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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

Inspired by Yoga

With September being National Yoga Month, it feels fitting to share a bit about how I came to believe in yoga’s benefits so that those that haven’t tried it may be so inspired. My own practice is what committed yogis and yoginis might consider spotty, but for me that’s part of its appeal. Ultimately, it’s all about your preferred approach and the benefits you gain without attachment to others’ expectations.

Initially dragged to my first class by a lifelong friend, I thought yoga was something for the fit and trim and folks that can walk on hot coals. What I discovered was that a regular practice can benefit everyone, regardless of their shape, size or fitness level.

Lynda Bassett’s “Say Yes to Yoga” article is a good summary of the universal benefits. Linda Sechrist’s Wise Words conversation with Kamini Desai reveals the path to self-mastery that’s ultimately possible by following a yogic lifestyle if you want to take it that far.

Personally, I’ve repeatedly experienced pain relief (my body lets me know when I’ve skipped a class or two), increased flexibility and the peace of mind, body and spirit that comes from connecting more deeply with my inner self. I leave each class feeling refreshed and energized, with a clear mind and seemingly unshakable mental stability.

Residents of Greater Boston are blessed to have a wealth of yoga studios and styles to choose among to find which best suits our personalities, body types and schedules. I encourage you to keep trying them out until you find a teacher and class that rings true. From there you can always add another for a change-up. Visit our website at for a list of available yoga styles as an aid to exploring the possibilities.

Regular readers may notice Natural Awakenings contributors consistently aim for upbeat and helpful messages. In celebration of Positive Thinking Day on September 13, here’s a list of 10 ways to raise your level of happiness from

Read, listen and use affirmations so that you can begin to change your self-talk.

Set your intention each morning to have a positive day. Remember that you choose your attitude.

Be mindful of and attentive to the present moment.

Pick something you do frequently (like making a call) and let that be a reminder to think a positive thought.

Develop an attitude of gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal.

Read and watch inspirational and motivational material to lift your mood.

Surround yourself with positive people that help you stay focused on the good.

Be kind to yourself and those around you.

Have faith and trust that every situation has the seeds for growth and opportunity.

Smile when you see others. Smile when talking on the phone. It’s contagious.

Is a tropical yoga retreat also on your bucket list?

Maisie Raftery, Publisher