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Yoga for the soul

  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

    SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.

    (Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

    SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.

    (Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

    SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.

    (Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

    SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.

    (Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)
  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)
  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)
  • SOUL Yoga in the Peterborough Union Street mill building.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Nick B. Reid)

Yoga can have numerous health benefits for people of all ages, but particularly with respect to staying active and energetic as you age. Hari Kirin, the instructor at Soul Yoga in Peterborough, says it’s not just the activity that’s good for you. Yoga helps keep glands and the metabolism in shape, too, and mental exercises can help prevent senility, she says. Deep concentration can even help with symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

BRAIN GAME

Rhea Taylor, 71, of Bennington performs an exercise that taxes the connection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The series of exercises in Hari Kirin’s class on Thursday focused on the brain — this one had participants waving one arm up and down like a wing, while the other arm touches the shoulder, then extends at intervals that can confuse and even frustrate the brain. But Kirin says that frustration is a sign that it’s working.

THE WAVE

Sarah Aborn of Peterborough extends her arms in front of herself as part of another exercise that involves periodically changing patterns of movement. The yogis chant “hud-hud-hud-hari” as they alternate between waving their arms at their sides and the pose pictured above.

BENDING BACKWARDS

Ian Peach of Hancock grasps the tops of his feet while lying on his stomach and rocking forward and back. Accompanying this motion was a specific breathing pattern. Kirin says focused breathing is a way to increase one’s energy, as it ensures there is more oxygen in the blood. In addition to that, it’s deeply relaxing, which can give the practitioner a boost of energy after having completed a series of exercises.

CAVE CHANT

Heather Thomas of Peterborough claps her hands above her head as part of another pattern of movements. As the group practiced this set, its members chanted “hummy-hum-toomy-too-wahay-groo,” a chant that, according to legend, a man named Gobind Rai repeated during the 1700s in a cave for 11 months and 11 days.

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