Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona on February 3, 1973 · Page 43
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Tucson Daily Citizen from Tucson, Arizona · Page 43

Tucson, Arizona
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 3, 1973
Page 43
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Virginia Hill in repose (center) surrounded by Virginia Hill performing the Sun Worship, a ritual practiced early in the morning, and'done facing the sun. The positions are done consecutively with . . . . . ·» *n»c« Hfcfcini one leading naturally into the next. The complete routine takes about five minutes. Claimed benefits include improved spinal flexibility, Increased muscle strength and reduced abdominal fat. By Cheryl Cross Citizen Staff Writer Yoga is a real trip. An "experience" is the only way to describe.it. When my first yoga lesson had been completed I felt more relaxed than I had in months. My usually cluttered mind seemed clear and organized. In short, after about an hour with Virginia Hill, I'd been sold. One glance at her is a selling point for yoga. She's slim and trim, her white hair the only evidence that she's 52, not 25. . Mrs. Hill, who teaches yoga in Tucson, is her'own best example of what yoga can do. She has always been interested in health and exercise, she said, but found many of the ordinary calisthenics too exhausting. Then, in 1969, after she had been ill, under tremendous nervous strain and on the tranquilizer and sleep/- ing' pill kick, her doctor suggested a vacation. She went to Tecate, Mexico, just to "get away from it all." On'her first night in Mexico, she met Indra Devi, a popular yoga authority. As a result of the encounter, she decided to spend the summer at the yo- gini's Yoga Center at.Rancho El Cuchuma in Tecate. That summer was devoted to learning the yoga philosophy and postures, with Madame Devi offering personal instruction to her students as well as directing classes in the ancient practice. By the end of the summer, Mrs. Hill was a different person, she said. She had put aside her tensions: and had learned to cope with what was causing them. Her husband, a retired Navy commander, "has seen what it does for me," she said, adding that he appreciates the change. In the forward to her book, "Yoga for Americans," Indra Devi says, "I feel very confident that if the study of yoga were to be added to the curricula of our schools, colleges · and training 1 camps, it would help considerably in 'decreas; ing the menacing incidence of physical and mental disorders." She explains, "The science of yoga has a separate division devoted to the most thor- ough care of the human body and all of its functions -- from breathing to elimination. Its "I aim at helping people reduce tensions" methods are entirely different from other methods of health education because yoga aims, first of all, at removing the very causes of ill health which are brought about by insufficient oxygenation, poor nutrition, inadequate exercise, and poor elimination of the waste products that poison the system. "Secondly, through rhythmic-breathing and concentration, as well as by influencing our glandular activity, yoga can help to increase our mental capacities, sharpen our senses and widen our intellectual horizon. "And finally, through meditation, it enables man to come closer to the realization of his own spiritual nature. "In short, yoga can help solve the problems of any receptive individual, whether these problems be. of a physical, mental, of spiritual nature and thereby, eventually, also help solve the problems of a group, society and even a na- ·t-n." Mrs. Hill and other followers of Madame Devi now teach her form oC yoga in their own hometowns. Mrs. Hill, whose latest classes start Monday, has had 500 students since she started teachfr.g in 1969. The tab is $20 for 10 lessons. Madame Devi's -- and Virginia Hill's -- form of yoga is Hatha yoga which emphasizes the physical well being but encompasses all phases of a total well being. "In my classes," Mrs. Hill said, "I aim at helping people release tensions and to learn to cope with life where they are, rather from some mountain top or some isolated state. "Yoga gives you an inner strength. Some yogas are practiced as a religion, but the people in Hatha are of every religion. Hatha helps streng- en their own beliefs in a supreme being or whatever they believe in." The first step in Hatha yoga, she continued, is learning "breathing as a science and relaxation as an art. "Breathing is the whole key to relaxation. You learn to breathe deeply instead of taking tranquilizers. When the body is relaxed, there is an absence of tension, and tension is what causes pain and headaches." Continued on page S SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1973 TUCSON DAILY CITIZEN PAGE 7

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