By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury resident Mario Molinari, 23, has always been a fan of the outdoors. Whether it was playing football for the semi-professional Worcester Wildcats or simply working on his yard, Molinari has spent a majority of his time outside. With that love for the outdoors, came a desire to connect with nature on a higher level through yoga. Finding inner peace and unmatched relaxation in the process was an unexpected bonus.
Molinari discovered yoga in 2009 while visiting California. He was referred to a yoga studio in Encino, Cal., where he was thrilled with his first experience.
“I remember feeling very relaxed after class” Molinari said, “comparable to just getting out of a sauna.”
Since that introduction to yoga, Molinari has dedicated time to better learning? and understanding yoga.
“I'se taken in several methods from all sorts of teachers. Different teachers have different perceptions and lessons.”
For example, world-renowned yoga instructor Swami Vishnu-Devananda's “Book of Yoga” taught Molinari some techniques to physically align his body properly.
While practicing at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshire Mountains last year, he was asked to be featured in the Kripalu magazine, the “Sports Illustrated” of yoga; it was an honor that most lifelong yoga practitioners are not offered.
“I focus on my breathing and all my senses, to the point where I have complete control of my mind and body. So much so, that I was able to fully walk into the Atlantic Ocean last January and feel no cold or pain.”
Molinari credits yoga with improving his tree-pruning business; he has become an independent tree-worker.
“Yoga has made me more flexible, allowing me to climb trees much easier, and it will definitely remain a part of my life for the foreseeable future,” he said.