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I recently lost my job as editor of a yoga magazine. During the final weeks of business, a journalism student (at Humber? Ryerson? Can’t remember) contacted us about doing a story. He talked to the exectutive publisher, the associate publisher and myself. He was interested in the human aspect of the magazine’s closure, how we were handling it as a staff and how yogic practices played into our closure.
I talked to him again today, as he had to write a sidebar to accompany the story, about how the “concepts of yoga” helped us cope with the closing. It was difficult to explain, because definitely we applied yogic principles and approaches to how we closed the mag and how we handled everything. But those practices don’t fit the common perception of what yoga is. For example, he wanted to know if we did any kind of breathing or stretching exercises to cope with stress at work. Honestly, if I was feeling stressed out about deadlines or meetings, rarely would I do some breathing exercises at my desk. I drank a cup of coffee or went for a walk, listened to Beyonce or ate chocolate (a lot of chocolate, actually – it was absolutely necessary during the production crunch). If it was after 4pm, I’d drink a beer.
Most importantly, though, what I’d do is communicate with my co-workers that I was stressed out. I would be able to look at myself, my reactions and interactions, and determine that I was feeling stressed, then articulate this to the people around me. I had to tell this budding journalist that this was the yoga. This was the practice. My asana practice and my weekly classes helped to relax, but mostly they prepared me to meet the challenges of my daily life and address them directly. This, to me, is yoga.
Okay, that’s what I have to say about the practice. Meanwhile, floating around the interweb today, I found a couple of inspiring stories:
- CTV British Columbia (this is the channel I watched as I grew up, so it’s special to me) covers Vancouver’s excellent Yoga Outreach program. Learn more about Yoga Outreach here.
- my favourite BoingBoing blogger/hottie reviews an eco yoga mat. It’s a little trivial, but I’m always excited to see yoga mentioned on BoingBoing, and Xeni Jardin manages to make a yoga mat review sound interesting.