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Don’t stress, use yoga

April 7, 2010
tags: , ,

By Madara Zvejniece

picture by Madara Zvejniece

‘‘Yoga balances human’s physical, emotional and mental spheres. The imbalance causes stress, which is common in contemporary life. We live in a century of stress, and it`s only natural that people try to find instinctively a way to deal with the contemporary lifestyle and haste. That is why yoga is so popular nowadays,’’ says Agnese Viksnina*, a yoga teacher and the owner of the dance group, ‘‘Fandango’’ (

Student life also is stressful, and exam time causes a lot of frustration, so yoga and breathing exercises may be a way to find peace and calmness.

Even though yoga comes from India and Eastern countries, it is appreciated also in Western cultures (more and more people in Europe and the United States go to yoga classes). It is not only something that has come into vogue thanks to many celebrities who do yoga, but also because of its effects on the body and mind. Those who practice yoga are more harmonic and cool-headed, furthermore they know how to deal with stress (for instance, before exams or job interviews).

Many people think that yoga is something difficult, and it demands good physical preparedness. Actually, there are many levels of yoga and everyone can do it.

Viksnina says, ‘‘The real effect of yoga is appreciable when it is done regularly and diligently. The simplest exercise is to sit down with a straight back, cross the legs, close the eyes and breathe quietly. Then you have to observe the emotions in your body and also your breathing; you have to release your thoughts that try to get in your consciousness.’’ **

Yoga teacher Viksnina says, ‘‘The first law of ‘how to pass an exam’ is to come to the exam!’’ She also says that yoga teaches how to perceive life and different events, so there is no stress or it is rare.

She says, ‘‘If I’m disciplined and study regularly, I don’t have to learn everything in the last night, so is there a reason for stress? But if there is no chance to prepare properly for the exam, you have to find all the creative energy in yourself and you have to go to the exam. [..] And if I don’t pass it? Will I be a worse person? Will my mother be angry or will my boyfriend leave me? What are the true values of life? I will pass it next time!’’

Yoga does not mean that people just try to put their legs around their neck or do something physically difficult. There are many types of yoga, for example, hot yoga (Hatha yoga) which ir practiced in a warm room and the exercises are not difficult, but at the same time the result is impressive and after the yoga class you feel agreeably exhausted . Yoga also requires breathing exercises and meditation.

There are many places in Riga to do yoga. As was mentioned before Viksnina teaches yoga in her dance studio but there are also other yoga centers such as: , , .

Viksnina says, ‘‘Nowadays  a human being thinks that he/she is rational and logical, that he or she can control his/her life. Unfortunately, it is only an illusion. In reality, it is our mind that controls us. [..] If a person becomes the master of his/her mind, he/she uses it as an effective instrument in everyday life, in art, in work. The mind can discover magical things, but it cannot work without a break.’’

Meditation and good sleep is very important for students. Try yoga and forget sleeping pills!

Everyone wants a better and more harmonious life… Why not start today?

* Many thanks to Agnese Viksnina for answering the questions about yoga!

* *Thanks to dancer Beate and judo athlete Sabine for co-operation J

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