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Lena Dunham says she wishes she’d had an abortion

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This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.

Lena Dunham stirred up controversy during a recent episode of her podcast by saying she wishes she’d had an abortion.

While hosting Women of the Hour, the Girls creator recalled a visit to a Texas Planned Parenthood years ago, during which a girl asked her to share her experience with abortion.

“I sort of jumped. ‘I haven’t had an abortion,’ I told her. I wanted to make it really clear to her that, as much as I was going out and fighting for other women’s options, I myself had never had an abortion,”recalled Dunham, 30.

“And I realized then that even I was carrying within myself stigma around this issue. Even I, the woman who cares as much as anybody about a woman’s right to choose, felt that it was important that people know that I was unblemished in this department.”

She commended her loved ones, who have had to have abortions, for their “bravery” and “self-knowledge,” adding that she has realized her need to put her own stigma surrounding the issue “in the garbage.”

She concluded, “Now I can say that I still haven’t had an abortion, but I wish I had.”

Listeners soon took to Twitter to accuse the actress of trivializing an “awful” procedure.

“I can’t even imagine how offensive Lena Dunham’s comments are to women who actually had to go through abortions,”  one Twitter user wrote.

Another person tweeted: “FYI an abortion is not something you ‘get to have.’ It’s an awful experience one SHOULDN’T wish for like a gift from Santa.”

This is not the first time Dunham has come under fire in recent months. She faced backlash in September for accusing NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. of ignoring her at the 2016 MET Gala because of her looks.

In an interview with Amy Schumer for her Lenny Letter newsletter, Dunham detailed an alleged incident in which the athlete allegedly “looked at me and he determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards.”

She later apologized for the assumption in an Instagram post, calling her statements “unfair.”

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St Louis city tops FBI's list of most dangerous urban centers in America

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St Louis has topped the FBI's list of most dangerous cities across the Unites States.

More than 88 violent crimes took place for every 10,000 residents in the Missouri city during the first half of 2015 - compared to an average rate of 36.6 across the US in 2014, FBI data reveals.

Those crimes can include robbery, aggravated assault, rape and even murder.

The top ten most dangerous cities across the Unites States: St Louis is number one, followed by Memphis is second and Detroit in third

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The top ten most dangerous cities across the Unites States: St Louis is number one, followed by Memphis is second and Detroit in third

The South and West of the country have higher violent crime rates and property crime rates than the North and East

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The South and West of the country have higher violent crime rates and property crime rates than the North and East

The listing places St Louis above the notoriously dangerous Detroit which has topped the list in previous years thanks to the city's high gun crime rate.

Detroit is now listed as third after Memphis, Tennessee which had 84.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.

Birmingham, Alabama comes in fourth place with 82.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents while Rockford, Illinois was fifth with a rate of 76.3.

TOP TEN MOST VIOLENT AMERICAN CITIES 

1. St. Louis, Missouri: 88.1

2. Memphis, Tennessee: 84.2

3. Detroit, Michigan: 83.4

4. Birmingham, Alabama: 82.8

5. Rockford, Illinois: 76.3

6. Baltimore, Maryland: 67.7

7. Stockton, California: 67.4

8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 65.3

9. Cleveland, Ohio: 61.5

10. Hartford, Connecticut: 55.8

The FBI had compiled data on the most violent cities in each state in the first six months of 2015.

A city is classed as an urban center with a minimum population of 100,000.

The sparsely populated states of Delaware, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming were not included as they do not have cities of significant enough size. 

The FBI data also failed to include Little Rock, Arkansas, which has just under 200,000 people, and the state of Minnesota, where cities Minneapolis, St Paul, and Rochester all register above the 100,000 population threshold.

Joining St Louis in the top ten most violent cities in America are Baltimore in Maryland, Stockton in California, Milwaukee in Wisconsin, Cleveland in Ohio and Hartford, Connecticut.

The top five slots of the list largely follow similar patterns in reports published in previous years, although Oakland, California, which previously ranked as the third most dangerous city in the country, was excluded from this year's list.  

1. St. Louis, Missouri: 88.1 violent crimes per 10,000 people

Number 1: St. Louis, Missouri: 88.1 violent crimes per 10,000 people: St Louis's violent crime rate soared between 2014 and 2015, jumping by more than 300 crimes to 2,806 incidents last year -pushing it to the top of the list

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Number 1: St. Louis, Missouri: 88.1 violent crimes per 10,000 people: St Louis's violent crime rate soared between 2014 and 2015, jumping by more than 300 crimes to 2,806 incidents last year -pushing it to the top of the list

St Louis's violent crime rate soared between 2014 and 2015, jumping by more than 300 crimes to 2,806 incidents pushing it to the top of the list. The murder rate also climbed significantly from 58 to 92 people killed last year.

FBI Director James B. Comey suggested that the increase in crime may be down to the 'Ferguson effect'. 

