Jane Muskie and her then-press secretary Mary Hoyt first attended Savitri's class in 1968 after campaigning for Sen. Ed Muskie.
"We wanted something to get body and soul together, and we both loved it," says Muskie, 52, who tries to take anywhere from one to three weekly classes whenever she is in Washington.
"I think it's done a great deal for me mentally and physically. I have a circulation problem, and I'm sure it's kept me alive . . . especially in a stressful city like Washington."
Muskie says she's learned how to avoid fatigue while standing in endless receiving lines -- "stand on your heels and keep your spine straight" -- and practices deep breathing if she gets nervous before a speech. She tries to set aside a half-hour each day to practice, and has Savitri's book with her at the family's summer home in Kennebunk Beach, Maine.
While travelling or campaigning, she practices yoga in the hotel room while her husband does his own exercises. "That's togetherness," she says with a laugh.
Although Mary Hoyt said she stopped taking yoga classes when she became Rosalyn Carter's press secretary in 1976, she still practices yoga at home during the 11 p.m. news.
"When i'm very tense there are certain things Savitri taught me, like facial exercises and deep breathing which I find very helpful," says Hoyt, who does yoga stretches while taking on the telephone. "Sometimes forget where I am, and one day i walked out of my office doing my facial exercises. Her Exercises give me energy and I've seen dramatic changes in my figure."
The demands of an intense public speaking routine, both as minister of Foundry Methodist Church and on WJLA-TV's Bauman Bible Telecourse, prompted Ed Bauman to take yoga.
"In the military they teach you to breathe by sucking in your gut," said Bauman, 52, who learned that yoga breathing requires the lungs and "gut" to expand. "The exercises made me feel so much better, in addition to improving my public speaking."
Bauman takes weekly class and practices each morning for half an hour. If the tension of running back and forth from TV studio to church gets too extreme, "I may take five minutes to go off by myself somewhere to do some deep-breathing exercises," he said.
Other students say yoga exercises can be squeezed into almost any situation.
"I do oy yoga faces while I'm sitting in a gas line," says singer Virginia Glover, 58. "I've even done yoga on my boat in the moonlight."
"The periods when i'm very, very tired are the times I particularly need yoga," said George Mason University professor and land-planning consultant JohnHyson, 44, who says yoga cured his high blood pressure problem. "I'll just take off my suit jacket, close my office door, lay down on the carpet and do 20 minutes of stretching. Even five minutes makes a difference."