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Fit & Faithful: Lenten Tips for Week 1

Founder of Laughing Lotus Yoga Offers Tips for Getting Fit During Lent



For most locals, New Year resolutions are oft-overlooked in anticipation of Carnival season, with ‘new year, new you’ promises replaced with Lenten sacrifices. While some simply swear off one vice for 40 days and 40 nights, others take this time as an opportunity for holistic self improvement. Each week, NoDef will call upon a different health expert in New Orleans to ask for tips for the fit and faithful. By Easter, NoDef will have 40 tips for each day of the season. 

 

Dana Trixie Flynn is a globally celebrated figure in yoga, a social activist, and the founder and owner behind Laughing Lotus, a nationwide yoga studio with locations in New York City, Brooklyn, San Francisco, and most recently New Orleans. The idea for her newest outpost dubbed The Church of Yoga, a nonprofit studio now open in the 7th Ward, came to Flynn when she had no plans to open a location in the Big Easy. Its location, a former Baptist Church, felt kismet. “Many people go to church to feel the spirit and be uplifted, to sing and feel joy,” said Flynn. “Yoga is the same, it means to bring together and the practices are designed to find joy in your life.”  

 

Flynn has practiced yoga for 25 years, and she said that regular practice not only offers health benefits like increased flexibility and muscle definition, but improves all aspects of life. "Whatever you are devoted to, yoga will deepen your love and devotion to it," she said. Mindful breathwork, calling attention to how your body moves and hold itself, meditative reflection of the self are all key yogic tenets — "simple practices" that can benefit everything from your romantic relationships to your productivity at the office. 

 

In New Orleans, post-Carnival season offers an opportunity for self improvement, for Lenten observers and non believers alike. The New Yorker-turned-New Orleanian noted that yoga offers a good first step toward making positive changes in your life without getting too hung up on the specifics of the results, whether it be numbers on the scale or inches taken off your hips. "Yoga helps a lot with acceptance and surrender, taking the action and letting go of the results," she shared.  

 

This week's tips not only help the novice yoga practictioner get their stretch on — these 10 points encourage a full assessment of unhealthy habits and offer a chance to hit the reset button. As Flynn said, "it's a spiritual program of action."  

 

Tip 1 - Surround yourself with good people, move away from those that suck from you.

Tip 2 - Practice gratitude.

Tip 3 - Be aware of your breath when you wake up and sit with this movement of it in and out. Feel its WONDER. You might even say “thank” on the inhale, “you” on the exhale.

Tip 4 - Alcohol is so old school. Freshen up your drinking with juices, more water, and activities that are fun and uplifting — sans booze.

Tip 5 - Keep an open mind. You may try your first yoga class and not like your teacher’s voice or the smell of the mat, et cetera. Try three different classes or teachers before deciding if it’s for you.

Tip 6 - Think about how you wish to define yoga. Yoga is a big metaphor for your life. So, how shall you define it? The connection between body and mind to connect with the infinite, sacred, god, soul? Or is it something completely different to you? 

Tip 7 - Let your self be new! Drink the Kool Aid. Om Namaste, salute the sun. Be like bamboo — bend this way and that way. Experience more strength and flexibility on the mat and all your relationships. Remember — listening and learning is RAD! 

Tip 8 - Figure out how FREE do you want to be. Yoga is the practice of being wild and free.

Tip 9 - Change your perspective. Maybe even stand on your head and change how you see the world and see yourself in it.

Tip 10 - Don’t quit until you have tasted Savasana. Mad BLISS y’all! 

 

The Church of Yoga is located at 1480 North Rocheblave St., check out the class schedule here

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

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