- Listen to Ron's Interview with Lesa Kingsbury and Ken Taub -
Yoga & Mindfulness: Offering Calm During the Covid Storm
Almost two years into this shapeshifting pandemic, the disruption of our daily lives seems to be finally easing—and yet, we still feel anxious and stressed out, dealing with cumulative impact of the virus on so many aspects of our lives. How do we move forward, when we worry that the eventual New Normal may result in a more subdued and uncertain life? In today’s episode, Lesa Kingsbury, the director of the Amba Yoga Center, and Ken Taub, a writer grounded in Eastern philosophy who also leads meditation workshops, will talk about how aspects of these practices can help us deal with life’s anxieties, feelings of isolation and fear—made all the more prevalent in these uncertain times. Lesa and Ken will speak about breathing techniques, how to stay present with one's emotions, quietly aware of how they change moment to moment, rather than being perpetually reactive. Each will offer their approaches to taking unique moments of time to focus on life’s important details that we often miss when we’re consumed by multi-tasking and whipsawed by the daily overload of news and information. They’ll reflect, too, on the power of “stillness” (anathema to American culture!), and how it can be restorative, healing—a great form of re-balancing in very out-of-balance times. Ken and Lesa will offer their perspective on practical routines that we can integrate into a less-rushed life, from stretching, to walks outdoors, spending time in nature, or simply closing one's eyes for several minutes. They’ll also offer their perspective on the approaches of other experts in field of mindfulness, stress reduction and relaxation—an arena that has exploded in recent years, entering the mainstream of health, medicine and business sectors. And yes, as part of this Valentine’s Day episode, Ken and Lesa (who are husband and wife) will offer their thoughts about how they have remained mindful of love and relationships—not only in a Time of Covid, but over a lifetime.
Lesa Kingsbury has taught yoga for over twenty years. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance, and a Certified Yoga Therapist. Lesa opened the first Amba Yoga Center in January 2001, where she is the director and head instructor. Lesa’s yoga teaching philosophy is simple: address students at their own level, so that they can learn each pose in a manner and at a pace which offers them maximum benefit. Her overarching goal has been to make yoga accessible to all individuals who come her way. Lesa works with people of all ages, physical condition, and experience. She has worked with injured people and individuals with various illnesses, including arthritis, back injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. Rooted in the esteemed Iyengar tradition, she brings to her yoga practice a deep appreciation of form and function, together with a special attention to detail from her past career as an architect in California and Manhattan. During her two decades in the architecture field, she worked on projects for Disney, the Grand Central Station renovation, and Ellis Island, among others. She received her master’s degree in Urban Design from Columbia University.
Ken Taub is a veteran writer and teacher who has had a keen interest in Eastern philosophy since his teen years. While still in high school, Ken had brief but influential stays at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center near Big Sur, California and the Rochester Zen Center, in upstate New York, under founder Roshi Philip Kapleau — who, in short order, threw Ken out and made him complete high school. Ken did, and then studied philosophy and psychology in southern California before switching colleges to get his B.A. degree in Chinese Studies at U.C. San Diego. Ken went on to a career in advertising, design and marketing, becoming the president of a small ad agency and then associate partner at a larger agency. However, his interest in Eastern philosophy and Zen never diminished. In the 1990s he started going on retreats at Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, NY. He joined all-day meditations with Zen Roshi Peter Matthiessen, a renowned author and naturalist. Beginning in 2003, Ken has been leading mindfulness meditation workshops at Amba Yoga Center. Ken’s memoir, “Waking Up In America,” is a personal exploration of “the possibility of an earthy enlightenment amidst all the excess and stress” of contemporary society.