Yoga For Spock
A "Feel Good" Workout
Much has been written about yoga in this magazine, most of it written by yoga instructors and other related professionals. Although I have been practising yoga for many years, I am not one of those.
To give you a sense of my perspective, I will tell you something about me. On the scale of emotions, I am less Bill Clinton and more Hillary Clinton. Or perhaps, Mr. Spock. I am logical and analytical and reserved with my emotions; I save them for my nearest and dearest (on a good day).
So, this column is directed at people who don’t “get” yoga, maybe because they are more about the rational and the logical like me. It’s true, yoga involves both the physical and the spiritual. The physical part is easy to understand – it’s a great workout and it complements my other fitness activities. It counterbalances the sitting that I do all day. It develops balance, flexibility and core and muscle strength.
But it’s the spiritual part that makes it interesting. Organized religion doesn’t do it for me, although I understand why people find it appealing. And I’m not preaching the religion of yoga. Maybe because I wouldn’t come to it on my own, I like the messages that are conveyed in a yoga class, of peace and goodwill toward yourself and others. I am no match for my yoga teacher Hali Schwartz, with her strong voice and positive aura. Although I have limited tolerance, these messages and the feelings they generate are good for me. Call it endorphins or some other type of zen, at the end of a yoga class I feel good. Physically tired, but good. Even a ‘Spockian’ like me. I would encourage you to give it a chance. A colleague told me that it takes at least 10 yoga classes to “get it” and I found that to be true.
I am fortunate enough to work at a place that provides a space for yoga classes at lunch, and the yoga instructors who teach us are extremely talented. These teachers may be found teaching at such established Toronto studios as Octopus Garden, Yoga Space and Spynga.
Naomi Bussin is a lawyer, fitness enthusiast and healthy cook. It is a mystery why she wasn’t writing for Tonic earlier. For more information visit octopusgardenyoga.com, yogaspace.net and spynga.com.