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Mad about Yoga: Sharon Lawrence

Actress, dancer, and performer Lawrence turns to yoga for the stability it provides.

By Victoria Clayton

What could a quiet and solitary yoga practice offer an accomplished dancer and performer? Try some mental lessons—plus a few physical perks, says actress Sharon Lawrence, formerly of NYPD Blue, and the CBS sitcom Ladies Man and the Broadway musical "Chicago." Lawrence was attracted to yoga seven years ago because it utilized her stretching and balancing abilities. Nowadays, she uses spinning and hiking more for exercise, and yoga for centering. "I appreciate the stability it provides and the fact that it works other systems in your body like your endocrine system—that's an advantage that I don't think you can get from any other form of exercise," she says. The no-nonsense Lawrence goes for technique-oriented instructors and "teachers who aren't too guru-based." She loves going upside-down twice a week in her hatha and Power Yoga classes (one favorite studio is City Yoga in Los Angeles), but she had to learn to enjoy other poses. "The hardest pose for me was the Crow. There was the fear that I was just going to land on my face," admits Lawrence. "But eventually I got it. I realized that it's about using your center."

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