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The News Yogi Shares Tools for Escaping the News Cycle

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Leslie Rangel cherished her job as an on-air reporter at a tv station in Oklahoma City. But masking devastating fracking-related earthquakes, chasing tornadoes, and interviewing individuals on their worst days started to take a toll on her.

Rangel discovered some steadiness in the yoga lessons she’d taken since her days as a pupil at the University of Texas at Austin again in 2008. Then, in 2015, she started a 200-hour yoga trainer training at Ashtanga Yoga Studio in Norman, Oklahoma, and one thing clicked.

“The big question posed to us as students was, ‘How are you living your yoga off the mat?’ ” says Rangel, who’s now a morning anchor for a tv station in Austin. The training led her to utterly reevaluate her life. “I knew that there was a way to continue in this mission of journalism, but to have it be different.” She started making use of yogic rules to her reporting life: meditating and utilizing pranayama strategies like nadi shodhana, or alternate-nostril respiration, to remain balanced earlier than massive interviews. In 2017, she accomplished her 500-hour trainer training.

Leslie in front of an Austin sign

Three years later, in May 2020, Rangel launched The News Yogi, a digital yoga studio to assist different journalists who had been fighting comparable job stresses, and to advertise therapeutic fairness for journalists of coloration. Shortly after founding her studio, she was tapped to steer distant classes at nationwide journalism conferences throughout the pandemic.

See additionally: 6 Poses to Calm Your Nervous System & Find a Sense of Calm

Healthy coping instruments

Rangel cites analysis collected by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism that implies between 80 and 100 p.c of reporters have been uncovered to some type of work-related trauma whereas masking human struggling and mass disasters. For Rangel, that on-the-job stress was layered on high of the trauma inherent in her background as a first-generation Mexican American. “I started feeling [like I was] not enough and feeling broken in this industry,” Rangel remembers. Yoga, she says, gave her healthy coping instruments that she felt could possibly be useful for the worn-out colleagues she noticed flip to alcohol or depart the media solely. Journalists of coloration, who’re underrepresented in newsrooms and sometimes come from a beginning place of generational trauma and systemic racism, could be notably affected, she provides.

“I’m on a mission to not only help journalists de-stress, but also to keep them in our industry,” she says. “We need journalists of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders. It’s important because the moment you don’t have diversity in journalism, you don’t have diversity in the stories that are getting amplified.”

See additionally: Trauma-Informed Yoga for Healing

Leslie Rangel with her hands to her third eye

Prioritizing mindfulness

Rangel lately launched a web-based workshop, “Yoga for Journalists: Managing News Stress and Reconnecting to the Storyteller Within.” Exploring breathwork, doshas, and mantras, the six-week course is designed to assist journalists throughout the world “discover their sankalpa, to seek out their why,” Rangel says. “When we can remember our why in this industry—and that is to story tell—it 110 percent makes us better journalists because we can cut through all of the red tape that comes with a newsroom.” Then, she continues, we “can show up to any story and really tell it, to see the basic human issue that needs to be told.”

Prioritizing mindfulness isn’t solely useful for individuals reporting the information, but in addition for readers and viewers who really feel barraged by the mind-numbing 24-7 information cycle, Rangel says. Ultimately, training yoga helps us to “ride the waves of life and have the tools to respond,” she says, “whether you’re a journalist and it’s just life and this career you picked, or a human consuming all of these headlines.”

See additionally: 

The News Is Traumatizing. Here’s How to Break the Cycle

In Times of Tragedy, Your Practice Is Your Greatest Tool

Try This Grounding Practice in the Aftermath of Scary News Events


Take the yoga for journalists workshop and discover out about upcoming initiatives by visiting thenewsyogi.com.

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