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.


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