Lucia Magnoli, a Merrick native who now lives in Bellmore, raised both hands and explained what parallel lines are to a group of children attending her yoga class at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore. A few poses later, she bent her knee at 90 degrees and taught the children about right angles. Magnoli’s Aug. 18 class celebrated the launch of her first book “Math + Yoga = No Way!” by including a book signing and combined math and yoga lesson.
Magnoli’s book follows the story of a student who is skeptical when his teacher Mrs. Moonflower tells him that yoga involves math. She responds by teaching him 16 different yoga poses and explains the mathematical principles behind each one.
“Math is really in everything,” Magnoli said, adding that she was surprised when she began practicing yoga and learned how much math it incorporated. Magnoli is coming up on her 20th anniversary as a math teacher at Plainedge High School and wanted to blend one of her lesson plans into a yoga lesson.
Magnoli sought help from Betty Lynn Tims, a fellow yoga instructor and North Babylon artist who will be premiering a solo art exhibit in September and October at the Bellmore Memorial Library, which will include a meet-and-greet on Sept. 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tims illustrated Magnoli’s book with Sharpie marker and watercolor paint.
While this was Magnoli’s first book, Tims recently published a book on the curative benefits of meditation called Healing Yourself. She explained that, even at a young age, individuals could alleviate stress and promote mindful thinking through meditation and yoga.
“That was another goal of my book,” Magnoli said, explaining that she wanted to teach children ways to cope with daily anxiety through her class.
“They adopted easily to the format of the class,” said Tims, before asking some of the students to perform what they learned. A few students volunteered by displaying what is called a warrior position. They each stretched one leg back, planted the other forward at a 90-degree angle and straightened both of arms to form a horizontal line.
“Yoga can teach you a lot of constructive tools,” Weshkoff said. Before opening Moonflower Yoga, she was the highest-ranked female executive for the music licensing company EMI Music Publishing in Manhattan. She was laid off after a recession and turned to yoga for solace, “which has always kept me sane,” she added. Weshkoff went on to earn her yoga teaching certificate and opened her Bellmore business. Moonflower Yoga will be celebrating its fifth anniversary on Sept. 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Magnoli is currently working on a sequel to her yoga-themed book, which will be titled “Social Studies + Yoga = No Way!”