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yogaYoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “union” or “bringing together.”  Hatha Yoga is the 6,000 year old physical practice of bringing balance to the mind, body and spirit.  Yoga and the philosophies of yoga teach us that the mind and body exist within a continuum.  What we think in our minds can manifest in our bodies and what we feel in our bodies can help shift our consciousness. Therefore, “what we feel we can heal.”  Our breath is the doorway to this connection and to being kind and compassionate to ourselves.  Yoga offers us tools to help work through feeling our pain, healing our wounds and learning to live again fully present, fully alive in each moment.

Jason Wendroff-Rawnicki, a registered yoga teacher affiliated with the Shine Yoga Center in Cliffside Park, NJ, discovered yoga as a critical tool in his own healing after he lost his younger sister Lauren in a car accident in 1998. After initial dabbling in yoga, Jason, in his own words, describes how yoga became an integral part of his life after the passing of his sister:

The words that had seemed so foreign to me started to make sense.  Even though I was really sad, I could breathe.  I could watch my emotions rise to the surface, feel them fully, express them and then let them flow back out to sea.  As the emotions rose I noticed how they felt in my body.  My chest was constricted, my heart was closed, my eyes were watery from the tears, my shoulders were lifted up towards my ears.  I still did not understand the concept of being more than my body or reconnecting with the universe.  Until, one day, I was sitting in my bedroom crying my eyes out.  I was trying to focus on my breath. Through the gasps and shortness of breath from crying I was able to notice the quality of my breath.  While observing my breath, without judging it… I was able to receive a life changing message.

As I continued to focus on my breath, I heard Lauren’s voice.  She said, “You have a decision to make. You can let this car accident kill both of us, or you can live a full life for the both of us.”  … I then began to make my yoga practice part of my weekly routine… Every time I stepped on my yoga mat I would reconnect with myself and to the universe. Plugging myself back into the stream of life allowed me to realize that Lauren is with me all the time.  She is looking after me and helping make things happen for me… When I need to connect with her I turn to my yoga, meditate and move with the flow of the universe.

I feel closer to her now, as if she were alive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]