LYW: What initially brought you to a yoga practice? How long have you been practicing?

Joanne: I had been curious about yoga for several years, and took a few classes at Sivananda in the Marina, however the idea of driving in a car after a peaceful yoga class rankled with me. I got very interested, however, when Peter planned to teach at LiveYoga Wellness. I started regular practice when Peter began teaching, and resumed when he re-started his class. I guess that has been about 3 years now.

LYW: What brought you to LYW? And what keeps you here? How often do you practice?

Joanne: I am often at the Holy Nativity site. I live a few blocks away, and for 10 years I’ve coordinated the gardens at Holy Nativity. (For those who might not know, the Gardens are run by volunteers and grow food for needy families via LAX Food Pantry.) Yoga has simply become one more thing I do at the campus. I attend the weekly Community class on Wednesdays, and I have it in my calendar as an appointment with me. I’m fairly protective of that space in my life.

LYW: Are there any observations/comments/antidote’s from a class or workshop you attended you care to share?

Joanne: I really enjoy that Peter begins and ends each class in savasana. Often as I dash into class my mind is all over the place, full of the tension of whatever I was doing that morning, my body twitchy and tense in reaction. By the end of class, I can see my progress – I’m able to let go and be in the pose. I often use the yogic breathing exercises at other times of the day or week to relieve stress or focus my mind.

LYW: Please share with us the benefits you receive from your yoga practice.

Joanne: Having a yoga practice helps me to focus my mind, which is important right now since I’m writing another book (my second environmental novel, see ) Right now so many things in life bring us stress and tension – political news, the economy, the friction of daily life in a megacity. Yoga is a powerful tool to release all that, and to return to a more calm and centered space. From that space we can each be creative and proactive and loving and accomplish great things.