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Yoga for inner peace

Mills College Weekly

Yoga is not a religion, but a scientific methodology of the
integration of the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a toolbox for
spiritual, mental and physical health and offers many benefits to
your well-being.

Mills understands the importance of yoga and has added an
additional yoga class to its current curriculum. The class,
conducted by yoga instructor Jeanne Dowell will be held Wednesday
evenings in the gym at 5:15 p.m.

There are numerous styles of yoga but the Iyengar method is a
safe and preferred method of yoga according to instructor Dowell.
“I studied with yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar at his home in Pune,
India in 1996. The hallmark of his method sets him apart from other
yoga systems with a strong emphasis on balance and postural
alignment.” said Dowell.

Yoga is a 6,000-year-old scientific technique for spiritual
development. Its goal is the unification of body, mind and spirit.
Yoga exercises ease tense muscles, tone up the internal organs, and
improve the flexibility of the body’s joints and ligaments. As with
any other exercise program, endorphins release in the brain and
produce a feeling of well being. While exercising muscles and
joints, yoga will also stretch, extend, and flex the spine, keeping
the body strong and supple.

Improvement of suppleness and strength is one benefit of yoga.
When combined with breathing techniques, yoga also stimulates blood
circulation throughout the body. Yoga postures release stiffness
and tension, help renew energy, restore health, and promote
graceful aging. Some postures sustain bone mass, which is very
important for women according to several medical studies.

In addition, medical studies show how yoga can relieve the
symptoms of several common and potentially life-threatening
illnesses such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, chronic fatigue,
diabetes, AIDS, asthma and obesity, according to the Life Positive

These physical and health benefits are just a “side effect” of
this powerful practice. Yoga through meditation works remarkably to
synchronize the mind, body and spirit. The meditative practices
through yoga help in achieving emotional balance through
detachment. Meaning that meditation creates conditions necessary to
prevent you from being affected by the things going on around you.
This, in turn, can create a calmness and positive outlook, which
also has a tremendous benefit on physical health.