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Yoga-Teacher Science

The New Yorker / June 2016

Daily Shouts in The New Yorker

Welcome, everyone. Thank you for bringing your energy to class today. I can really feel it in the air, warm and thick. Feel that? It’s almost electric, no? Yes, I definitely feel it.

We’re going to start in a cross-legged position. And let’s reach up through the neck, as we push our sitz bones into the floor. Feel yourself growing, as you extend the crown of your head and your pelvic floor in opposing directions. I used to be five feet one, but I sat just like this, every day, breathing and visualizing, and now I’m five feet four. That’s a true story.

Now just breathe. Good air comes in; dead air is released. Think about isolating your toxins and expelling them from your body. In … and out. Let those cells go. They are negative and heavy; they cause depression and anxiety. In … and out.

You feel lighter already, don’t you? What you’re experiencing is the negative pull of gravity, harnessed and refocussed. There are studies that show that people who stretch live a full decade longer. It’s really that simple, that easy. If you just do this every day, your whole body will rejuvenate. Yes, hold that right there, and silently dedicate today’s practice to the wonder that is biology.

Now reach your arms to the ceiling, up as high as they’ll go. Feel that stretch all they way down your sides—through to your pancreas and into your liver. These organs do so much for us, purifying the body of negative energy and reorienting your chakras toward the sun. Send them a message of thanks: Thank you, liver. Thank you, pancreas.

We now know that gratitude is the antidote to disease and that people who do this stretch in particular are able to open up their rib cages just enough to release bad energy and the illness it can cause. This is in fact how Angelina Jolie beat her cancer. Isn’t that amazing? Not many people know that. Breathe.

Great. You’re all doing so great. Push yourself only as far as feels right for your body, as we’re all entirely genetically different. Your body’s unique needs are encoded in your DNA, which is always growing and changing in the bloodstream, the body’s communication system. Feel your blood getting stronger, growing warmer, and more buoyant, washing the plaque away from your heart. Keep breathing.

Now fold, fold at the waist. Good, yes, wonderful. When we point our hearts’ centers toward the floor like this, our spines begin to align with the curvature of the earth. The analytical brain then sinks naturally into the emotional, visceral gut. The gut is where the body grows love, which neutralizes negative ions to balance your mood swings.

Now deepen into that stretch, take a big inhale, and share an om with me. All together now: Ooooommm. Feel those vibrations? Notice anything extra special about them? Your om actually vibrates at the exact same frequency as the wind. The natural world already lives inside you. I saw it on Dr. Oz.

Now tuck those toes under and let the momentum of your exhale lift your hips into a downward dog. Step the feet hip-distance apart and feel the planet’s magnetic poles actually flow through you in reverse, rewinding your biological clock, and literally making you younger. Feel the burden of passed time—the mistakes you’ve made and the opportunities you’ve lost—roll down the back-body and away forever. They’ve been metaphysically erased; they never existed.

Then take your vinyasa, synching your movements to your breath and your breath to your lymphatic system. Feel your heartbeat moving through each vertebra. If you can replace just half of the clogged tension you encounter with acceptance, studies show you’ll be twice as happy. Chant, “I deserve twice this happiness” twenty times to be twice happier again.

Lastly, move into child’s pose, microbending the spine to combat inflammation, and breathe. Just breathe and feel your body regenerate via accelerated mitosis. And take a minute to enjoy the proven scientific benefits you’ve received from your practice today. If you’d like more information on this, we’ve compiled a pamphlet, available at the juice bar. The juice cures glaucoma. Namaste.