The practice of yoga came to
Associate Professor of
Karen Dillon O'Neil at just the right time, she says.
My formative years were in England, at the time of the civil
rights movement, when there was great social upheaval and a
lot of change happening," she remembers. "People were open to
different ways to be in the world. Yoga and ‘things Eastern’ were
becoming visible in the West, and I had a background in dance,
so the physical aspect appealed to me."
O'Neil says that not long after she began practicing yoga, she
began training to teach it. At the same time, she was learn-
ing meditation and studying Indian music. Trained initially in
the hatha style of yoga (yoga "of the body"), she has practiced
a variety of styles since that time. She teaches a weekly class at
Northern Light Yoga studio, just outside of Canton.
Is teaching yoga different from teaching her sociology classes?
O'Neil doesn't think so. "I want my students, in each case, to
move to a different place. I work with the entire group to move
them through something, but I also need to give individual at-
tention. (And) I need to stay sharp and keep up in my field."
Yoga, O'Neil says, offers a way of dealing with the stresses of
jobs and life in general. It “provides the tools to navigate those
situations so that they don't negatively affect my health and
well-being,” she explains. “You can't always control things in
life, but you can control how you react to them."
Karen Di l lon O'Nei l : Wel l -Being Nav igator
spr ing 2013 | st. Lawrence Universit y Magazine