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Yoga and mental health: Answering the phone call from your body

Yoga and mental health: Answering the phone call from your body

by Jessica Young, Contributor
Aug 2017

This morning I sat on Justine Cohen’s bright yellow Victorian couch, my shoes off and laptop in hand. She’s the founder of Down Under School of Yoga in Boston and as she sits in front of me, I’m thinking we are worlds apart. She’s a former lawyer, owner of one of the most popular yoga studios in the city, and her parents taught English to monks in Tibet. But when she begins to speak about her experience with panic attacks, we are instantly connected.

Brookline celebrates the International Day of Yoga

Brookline celebrates the International Day of Yoga

Residents gathered at Cypress Field on June 20, for a peaceful evening of yoga in honor of the International Day of Yoga. This was the second year that Brookline has held the free annual event. Led by instructors from Down Under School of Yoga, Coolidge Corner Yoga and Healthworks Fitness Center for Women, the yoga session attracted participants of all ages.

Should All Yoga Teachers Be Employees? One Studio Sets a New Standard

Should All Yoga Teachers Be Employees? One Studio Sets a New Standard

by Jennifer D'Angelo Friedman | Yoga Journal | JUN 12, 2017

“The reason most yoga teachers are independent contractors is because they’re being exploited,” says Justine Wiltshire Cohen, director of Down Under, which has three locations in the Boston area. “If you teach one class for me you are an employee, and the only benefit that is tied to the number of classes you teach is health care.”

Wiltshire Cohen argues that the current American paradigm of hiring most yoga teachers as independent contractors is antithetical to the principles of yoga.

“Yoga’s dirty little secret is the vast majority of yoga studios are still calling employees independent contractors, so they don’t have to give security and benefits,” she says. “It is almost impossible to make a living as a yoga teacher this way. The practice is meant to cultivate single focus, but 99 percent of teachers are traveling all over the city (from studio to studio). Very few have weekends, let alone two days off in a row.”

Patricia Walden Teaches One of Boston’s Most Popular Fitness Classes

Patricia Walden Teaches One of Boston’s Most Popular Fitness Classes

By Jamie Ducharme | Boston Magazine | May 2017

Walden is one of only two North American instructors to hold an advanced senior certificate in Iyengar yoga, a slow, methodical style that emphasizes proper alignment. If you think you have the chops to join her intensive weekly class series, you’ll need to be patient. Each one of her exclusive workshops is currently sold out, and existing students get first dibs when new sessions begin. Word to the wise: Get on the waiting list now.

Down Under Unites:
Yoga Stands Up takes yoga off the mat

Down Under Unites:<br><i>Yoga Stands Up</i> takes yoga off the mat

By Antonia DeBianchi | The Daily Free Press
March 14, 2017 11:05 pm

Sensing stress in their student body, the management and faculty at Down Under School of Yoga brainstormed ways they could acknowledge the current political climate while maintaining the principles of yoga. On Friday, they hosted “Down Under Unites: Yoga Stands Up” to strike a balance between yoga and fundraising.

Kate Heffernan Named One of Boston's Top Fitness Teachers 2016

Kate Heffernan Named One of Boston's Top Fitness Teachers 2016

"Boston's Top Fitness Teachers"
Spark by MoveWith
January 6, 2017

Boston was asked to vote for the fitness teachers that move them most and Kate made the list. In Kate’s classes, you can expect precise instructions to create dynamic postures that will work together to not only bring more strength and suppleness to the body, but also to bring the body, mind, and spirit into the present moment.

Natasha Rizopoulos LA Yoga Cover Story

Natasha Rizopoulos LA Yoga Cover Story

"Great Expectations with Natasha Rizopoulos"
By Susan Currie |  LA Yoga
December 6, 2016

From Beachwood Canyon to Brookline, Massachusetts

In 1996, while hiking the northern section of the Hollywood Hills, Natasha Rizopoulos had a “moment.” In that reflection, in the balm of Beachwood Canyon, she experienced a bit of a homecoming. After years of professional roaming, the moment was a bow to the ever-present voice that had been long dimmed by the “shoulds” that can mute a life.

Down Under Listed As One of the Most Popular Yoga Studios in Boston

Down Under Listed As One of the Most Popular Yoga Studios in Boston

"These are the most popular yoga studios in Boston, according to check-in data"
By Callie Ahlgrim | boston.com
November 4, 2016

Boston.com consulted data from check-in app Swarm to see which yoga studios were checked into the most by people in the Boston area from October 27 to November 2.

Best Places to Meet New Mom Friends in the Boston Area

Best Places to Meet New Mom Friends in the Boston Area

By Ashley Markwood | mommynearest.com
November 2, 2016

Yes, entering the world of motherhood is beautiful, but it's also overwhelming and at times, isolating. Finding places to connect with your mom community is imperative to a happy first year and beyond. Whether you meet up for a cup of coffee at the library or strike up conversation while getting your sweat on at the gym, surrounding yourself with moms who are going through a similar experience will only help make parenthood more enjoyable. 

Kris Manjapra Featured on Boston Magazine

Kris Manjapra Featured on Boston Magazine

"Boston Yoga Teachers Are Fighting To Make Yoga Available To Everyone"
By Jamie Ducharme | Boston Wellness
Sept 16, 2016, 11:06 a.m.

LOCAL INSTRUCTORS ARE PUSHING FOR A MORE INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSE YOGA COMMUNITY.

In studios, community centers, churches, and schools around Boston, yoga is changing.

A small but determined group of local teachers are challenging ideas of who a yoga student is, and what a yoga body looks like. They’re guiding yoga away from stereotypes, and toward a future of acceptance, inclusivity, and diversity—toward some of the ideals preached by the practice itself.