I was excited when I woke up this morning because I knew I could finally get to one of my favorite yoga classes taught by one of my favorite teachers, Nancy Hsu.
I first took one of her classes about a year ago, and between my busy schedule and Nancy’s schedule teaching all over Manhattan, it’s rare when our stars align and I can get to this particular vinyasa class. Nancy only teaches a handful of classes at my local gym, so it’s always a treat!
Brief History of Yoga: Yoga originated from India over five thousand years ago. Yoga is probably the oldest defined practice of self development. The Indian sage Pantajali, in his Yoga sutras, defines yoga as the control of activities of ones minds. Yoga is founded on the belief of the progress of self awareness. It is also the connection of mind, body and soul. Yoga shows us that we are multi-layered beings – with interconnected physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions.
It’s Good For You: Most of the health benefits of yoga, especially in the beginning, are experienced at the physical level. You can start practicing yoga at any age, and at virtually any fitness level.
Just a few Health Benefits:
- Boosts immune system
- Improves circulation
- Helps normalize blood pressure and improves cardiovascular efficiency
- Improves digestion and excretory functions
- Increased energy levels
- Relieves muscle tension
- Improves flexibility
- Promotes relaxation and healthy sleep
- Strengthens and tones the nervous system
- Increases physical strength and stamina
- Yoga benefits spinal health and improves posture
- Strengthens, lubricates and rehabilitates the joints, improving function and range of motion
- Many postures massage the internal organs, stimulate the glands and enhance endocrine functions
- Improves skin tone and complexion
- Increases lung capacity and Improves breathing
- Provides great conditioning for weight loss
What do I love about yoga? In a nutshell, it makes me feel good! Yoga calms me, centers me, and helps me connect my mind with my body. I also find yoga can be an awesome workout. I’m not getting any younger and yet I have gained more flexibility over the last few years by practicing yoga.
A Little Bit About Nancy Hsu:
Nancy is originally from China but grew up in the United States. She is a grandmother of four kids, ranging in age from 6 months to 11 years old! She became interested in yoga many years ago after her daughter was born and she suffered from debilitating back pain. She went to the doctor and was prescribed heavy medication that did nothing to ease her pain. One day Nancy was walking by a book store on 42nd Street and decided to go in and see if she could find anything out there to help her condition. She came across a book, “Learn Yoga in 28 Days,” by Richard Hittleman. Thus began her journey. She initially taught herself, then began working with other people also interested in yoga, taking any workshops or courses she could.
I love this...Nancy gave herself the goal of standing on her head, and before long she went from terrible back pain to conquering one of the most difficult poses in yoga!
In 2000 she became certified in Yoga-Fit (also one of my certifications) and began teaching for New York Sports Clubs.
Nancy is one of those rare gems of a teacher, a yogi, who inspires you, empowers you, instructs you, and always with a twinkle in her eye. She’s serious, but also playful. She makes me want to work super hard, but I never fail to smile or even giggle a few times during one of her classes.
Nancy is living proof that staying active and incorporating yoga, or any type of fitness, helps keep you young not just physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. When I interviewed Nancy I never asked her age...she is timeless, and she can kick ass!