Breath As Spirit
Joslin’s goal for her students is that they experience the same awakening she found in yoga. The practice allows for deeper and deeper self-awareness, like peeling the layers of an onion, she said.
“It’s a chance for people to be with themselves. Be quiet. Be still.
The biggest lesson in yoga is being with whatever comes up. What a lesson.”
The word yoga means “union” or “yoke.” The form most Americans are familiar with is hatha yoga, or yoga of the body.
Several Christian groups promote alternatives to hatha yoga. Christian yoga teaches the same physical poses combined with Bible verses and a Christian emphasis. PraiseMoves takes it a step further and renames the classic poses. Plank pose is renamed the altar, for example.
Joslin believes that if done properly, yoga can’t help but connect one to God.
“Breath is the divine life source – the Spirit within,” she said.
The word spirit means breath in biblical Greek and Hebrew. “Yoga is meditation in motion.”
Several of Joslin’s students expressed their own awe at the gifts they’ve received through the practice.
Psychologist Virginia Krauft, owner of the Center for Psychology, began practicing with Joslin four months ago. Since that time, she’s lost 10 pounds and her blood pressure has dropped. The 65-year-old has replaced her former exercise regime of walking, weights and stretches with four Power Vinyasa classes each week.
Offering yoga at the Center for Psychology reflects the center’s emphasis on holistic health, Krauft said.
Mother-and-daughter team Brenda and Chloe Zedlitz both report heightened well-being through yoga.
“It’s a great stress reliever – a good way to relax after basketball practice,” said Chloe, 16 and a sophomore at Heritage High School. The effects carry forward into the next day, she said. She credits Thursday night yoga classes with improving her focus for Friday night games.
Brenda Zedlitz said she started yoga after her father died in September. Her coping strategy during his long illness was to “not breathe very deeply,” she said in an e-mail. Joslin’s classes helped her release those pent-up emotions and find a new level of wellness.
They also relieved the shortening of the tendon that had caused her great pain for two years. “Through yoga, I have experienced healing and transformation in both my spirit and my physical body,” she said. “And that is miraculous !”
1 . A Family Affair