religion but a collection of practices from many sources. India's contribution to the world is Sanata Dharma that predates everything and is considered absolute. Sorry to burst many of your bubble, but Christ was a Yogi. A Bhuddist. For many in India his teachings are verbatim of the Bhuddist Teachings.

    October 9, 2011 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Johnny

    Yoga can help nearly anyone. I saw this article about yoga on blog.wannabuddy.com and it motivated me to give it a try. After only a few sessions, I could notice positive changes in my health and stress levels.

    October 9, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. John

    Yoga is a cult. My preacher told me I should exercise at his house instead.

    October 9, 2011 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Pete

    Seriously, you buyin' this? It's a load. Give the addict a fix and he'll agree to anything. Same goes for giving the homeless guy a meal. C'mon y'all the addict is jonesin' for the next high and the homeless dude wants a decent place to stay. They ain't sitting around dreaming of yoga.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. J

    Yoga is some pretty crazy stuff. You can balance the body or in later stages, slow your heartbeat or even meditate down time so you perceive seconds as aeons. It'll also open your awareness to the Universal WHOLE.

    October 10, 2011 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Yogalvr

    In reading all of your comments above, I must say I am appalled by the closed mindedness of the religious people. If being of a certain religion (christianity or other) means narrow mindedness and closed heart and non acceptance for ALL people, then I never want to be a part of any religion like that – I would rather practice yoga. No, yoga is not a religion, it is a philosophy, a physical practice and a way of life. Yoga doesn't just change your body, it changes your life. It changes your life just by doing the actual practice of yoga asanas, which in turn connects the mind-body-spirit. Practicing yoga makes you FEEL better, and eventually brings out in us our truest essence – the root of who we truly are – which IS God. God lives in every living thing, including the yogi! Yoga is not evil. It is what connects us, what makes us whole, and what heals us from within. Praying to a God in a church and asking for answers, resolution, health and peace is religion, not yoga. Yoga believes that the divine is already within you – and we can awaken that divine within us through yoga. We do yoga, we do this work, to open ourselves up – to awaken the divine within each of us – to create peace within, because the real work begins from within. If you aren’t healing yourself from the inside out, how can we heal the world? The ignorant religious comments above is exactly what is limiting us from having world peace, from connecting with others that may not be of the same race or caliber as us. It is religious beliefs such as those above that is causing separation in the world, "us vs. them" or "my belief vs. yours." We are ALL ONE. No matter what religion, or race, practice. Once we all understand this and begin living to connect instead of divide, this world will be a better place. NAMASTE.

    October 13, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mami

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  31. Mooch

    Hey folks 🙂 I am sharing the No Box Blogs Project with all those I can find in the homeless services communities. The concept is very simple; the project provides free blogs, emails, training, support and more to homeless individuals around the world.

    This isn't a non-profit, this isn't run by a corporation, this was conceived by myself, Mooch, while living in my car in Los Angeles, CA.

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    I appreciate your article, and your blog, thanks!

    October 15, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sam

    Simply think that if you don't know about Yoga and on the other hand I know a little bit about yoga than I can simply show you what little I know. We will do this by sharing our knowledge and if simple that if you know more about yoga than you are also a yoga teacher. When we give training for Yoga Teachers at our place than it’s totally with complete focus on you without any type of disturbance and daily distractions. If you are deeply interested in yoga than this is a great way to learn how to become a Yoga teacher.

    November 4, 2011 at 03:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. yandara yoga

    Thank you for sharing this. I hope you won't mind if I share this page on our facebook page? Namaste.

    November 13, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
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    You are right Sam!

    March 10, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.