Yoga

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By: Rachel Goldsteina girl with a physical disability doing yoga

Close your eyes (not while reading my article, of course!), imagine you are in a quiet room with soft music streaming, you are focused on your breathing (instead of your endless to-do list) and an instructor is calmly directing you on where to place your hands and feet. You are in a yoga class and I promise you will feel better after. (I don’t make promises I can’t keep!)

Practicing yoga has many benefits and can improve flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance. For me, yoga helps to reduce anxiety and stress and even helps me sleep better. Yoga is beneficial for everyone because of the physical postures and focus on breathing. Each pose can be modified or adapted to meet the needs of the student so regardless of ability level yoga is for everyone. Yoga postures can be performed while seated in a chair or wheelchair and may be performed with assistance from the instructor as needed. In a yoga class, students usually watch an instructor to learn how to properly complete each position. For students with low vision or who are blind an instructor can easily incorporate more spoken instructions and feedback on what to change to accurately complete each yoga pose.

Yoga is often a slow, deliberate and meditative process, so it helps you to slow down and increases attention and focus. For individuals on the autism spectrum and with ADHD or anxiety this can be especially helpful with concentration and following directions. Practicing yoga is empowering because it is so individualized and inclusive as the differing abilities and limits of each student are accepted and welcomed. Yoga starts wherever you are. Every yoga pose can be adapted to meet your current level of functioning. With regular practice you will meet your goals, whether it’s to have the breathing and stamina needed to be able to lift your head or to stand on your head.

Yoga is offered in many gyms, health clubs and recreation centers. There are adapted yoga classes where yoga is practiced by individuals with disabilities as well as inclusive classes where there are students with and without a disability. No two people (or yogis) are the same! Yoga is one of the most complete and inclusive forms of exercise and one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and spirit.a girl in a wheelchair doing yoga

Mediation

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By: Lester Langer

So you have now decided to hire an attorney. First, shop around, speak with your friends and colleagues about their experiences. Make sure your attorney has handled cases and law suits involving your issues. Find out how many cases and the attorneys experience in that area. Discuss the fee and other charges. Make sure you understand your financial obligations for fees and costs up front.

Next, tell you lawyer everything. Don’t leave anything out. The lawyer needs to know it all so he/she can provide you with the best advice. Give your attorney all the documents, emails, texts, etc. (keep you own copies too).

Ask about the process…what is involved…what normally occurs so you can at least have some idea of how the legal system works in your case and what to expect from the other side.

Finally, ask about mediation and other alternative dispute resolution procedures. Ask how it works and what you as the client need to be prepared for. Listen to your attorney but do not be afraid to ask questions until you understand the process. As I have explained before…mediation is your process and you together with your attorney make the final decision whether to settle your case or not. Have a plan B or backup plan if your first strategy is not successful. DO NOT BE AFRAID of mediation. It is an alternative to more expensive litigation. Be truthful with the mediator whose only job is to help you and the other side resolve the dispute in a satisfactory manner to all sides. Mediation offers you the opportunity to decide your case as opposed to a Judge or a jury of strangers deciding for you. It is a confidential process not open to the public like a courtroom. And it can be in most cases less expensive and faster. If you are successful than your dispute is resolved and you will be able to move on with your life and your business. If you are unsuccessful than you can proceed with your litigation however do not be discouraged. Most cases will settle before trial and even an unsuccessful mediation may get all parties and attorneys thinking in the right direction.

If you have any questions about mediation please submit them to this newsletter and I shall respond to them.

Lester Langer

Certified Mediator

Mediation Corner with Lester – How do you prepare for Mediation

Lester Langer
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by Lester Langer, Retired Circuit Judge
Certified Mediator

Building on the first two articles, you are now at mediation. How do you prepare?

First, if you do not have a lawyer, at least speak to one for a consult. While you can learn a lot on the internet about a particular issue, it is not the same as understanding that issue in relation to the law and the court procedures. I believe this will be money well spent.

Next understand all the issues in your case: the good, the bad and the ugly of it.

  • Try to the extent possible to learn all the issues, defenses and arguments that the other side might use against you. In that way you can be prepared.
  • Try to take your emotions out of it. The mediator’s job is to listen to you and the other side, talk with you individually, test your issues, and do the same with the other side as well. The mediator will ask questions, probe and ask what you want.
  • Be prepared to negotiate and settle.
  • Have a game plan, and have a fallback position (Plan B).
  • Be patient, and do not be in a rush to get the mediation done.

Many times meditations do not settle on the day of the mediation. But you should know that most disputes settle before suit is filed or before trial. (About 85%). Many times the parties settle after the mediation because they have time to think and sift through all the ideas and alternatives that were discussed at mediation. Don’t be discouraged.

In my next article we will discuss hiring the lawyer and how to prepare when you have counsel. If you have any questions, please submit them to this newsletter, and I will do my best to respond.

Mediation

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By: Lester Langer

Over the next few months this column will explain a process known 3 arrows that say 1. your say, 2. my say, 3. compromise.as Alternative Dispute Resolution commonly called ADR. ADR is not new. It has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. Rather than the parties fighting it out, think of the two gun fighters facing each other in the middle of the street, a third party helps the parties resolve the issue. Whether that was the King, like King Solomon splitting the baby, or the gladiators being substituted for a war, or buying your spot out of the war, like in the civil war or the tribal chief deciding the issue in less civilized times. An uninterested or neutral person was called upon to help resolve the dispute.

The first form of ADR we will discuss next time in the most common, Mediation.

If you have questions about mediation please email me so I can try to answer them for you directly or through this column.

Lester Langer

Retired Circuit Judge and Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Mediator

Lester Langer speaking at the Coral Gables Bar Association on Mediation
Speaking at the Coral Gables Bar Associaton