2004-08-06 / Community

Yoga Center Opens In Neponsit

By Brendan Brosh

Stella Maris educators Kathy Halton and Eileen Cocchini participated in a summer program at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The workshop, entitled “Meeting Hate With Humanity,” focused on life during the Holocaust. The teachers are pictured with Elizabeth Edelstein, Assistant Director of Education for the museum. 
Stella Maris educators Kathy Halton and Eileen Cocchini participated in a summer program at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The workshop, entitled “Meeting Hate With Humanity,” focused on life during the Holocaust. The teachers are pictured with Elizabeth Edelstein, Assistant Director of Education for the museum.

Rockaway father and daughter team David Roya and Amber Abramson have opened a Yoga business at their home in Neponsit. Trained in India and certified by the Yoga Alliance, Roya is excited about teaching yoga in the Rockaways.

“Yoga is great for rehabbing injuries and for people who aren’t flexible,” said Roya. “Runners, weightlifters, couch potatoes – anyone can benefit from Yoga.”

It was only a few months ago that Roya decided to take a Yoga vacation in India with his daughter Amber. Living in an ashram (Hindu monastery) for six weeks, Roya underwent a rigorous training routine that included six hours of yoga, two hours of chanting and four hours of meditation daily. When they returned to Rockaway, the father and daughter team decided to teach Yoga.

Roya who also teaches Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi and women’s weightlifting began practicing Yoga thirty years ago. “I used to lift weights all the time, and began to lose flexibility. Yoga relieves the tension and returns you to the flexibility of youth.”

Sensing a degree of skepticism on this writer’s part, Roya offered to teach me several basic positions that are practical for people who work behind a desk.

Beginning with a series of hand stretches, which focus on the loosening the wrist and fingers, Roya showed me how to relieve strain in the hand area.

“If people did these positions everyday, we wouldn’t have so many carpel-tunnel cases,” said Roya.

Moving to the back and legs, Roya demonstrated how an office worker could lose flexibility by sitting in the same position for eight hours day. With simple exercises and poses that take less than ten minutes to perform, Yoga can relieve the stress and tension associated with the modern workplace. Describing himself as a former fitness addict, Roya used to run sixty miles a week, work out seven days a week and teach martial arts. It was only in the past four years that he began to focus on Yoga.

“Yoga is about extending muscles, ligaments and tendons,” says Roya. “As you extend the body, the mind expands as well. Yoga looks for a balance between strength and flexibility.”

In his early sixties and in impressive physical shape, the certified instructor wasn’t always so good at stretching.

“When I first started yoga, it was extremely difficult for me,” said Roya. “Now I start each day with it.”

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