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Week 3: Yoga for Health, Flexibility

Farai Chideya stretches at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, Calif.
Devin Robins, NPR
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Farai Chideya stretches at Yoga Works in Santa Monica, Calif.

My trip to Yoga Works in Santa Monica, Calif., was the first time I've done yoga in more than a year. Yoga has a reputation for being all mellow and soft -- but often, that could not be further from the truth.

Since my weigh-in last week, I've lost three pounds. I've biked, walked and done sit-ups. But yoga has me whupped.

My workout was guided by James Brown -- yes, he's named after the Hardest Working Man in Show Business -- who led our 15-person class through some of the traditional poses of this ancient art.

Yoga has become a hot trend -- according to the magazine Yoga Journal, an estimated 16 million Americans spend almost $3 billion a year on classes and products. Yoga is being used as a mind-body workout everywhere from schools to prisons to hospitals.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Farai Chideya
Farai Chideya is a multimedia journalist who has worked in print, television, online, and radio. Prior to joining NPR's News & Notes, Chideya hosted Your Call, a daily news and cultural call-in show on San Francisco's KALW 91.7 FM. Chideya has also been a correspondent for ABC News, anchored the prime time program Pure Oxygen on the Oxygen women's channel, and contributed commentaries to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and BET. She got her start as a researcher and reporter at Newsweek magazine. In 1997 Newsweek named her to its "Century Club" of 100 people to watch.