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Yoga class is beneficial

To the Editor:

I knew that sooner or later after I spotted Margie Smith in yoga class at Mason Elementary School, I would see an article in the Grosse Pointe News about the class.

I read her observations in her I Say column of Dec. 11, “Yoga For Dummies.”

While I have to agree with some of her perceptions of the class, I must also look back to my first experience with yoga some 20 years ago.

It was in the first class that I took at Mason that I met teacher Ann Ingalls, a kindergarten teacher by trade.

We met in Mason’s library because there was another function taking place in the gym. The lights were low and her first words were “let us begin.”

There was no introduction, no explanation. We simply did yoga as she demonstrated the breathing and poses. There was no judgment and no commentary about students on their performance.

In subsequent weeks we moved to the gym which was darkened. I could not get enough of this class.

After Ann suffered a broken ankle, Lorraine Sowersby took over the class. Her style was similar to Ann’s. She was soft spoken and did not make judgments about students’ stances.

Recently I learned that she felt that her age kept her from demonstrating postures that would be beneficial to class members. She did not sign up to teach the fall 2003 semester of yoga for Grosse Pointe Community Schools.

I, however, signed on the line for Tuesday nights at Mason.

What I encountered was a teacher much as described in the column. She was young. She was slender. She did not demonstrate all of the asanas. She touched us during practice. The room was not dark. She provided Eastern music during relaxation.

I was not used to her style. At the end of the evening, however, I appreciated her yoga benedictions. The next day I felt the benefit of our practice. (And I slept well on Tuesday nights.)

What does all of this add up to? I will sign up for a new yoga course in January, and of course, I will still ask my husband to pick up carryouts from Big Boy or National Coney Island after class on Tuesday nights.

Yes, I am starving too, but I hope to see Margie in Mason’s gym in the New Year.

Karen McLeod

Grosse Pointe Woods

Karen McLeod
January 14, 2004

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