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Richmond Hill yoga institute helps residents find harmony

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For almost a year, a South Ozone Park native has been teaching yoga in Richmond Hill to a variety of borough residents.

Kris Lanzaro, founder of The Queens Yoga Institute at 108-15 Jamaica Ave., said he established his studio in October to help Queens residents find balance in their lives and gain a greater sense of harmony with nature.

“This place has become a spiritual haven for people,” Lanzaro said. “I could talk all day about this because it is my life.”

Lanzaro said he took his first yoga class at the age of 12 and that since then his interest in the practice has only increased. This desire to learn more about yoga took him to San Francisco, London, India and even New York City, where he trained to become an instructor with several notables in the yoga world.

Yoga, which means union, is based on uniting one’s “mental tripod,” which consists of the mind, body and spirit, Lanzaro said. The focus of yoga is the spine, which is flexed and stretched during classes to draw up and then rechannel the body’s energy, he said.

Lanzaro said he has tried to incorporate the tenets of yoga, such as focusing on the present and acknowledging a lack of control for the future, into his business practices. He said he does not dedicate a lot of money to advertising and instead relies on word of mouth to gain clients.

“Yoga is a lifestyle, as far as what I eat and how I run my business,” he said. “Yoga relates to all parts of my life.”

Lanzaro said he and the other five instructors at his studio have taught classes to people who have suffered stress following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to others who have unsuccessfully tried using traditional western medicine to treat ailments.

The Queens Yoga Institute has helped treat clients with everything from nervous disorders and drug dependency to food addiction and codependency; Lanzaro said. He said residents of Queens experience a lot of stress and then come to his yoga classes to relieve or release the tension.

Classes in Ashtanga, hot Vinyasa and Hatha-based yogas are taught at the Richmond Hill facility that was a former repair shop. All three types of classes combine different degrees of room temperature, body positions and breathing to flex and stretch one’s spine.

There are also various other therapies offered at The Queens Yoga Institute, whose Web site is www.queensyoga.com.

“Being happy with what you have brings acceptance and a different kind of energy,” Lanzaro said. “Becoming more present, it starts to change your perspective,” he said. “Control is an allusion.”

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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