Two River Times November 2014 - Health & Wellness Columnist

National Underwriter magazine cited a new Travelers Insurance Consumer Risk Index identifying priority
"at risk" concerns most Americans face today. At the top of the list (68%) is fear of financial instability
with risk of personal privacy invasion at 64%. Toward the middle of the list is the risk of a serious health
problem at 60% with "distracted driver' risk of injury being the newest categorical addition. As a
leadership keynoter, insurance professional and yoga instructor, my consulting
clients and college students are increasingly looking for ways to mitigate risk, manage careers and
reduce anxiety. As the world becomes a riskier place, living in the spirit of hope to cope has become
tantamount to living a complex life well.

In prior columns, I've mentioned the benefits of meditation, pranayama(breathing exercises) and yoga
but it's important to recognize why yoga can be suitable for managing anxiety for almost everyone.
Here are a few myths about who can and should practice yoga:

Myth #1. Yoga is for younger people. Fact: Yoga is for all ages. The actively aging population is
taking yoga classes like crazy! Several of my national yoga colleagues specialize in yoga for the "moving
mature" and can barely keep the pace with the demand for this energizing form of exercise which can
be done in a chair, in a pool or in a studio as a gentle or restorative class for beginners or regular
practitioners. Always get a doctor's approval before starting a new program but if you take notes from
96 yr old Tao Porchon-Lynch, you'll truly be inspired. Tao has been practicing yoga for 70 years and
teaching yoga for 45 years as the founder of the Westchester Institute of Yoga. She is currently the 2012
Guinness World Record holder for being the oldest and active yoga teacher in the world. You can catch
her love of yoga for all ages in an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Myth #2. Yoga is mostly for women. Fact: Men are doing yoga at an increased rate of interest. Some of
the world's top yoga instructors are men that understand the flexibility, focus and strength benefits
that yoga delivers. I've worked with stressed out executives with bad backs, sports injuries and toes that
will never be touched but gains in pliability, reduced stress and a deeper sense of calm collection are all
reported benefits from their yoga practice. We just returned from another yoga retreat in upstate New
York where it was evident that many more men are now embracing yoga as a lifestyle and enjoyable
vacation getaway option.

Myth #3. Most yoga enthusiasts have a dance or gymnastics background. Fact: Yoga Journal updated a
2008 survey this year to find that 15.8 million yoga practitioners have recently grown to over 20 million
which represents about 8% of US adults. While most practitioners tend to be younger females(age 18-
44), most yogis are practicing to improve flexibility, reduce stress and live a healthier lifestyle. Fans of
yoga spend approximately $27 billion/yr to fuel their passion while only 15% of participants consider
themselves experts. Most yoga students categorize themselves as beginners(45%) so if you
decide to take the risk and dip your toe into the yoga universe, you'll have plenty of company in a
wellness world that is stressing less and savoring more. Namaste!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is an integrated businessowner, professional speaker, workshop leader and lifelong learner. Learn more about upcoming programming at Facebook & Twitter @DonnaLynSpeaks