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De-stressing in the lotus pose

All that stress! It's high time to relax a little. Observant wanted to find out whether yoga was the answer.

I was always curious about yoga, this mystical discipline strongly linked to meditation, but somehow I never managed to try it out until last week. I joined a trial lesson at the new Tuesday evening yoga class held at the UM Sports Center Randwyck and treated myself to an hour and a half of pure relaxation. The hard time I had finding the venue, a small container-like building opposite the hospital, and the fact that I was late put me in the perfect stressed-out mood to test the relaxing power of yoga. 

As I opened the door to join the lesson, I felt like entering a completely different world: a candle burning in the centre of the room, dim lights and silence quickly made me forget the crowd of red and sweaty students chatting loudly in the neon-lit changing rooms I had just left behind. The soft voice of Marijke Heemskerk, the yoga teacher, gently invited me to find a place and sit down on the mat while everybody around me looked very serious and concentrated. “Yoga is a about the connection between body, mind and heart,” explained Heemskerk as we lay on our backs, trying to follow the route of our breaths through our bodies. “You know what relaxation feels like, you have all experienced it,” she continued. Only then I realised how difficult it is to completely let yourself go and forget your tensions and worries to achieve a state of pure being. Although the noise from the jumping and running upstairs interfered with our relaxation efforts, the experience made me feel much better both on a mental and physical level. Too bad though that my enlightenment was all gone when the alarm went off on Wednesday morning, marking the beginning of a new stressful working day.

 

Claudia Costa

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