Exercise is a fundamental piece of feeling and being well. However, exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous in order to be effective. Yoga, while a much more mellow physical activity, has a multitude of health benefits and a meditative aspect that can do wonders for your mental health. Katonah Yoga, in Bedford Hills, New York, has been instrumental in my recovery.
In 2000, I stepped foot in Katonah Yoga for the first time. Since I was very ill and awaiting surgery, my doctors suggested I find ways to relax. Since I recently moved back to the area and had done yoga before, Katonah Yoga seemed like a good option.
There I heard Nevine Michaan speak, owner and founder of Katonah Yoga who I mentioned in my previous post. She said that the body should naturally be able to fit into itself, being able to fold up like origami, and when it can’t, it’s indicative of a problem. Even though I had been doing yoga for ten years, my body couldn’t do that and until that moment I hadn’t even been aware of it.
I had to step away from Katonah Yoga for two years while I recovered after a botched surgery for fibroid tumors. Once I was able to return, it took eleven years for my body to be able to fit into itself the way Nevine said it would. In those years, I took private yoga sessions three times a week with Harriet Schreger, an instructor of Katonah Yoga.
During those eleven years, Nevine told me something that has stuck with me all this time. She told me getting better shows you have a healthy immune system, when you aren’t recovering, it’s because your immune system is suffering.
Katonah Yoga is unlike any other yoga studio I’ve been too. Nevine and her teachers incorporate classical Hatha yoga with Taoist theory, geometry, magic, mythology, metaphor, and imagination — in a practical framework designed to potentiate personal and communal well-being. By combining Western and Eastern philosophies and ideals in this way, her yoga practice is truly therapeutic.
No matter where you are in the world, yoga is a wonderful way to get in touch with your body and a simple step in your journey to finding wellness.