Profession: Hematologist and Medical Oncologist; Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center; Assistant Attending at New York Presbyterian Hospital
I received a free weeklong invitation to try Land Yoga last year as part of a Holiday gift raffle. I didn’t end up trying it until April though as I was pretty committed to my regular exercise at the gym (running, zumba, boot camp classes, etc). I had also tried yoga before- Hatha and Bikram, and it never really stuck. Though I enjoyed Bikram, it was challenging to fit the class into my daily routine. With Hatha, perhaps I never really learned it correctly but I didn’t feel like I was getting an adequate work-out and I always found my mind wandering to other things during the class. After my first week of Ashtanga style yoga with Lara I immediately enjoyed it and felt like I was truly getting a different type of exercise. Learning postures one at a time forced me to perfect them before moving on (key for my perfectionist personality!). Simultaneously incorporating the breathing technique also relaxed me and allowed me to maximize each posture.
Learning Ashtanga also came at a particularly stressful time in my professional career when I was feeling overwhelmed with career decisions and taking care of very sick patients. Starting each day quietly breathing and going through the postures allows me to come into work prepared for any challenge. It’s also helped me during moments of stress during the day as I find myself practicing the breathing technique when feeling overwhelmed or stressed.