|Getting a discount on inner peace
Yoga impacts the five layers of
the self, beginning with the physical body or outermost layer. The
second layer is the energy or "pranic" layer which can
sometimes get blocked. "A block in the flow of prana is the
underlying cause of all our diseases," he says, so working
in the postures allows you to open areas where that energy is blocked
or stagnant, resulting in a deeper sense of vitality. At the third
layer, yoga enables you to release emotions; at the fourth or mental
level, it helps you create a single-pointed focus of mind, he says.
And then finally on a spiritual level, it culminates into self-transformation.
A chance for change
"You ultimately learn to see yourself and your habit patterns
from a more unbiased perspective, and with that revelation you can
begin to make changes for the better in your life," he says.
I'm a believer in yoga as a way to improve health
and vitality. And it also enhances the quality of meditation. After
a session, I feel rejuvenated and relaxed, tangibly happier and
serene. Of course, the effects wear off with time, so regular practice
is necessary to maintain the yoga afterglow.
How much should this cost? "It's hard to put
a price tag on something that creates peace of mind," says
Feinberg. "To somebody who's in a really tough place, it could
I can't disagree. But let's look at prices anyway.
The cost for group instruction in a yoga studio in my neck of the
woods varies from $15 to $17 for a 60 to 90-minute session. You
can buy package deals, such as a 20-class pass for $220, or a monthly
pass for $140 (best deal for daily devotees).
Once you learn the poses, you can practice at home
or buy a DVD for about $20 that can lead a practice. I like the
"Power Yoga" DVD with Rodney Yee, but others are also
worth checking out.
Pursuing yoga strictly for the physical benefits is
worthwhile, but the practice offers deeper gifts that are revealed
over time. I'm still in the early stages of the journey.
"The soul walks not upon a line, neither does
it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals."
-- Quotations taken from "The Prophet" by
Longtime financial journalist Barbara Mlotek Whelehan
earned a certificate of specialization in financial planning. If
you have a comment or suggestion about this column, write to Boomer