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Yoga

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Submitted By mes217
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Stefanie Cortes
Yoga
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Yoga is an ancient, Indian art and science that seeks to promote individual health and well-being through physical and mental exercise and deep relaxation. Although known to be at least 5,000 years old, yoga is not a religion and fits well with any individual's religious or spiritual practice. Anyone of any age, religion or life condition can practice yoga and derive its benefits. Yoga is the practice of putting the body into different postures while maintaining controlled breathing. It is considered to be a discipline that challenges and calms the body, the mind, and the spirit. By focusing on the breath entering and leaving your body, you are performing an exercise in concentration.
After learning the history and practicing the throughout this fall semester, I have a new found respect and outlook for yoga. I would like to share with you an experience my family and I had to endure and probably how I was lead to signing up for this class. I come from a very close-knit family and, as such, all my life, so far, my cousin has always been more like a sister to me. We had children at the same time and always remained close. Last fall her son, Mikey was diagnosed with cancer. I can't even begin to describe the overwhelming devastation and complete sadness this brought to our family. My cousin was on an emotional roller coaster, and I can remember asking her how she stays so strong and how she got through all the treatments and still kept it together---- her response was "yoga"....I was somewhat skeptical--- thinking to myself that an exercise, i.e., yoga, would aid in the process of coping through such a dark time in their lives. I never questioned her or elaborated on this statement, but always kept it in the back of my head and had been very curious about it. Needless to say, Mikey kicked cancer's butt and is in total remission as of July of this year (2013). We are so grateful and blessed with this wonderful news.
When I realized I needed to take some sort of gym class to graduate….and I’m not going to lie…. I chose a kickboxing class as I thought that would have been a fun experience, but as it went, one week before school started I received a phone call from CCAC saying that not enough students signed up for it and it was being cancelled. Needless to say I had to act fast so I researched some other classes and it just so happened yoga was available---which met all my criteria and there was only one seat left. Obviously I got the last seat in your class and thought this is my time to understand how in the world yoga therapy got my cousin through her terrible situation. Well, Mrs. Amy Lea Taylor, when I first walked into your class, I was completely shocked and amazed at how much information you were speaking about and that it seemed like so much to learn--- not going to lie--- I was nervous. After all these weeks listening to lectures, learning different words and the meanings that I never heard of, I am pleased to say that I made the best decision about taking this class. I actually learned so much from you. Your passion and your outlook on life is very special. I definitely understand what you meant by “getting it" means now. Yoga is a very powerful thing.I now understand how my cousin got through difficult and overwhelming days through the power of practicing and performing yoga. It helped her maintain her faith to move forward with such a positive attitude. I enjoyed the meditation classes the most. The effect on my inner being was nothing less than peace and tranquility. In conclusion, I want you to know I definitely understand what life is all about--- the simple things and how much they truly mean in this life. To live healthy, happy lives and to appreciate the people and our loved ones in our lives. Smiling at a stranger, admiring nature and just living life with love means more than any amount of money. If you have the ability to live this way, in my eyes you are richer than any millionaire. I must say I feel so much more knowledgeable on the benefits of yoga and I was very fortunate to be able to get the last seat of this class. You have taught me so much---especially how having a positive attitude makes for such a better life to live. I thank you for being a wonderfully positive person and I intend to practice this amazing exercise---hopefully becoming the wonderfully positive person that you have become. God bless you!

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