Working out to open heart, be healthy

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“I want students to see what is inside their hearts,” said Beth Edelson, owner of Something Spiritual, a yoga studio in the Village of Great Neck Plaza.

With a well-toned body and soothing spirit, Edelson seems like a yoga instructor. Her studio’s lavender walls and deep pink carpet seem designed to calm, despite brightly colored pillows scattered across the room.

“A lot of people come with things on their mind, or issues that get trapped in the body,” she said. “That’s where we tend to hold a lot of our emotions. The physical practice of yoga reaches into that physical part of them, but there’s always that emotional element.”

A lifelong lover of movement, Edelson was a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company for 10 years before opening one of the first small dance and exercise studios on Long Island.

Something Spiritual came later, about a year and a half ago, after she parted ways with nearby Bonda Yoga. Her classes are private, semiprivate, and small group, and span all ages.

She said smaller groups allow her to incorporate more exercise or more meditation into her classes, depending on the needs of her students.

“I think there is an intimacy that goes on here in this room,” she said. “Here we can really go more deeply into learning the postures. I’m trying to teach body awareness.”

Something Spiritual is located at 5 Bond Street, upstairs from public relations firm Zimmerman Edelson, where her husband of 20 years, Ron, works.

The two met in Little Neck as children and were “elementary school sweethearts” before Edelson moved to the South Shore.

“He says he fell in love with me in kindergarten,” she said. “Then we found each other many lives and many years later.”

Edelson was a social worker before becoming certified in yoga, combining the two for her work with the mentally ill. She offered verbal therapy and yoga to schizophrenics, creating a specialized chair program.

“They really loved it,” she said. “It was a wonderful way for them to move inside in a more peaceful way than what they felt like in life.”

Among her students are one who recently lost her father, and another who is sick. Yoga can help heal the body and the mind, Edelson said.

“It’s all a learning process, and I don’t think that ever stops,” she said. “So I am a forever yoga student and a forever yoga teacher.”

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