Ms. Tippett: Let’s talk about what happens in yoga. Whether it is relaxing or stimulating or more of a physical experience or more of a mystical experience. When you first start taking yoga classes, I mean, again, depending on the kind of class you’re taking and the kind of teachers you have, you hear a lot about what’s going on with your breath and your body, with your joints, with energy, with toxins. I mean, how do we know, what do we know about what yoga is doing, you know, really practically that is so unusual, that is unique and distinctive?

Ms. Corn: Well, there’s two — let’s stay on the physical for a moment in that any time you’re moving, you’re increasing the respiration and the circulation within your body. And that has an effect on your lymphatic system. The lymphae moving through your body more systematically helps to draw toxins out. So through…

Ms. Tippett: And do they measure that? Are there people who’ve measured this?

Ms. Corn: I’m sure.

Ms. Tippett: Okay.

Ms. Corn:  I’m sure. And it’s not just with yoga; it’s with any form of physical activity. So, just on a physiological level, you detox your body, you increase your flexibility and mobility, you create more space in your muscles and your joints and your bones, and you feel better. And so what makes it unique, though, is by coupling it with deep and rhythmic breathing, it has an influence on the parasympathetic nervous system. It helps to align the mind and the body so that you stay calm and focused. So it’s physically stimulating but mentally grounding. So you walk out of a room feeling alive, but in your body and in your center. Not hyper, not depleted. So it becomes a meditation in action that has a very positive influence on your physical body, again, depending on whether it’s a physical practice or a restorative practice.

“It is possible that on a spiritual level we are all connected in a way that continues beyond the comings and goings of various life forms. My best guess is that we share a collective spirit or life force or consciousness that encompasses and goes beyond individual life forms. There’s a part of us that connects to other humans, connects to other animals, connects to plants, connects to the planet, connects to the universe. I don’t think we can understand it through any kind of verbal, written or intellectual means. But I do believe that we all know this, even if it is on a level beyond our normal conscious thoughts.

If we have a meaningful place in this process, it is to try to fit into a healthy, symbiotic relationship with other life force. Everybody, ultimately, is trying to reach a harmony with the other parts of the life force. And in trying to figure out what life is all about, we ultimately come down to expressions of compassion and love, helping the rest of the life force, caring about others without any conditions or expectations, without expecting to get anything in return. This is expressed in every religion, by every prophet.”

george lucas!