|Megan Jacobs is a certified iyengar yoga teacher.|
Jacobs came to visit us at Eating Disorders of York Region Monday where we had a wonderful conversation about the benefits of yoga.
Iyengar yoga, that which Jacobs teaches at her home studio, is a detail oriented practice. Iyengar is very physical, Jacobs says, and uses a lot of props, like blocks, blankets and belts.
"We are all built differently. [We all have different] heights and confidence levels. Props help everyone do the poses," Jacobs says, adding that though the technical term for the blocks, blankets and belts is props, she prefers the word "tool."
These "tools" teach the poses to the body and then the body eventually gets more comfortable with the various movements and stretches.
When a yoga class begins, the movements are very general. Throughout the class and after numerous sessions, a stronger foundation is built, both physically and spiritually, where participants begin to sink deeper into each position.
"You then go deeper and deeper into yourself," Jacobs says. "And your mind is calmed and then you begin to learn about your body."
Iyengar yoga doesn't teach a lot of breath work, but, as Jacobs refers to it, "is meditation in action."
"Endorphins in yoga can get addicting," Jacobs says. "As a teacher, I teach balance and how to find that connection between your heart, body and mind. Yoga can be harmful if, like anything else, it is abused."
One of the main practices of yoga is awareness. When we are aware, "the contentment and peace we find is not in our environment but in ourselves," Jacobs says. "We lose the attachment to sensory things when we practice."
This objectiveness connects an individual to his or her inner voice, where there is a need for sensitivity and thought about how much we let the rest of the world affect us.
-- Leviana Coccia