Namaste—National Yoga Month is Here!

By Jordan Schaul | National Geographic | September 13, 2012

Namaste! How is your yoga practice going? Whether it is going well or just “going,” it will be cheaper this month in celebration of National Yoga Month.

Designated by the Department of Health and Human Services as a month of national observance, the celebratory event is intended to raise awareness for the practice of yoga and its benefits to health and fitness.

One of several federally recognized health awareness events, Yoga Month serves to educate, inspire and motivate practitioners at all levels. Since its inception in 2008, the event has evolved from a 10 city yoga health festival tour into a global campaign intended to recruit new students and embrace the most advanced of yogis.

The non-profit Yoga Health Foundation, which coordinates Yoga Month, will continue to offer a number of one-week free yoga passes throughout September. The passes are available through for practitioners to take advantage of free yoga sessions.  More than 1800 yoga studios are participating in the month-long event.

“Experience is a powerful teacher,” says Yoga Health Foundation founder Johannes R. Fisslinger, “so we decided to give people across the country the opportunity to try yoga for themselves.”

Whether you are seeking stress management, increased flexibility, relaxation, stronger musculature, and connective tissue, yoga will benefit both your mind and body, “[providing] tools to inspire health and harmony in life.”

“Preventative wellness can be accessed by simply unrolling a yoga mat!” says Fisslinger.

I had been practicing yoga for several months myself at Solo Yoga in Anchorage before moving back to Los Angeles. Although I am still very much a beginner, my practice has inspired me to pursue a healthier lifestyle all around. I’m now a vegetarian and working out seven days a week. Namaste!


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Jordan Carlton SchaulWith training in wildlife ecology, conservation medicine, and comparative psychology, Dr. Schaul's contributions to Nat Geo Voices have covered a range of environmental and social topics. He draws particular attention to the plight of imperiled species highlighting issues at the juncture or nexus of sorta situ wildlife conservation and applied animal welfare. Sorta situ conservation practices are comprised of scientific management and stewardship of animal populations ex situ (in captivity / 'in human care') and in situ (free-ranging / 'in nature'). He also has a background in behavior management and training of companion animals and captive wildlife, as well as conservation marketing and digital publicity. Jordan has shared interviews with colleagues and public figures, as well as editorial news content. In addition, he has posted narratives describing his own work, which include the following examples: • Restoration of wood bison to the Interior of Alaska while (While Animal Curator at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and courtesy professor at the University of Alaska) • Rehabilitation of orphaned sloth bears exploited for tourists in South Asia (While executive consultant 'in-residence' at the Agra Bear Rescue Center managed by Wildlife SOS) • Censusing small wild cat (e.g. ocelot and margay) populations in the montane cloud forests of Costa Rica for popular publications with 'The Cat Whisperer' Mieshelle Nagelschneider • Evaluating the impact of ecotourism on marine mammal population stability and welfare off the coast of Mexico's Sea of Cortez (With Boston University's marine science program) Jordan was a director on boards of non-profit wildlife conservation organizations serving nations in Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. He is also a consultant to a human-wildlife conflict mitigation organization in the Pacific Northwest. Following animal curatorships in Alaska and California, he served as a charter board member of a zoo advocacy and outreach organization and later as its executive director. Jordan was a member of the Communication and Education Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CEC-IUCN) and the Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (BSG-SSC-IUCN). He has served on the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society and in service to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Bear TAG). In addition, he was an ex officio member of the council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management.