On Friday, November 2, a gunman shot six people—two fatally—at Hot Yoga Tallahassee. Now, yogis around the world are questioning whether the place they go when events like this happen (read: their yoga studios) are a safe retreat after all.
When a gunman armed with an AR-15 and handguns opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania last week, yogis everywhere retreated to their safe haven: their yoga studios. Now, after a gunman opened fire in a Tallahassee, Florida yoga studio, shooting six people and killing two, yogis around the world are grieving for the victims and their families—and wondering if their sanctuaries are safe after all.
Here’s What We Know Right Now
Around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, police arrived at Hot Yoga Tallahassee in response to a call about a shooting. When the responding officers arrived, they found suspected gunman Scott Paul Beierle, 40, of Deltona, Florida, dead. Police believe he shot himself after pistol-whipping one, shooting six, and killing two people, who were identified as Nancy Van Vessem, 61, and Maura Binkley, 21.
“As we process the gut-wrenching act of violence that took place this evening in a place of peace in our community, we hold in our hearts everyone who is affected and lift them up in love,” officials tweeted from Tallahassee’s Twitter account. According to the non-profit Gun Violence Archive, which tracks shootings in the United States, the Florida yoga studio shooting marked the 304th mass shooting this year.
Where Do We Go From Here?
With gun violence reaching now reaching the places we view as sacred sanctuaries—church, synagogue, and now the yoga studio—we understand the hurt and fear the yoga community is facing as a whole.
Follow YOGAJOURNAL.COM for updates on the story and advice aimed at helping yogis, teachers and studio owners cope with the aftermath of this yoga studio shooting.
The 6 Best Undies to Wear Under Your Yoga Pants
The right underwear can make or break how comfortable (and fidget-free!) you stay during your practice.
While many yogis go commando in yoga pants, there are plenty of practitioners who are pro panties. But if you fall in that camp, you know how crucial it is to choose the best underwear for yoga. Choose a pair that doesn’t wick sweat and you could feel like you’re wearing a diaper during hot yoga; opt for a lacy thong and you’ll likely be fidgeting your way through every vinyasa.
See also Do You Go Commando in Yoga Pants?
Looking for the ultimate list of the best underwear for yoga? Here are our 6 top picks that don’t ride up, wick sweat like champs, and are so comfy you won’t even notice they’re there.
5 Poses to Practice in a Cramped Airplane Seat
It is possible to do some yoga on your next flight (yes, even if you’re stuck in a middle seat in coach)
Think you have to wait until you’re off the plane to get a good stretch? Think again. As crazy as it sounds, I promise you it is possible to practice yoga from the discomfort of your airplane seat.
Consider this: Yogis are primed to stay focused in less-than-ideal conditions. Remember that packed yoga class you were in that was mat to mat, yet you were able to focus on your own practice? Remember that time you were in a deep twist and were still able to breathe? Yoga teaches us to find inner space, regardless of outer conditions. In fact, the more inward our focus, the more expansive we feel. So, while we may not be able to stretch our legs out fully or do a Handstand in the airplane aisle, we can stretch our minds and find the space we seek within—yes, even when stuck in a cramped middle seat on a long flight.
See also Yoga at the Airport: 5 Poses for a Long Layover
Try this 5-pose sequence specifically designed to practice in your seat, with your seatbelt fastened.
About the Author
Sarah Ezrin is a yoga teacher in San Francisco. Learn more at sarahezrinyoga.com.
A Yoga Sequence to Heal Your Bladder and Kidney
Working the kidney and bladder meridians through the following sequence will help you emerge from loneliness, depression, and fear.
Everything starts in water. It is the womb and the source—the place where all is possible and from where all energy emerges. As such, it is also the energy of water where all healing cycles begin. In Energy Medicine Yoga—a system of yoga that combines energy work with asana—we explore where energy is stuck, and how we can get it to flow. And we focus on the organ systems and meridians that correspond with water: the Kidney and Bladder.
Kidney is the meridian system that leads all the others. The first acupuncture point on the Kidney meridian, Kidney 1, is the point on the base of your foot where energy enters the body. The energy then rises up to the end point of the Kidney meridian, called Kidney 27, which is a junction point for all the other meridians (located in the hollows below the tips of your collarbone). Kidney 27 is considered the “on” button of the body, and thumping or tapping or deeply mass-aging this point awakens all the energies of the meridians and gets your body’s energy moving forward. If your body’s energy isn’t moving forward, you are working at a 50 percent deficit, meaning the body can’t heal itself. It’s moving against its own energy. It’s like rowing against the current of a river.
Bladder, which is the longest meridian in the body, governs the nervous system. The Bladder meridian goes along the spinal column twice, once along a path that corresponds to your physical body and once along a path that corresponds to your emotional body.
See also Learn to Listen to Your Emotions with Meditation
In terms of psychology, the water element is the energy of the baby, the philosopher, and the king. This can be powerful, potent, and, when out of balance, dangerous. The main emotion that causes problems when water is out of balance is fear. And fear (along with anger, which is the wood element) can be one of the most debilitating and dangerous emotions.
Winter, the season associated with water, can be a fiercely lonely time. Holidays can bring up old hurts and make us feel disempowered or fearful. Turning our fear into hope, trust, faith, or courage is the balm we need to help us thrive through this season.
Working the Kidney and Bladder meridians through the following sequence will help you emerge from loneliness, depression, and fear into hope, growth, and abundance. In the depth of water, if you can hope for one small thing, it can help pull you out of the water. That’s what you need when you’re in that deep. It only requires you to believe that the possibility for change exists. This is the power of water. It is the start. It is the place where all potential lies.
See also Core Concept: Soften Your Middle for a Stronger Core
Excerpted from The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription, by Lauren Walker. Sounds True, August 2017. Reprinted with permission.
Study with Lauren
Learn more about Energy Medicine Yoga in Lauren’s six-week online course with
renowned energy healer Donna Eden and Yoga Journal. Sign up at
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