By Jennifer Racine

Over the past decade, many people have become very interested in the trend of working out and being healthier. Part of this trend is a phenomenon called yoga, which combines physical effort, healthful living, and relaxation techniques. After all, who does not want these three things? Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, and the entire Los Angeles Lakers team have admitted to practicing yoga, which has resulted in a nationwide desire to practice yoga. But where exactly did this yoga craze come from?

Hindus and Buddhists will tell you that the practice of yoga has been around for thousands of years. In the Hindu religion, yoga refers to a form of discipline, including meditation, mental concentration, and exercises of the body that will eventually lead to a higher goal. This higher goal, Hindus believe, is the soul’s release from the cycle of death and rebirth.

Yoga has a similar meaning in Buddhism, but for this Eastern religion, yoga is a practice that helps one toward the path of the bodhisattva, which is an enlightened person who has given up the opportunity of nirvana because he or she wants to save others.

For both religions, the practice of Samadhi integrates a higher level of yoga. But one does not need to be a Buddhist or Hindu to practice yoga and see results. Located in Newton Center is a yoga center called Samadhi, where you too can practice different forms of yoga! I spoke with a couple who have been going to Samadhi for a few years, and they told me a little bit about their experience. They found Samadhi by searching the internet for local yoga centers. They became interested in a class offered by Samadhi called Forest yoga and decided to give it a try. While the teacher and class are no longer at Samadhi, they fell in love with the other teachers and offerings at Samadhi and never left. When asked if and how taking yoga classes has changed their lives, the wife perked up and responded, “Yes, life changed as a whole because they have speakers, acupuncture, and life classes. It’s more than just yoga.”  Samadhi offers more than yoga; it also offers Nia, acupuncture, massages or body work, nutrition and cleansing, and Ayurvedic.

Nia uses movement such as dance and other fast-paced activities set to the sound of global rhythms. Such motion helps participants reach physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Acupuncture is the use of needles to help blood circulation, which in turn also helps out the organs and tissues. Samadhi-style massages and body work combine Eastern and Western techniques to help target tense areas in one’s muscles, as well as help with circulation and the health of one’s immune system.
Samadhi is more than a yoga center, offering not only classes to promote one’s health physically, but also nutrition and cleansing classes to teach one how to take care of oneself outside of the classes. The life class is called Ayuvedic and is a type of life counseling session that helps one learn how to better understand oneself and one’s relationship with the world one lives in. The important goal of this type of treatment and counseling is to correct the imbalance of disease through diet and lifestyle, yoga and meditation, marma therapy, aromatherapy, and herbal healing.
John and Nicole Churchill, the founders of Samadhi, are very concerned with their students’ physical, mental, and emotional health. When one practices Samadhi yoga, one is more in touch with oneself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Dustin Diperna, one of the teachers, reaffirmed this by telling me that some popular reasons for practicing yoga are that it can help one relax throughout the day, it helps one practice discipline, and it also can tone the muscles in one’s body.

Practicing yoga seems like a really smart and wholesome activity. In our health-crazy society, yoga should be more popular because it gives the whole package. At the gym, one works out one’s muscles but does not worry about one’s mind or spirituality. Yoga “is a body-mind” activity that connects the “body-mind and breath.” If you would like to balance your life and practice Samadhi yoga, you can call Samadhi at (617)243-0034. Or go to the website and find a class that would work best for you at

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