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Ayurveda-inspired kripalu yoga classes at The Commons

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Many of us think of yoga as a relaxing exercise to improve our health. Indeed, the practice offers many health benefits including flexibility and stress reduction. It also embraces mind-body activities including breath work paired with poses to achieve more overall wellness as well as meditation, which has been extensively researched to improve so many aspects of health.

Throughout the 20th century, yoga schools and studios, started initially by yoga masters from India, sprang up throughout the United States. These yogis not only taught the physical poses but the spiritual-body connections of yogic practices as well. Yoga teaches self-discipline, internal self-inquiry and ego release through the poses and meditation.Kripalu-style yoga focuses further on full-potential realization, awakening compassion and inner peace using techniques from vedanta, tantra, hatha and other ancient yogic traditions.

Robin Raye, kripalu-certified yoga instructor, marries the ayurvedic medicinal practice into her yoga program for a more complete health transformation. According to ancient Sanskrit texts, yoga and ayurveda have been used together to bring the body into balance for 5,000 years to heal mind, body, and soul. Just as you can release toxins through physical movements in yoga, you can rebuild your body and release toxins through ayurvedic medicine, considered to be the oldest health science.

Robin Raye

Ayurvedic food is primarily vegetarian and utilizes several traditional herbs, such as anti-inflammatory ginger and turmeric and immune-building tulsi and frankincense. The diet is person-centered based on the individual’s constitution. Protocol recipes and accompanying herbs are becoming increasingly popular as many people are trying to achieve and maintain good health as well as to heal themselves. As in yoga, meditation is the backbone of ayurvedic practice.

Raye began practicing yoga in high school. Following her 500-hour yoga training at kripalu, she studied yoga philosophy in Costa Rica and ayurveda at New World Ayurveda. She acquired further training as a healthcare practitioner and spiritual counselor to detect body imbalances through the pulse. She lives with her three daughters in Dover-Foxcroft.

The classes are now in progress and will remain so at 9 a.m. on Fridays at the Commons at Central Hall on East Main Street.

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