He said that crime rates may have been influenced by the turmoil after a white police officer shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August 2014.

The Missouri shooting sparked mass riots and unrest, increasing the likelihood of violent crime, and may also deter police from acting to stop suspects in case it sparks another incident. 

However, Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St Louis debunked the idea.

He told Forbes: 'Homicides were going up in 2014 quite a bit before Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. So it's hard to attribute it to a so-called Ferguson effect because we began to see those increases before August 9.'

Rosenfeld also pointed out that the figures do not track drug use or the crimes committed in subsequent turf wars.

August 2014: Police blast 'criminal elements' for St Louis unrest

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2. Memphis, Tennessee: 84.2 violent crimes per 10,000 people

2. Memphis, Tennessee: 84.2: Memphis moved up from third worst for violent crime last year into second behind St Louis,

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2. Memphis, Tennessee: 84.2: Memphis moved up from third worst for violent crime last year into second behind St Louis,

Memphis moved up from third worst for violent crime last year into second behind St Louis, mostly thanks to Oakland, California being cut from this year's dangerous cities list.

The city had almost a third of residents living under the poverty line in 2015, 29.8 per cent, while the city's murder rate has been rising so fast that it overtook Chicago this year with 64 per cent more homicide cases.

Between 2014 and 2015, reports of violent crime went up from 10,888 to  10,969.

3. Detroit, Michigan: 83.4 violent crimes per 10,000 people

3. Detroit, Michigan: 83.4 violent crimes per 10,000 people: Detroit has come in third after two consecutive years as the nation's most dangerous city in 2013 and 2014

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3. Detroit, Michigan: 83.4 violent crimes per 10,000 people: Detroit has come in third after two consecutive years as the nation's most dangerous city in 2013 and 2014

Detroit has come in third after two consecutive years as the nation's most dangerous city in 2013 and 2014, according to a study of FBI crime statistics.

Falling crime rates in the city have seen the city murder rate drop from 135 to 107 people between 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile the overall violent crime rate also decreased from 6,292 to 5,711 last year.

Detroit, once nicknamed 'Murder City' after 714 homicides were committed in 1974 still has among one of the highest crime rates in the country. 

The falling crime rate comes after Mayor Mike Duggan's promises to attack crime as Detroit works to regrow its population, which at around 680,000 is barely a third of what it was in the 1950s.

Last year's 295 homicides were four fewer than in 2014 and down 37 from two years ago. Both numbers were the city's lowest since 1967, when 281 homicides were committed. 

Most other violent crime and property offenses also decreased last year.

Duggan told the AP earlier this year that the city still has 'a lot of work to do' to reduce crime. 'The work has only started,' he said. 'This city remains much too violent. This isn't a feeling we're satisfied with what we've accomplished.'  

4. Birmingham, Alabama: 82.8 violent crimes per 10,000 people

4. Birmingham, Alabama: 82.8 violent crimes per 10,000 people: The city shoots straight into the top five after not even hitting the top ten last year

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4. Birmingham, Alabama: 82.8 violent crimes per 10,000 people: The city shoots straight into the top five after not even hitting the top ten last year

Birmingham, Alabama shoots straight into number four after not even hitting the top five last year following a steady increase in violent crime, from 1,619 to 1,756. 

The city had previously prided itself on its declining murder rate and revitalization after fatal stabbings in 2007 and 2009 led to calls for nightclubs to be shut down, while the notorious murder and sexual mutilation of a waitress in 1987 which had heralded an exodus from the city.

But it appears the murder rate is on the rise again, climbing to 23 in 2014 and again in 2015 to 30.

5. Rockford, Illinois: 76.3 violent crimes per 10,000 people

5. Rockford, Illinois: 76.3 violent crimes per 10,000 people: The murder rate dropped slightly in Rockford last year, from ten in 2014 to nine. Sadly the number of other serious violent crimes soared from 927 to 1142

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5. Rockford, Illinois: 76.3 violent crimes per 10,000 people: The murder rate dropped slightly in Rockford last year, from ten in 2014 to nine. Sadly the number of other serious violent crimes soared from 927 to 1142

The murder rate dropped slightly in Rockford last year, from ten in 2014 to nine. Sadly the number of other serious violent crimes soared from 927 to 1142.

Rape reports in particular increased from 69 to 78, while assault and property crime has also climbed.

Rockford, which has a relatively small population of 150,000, has an average homicide rate of 19 per year.

The 2015 figure represents the first dip below double digits since 2004 when just eight people were killed, as the mid-90's gang related violence finally appeared to be subsiding. 

But it had risen again slowly, securing Rockford's place on the country's most dangerous lists for years. 

6. Baltimore, Maryland: 67.7 violent crimes per 10,000 people

6. Baltimore, Maryland: 67.7 violent crimes per 10,000 people

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6. Baltimore, Maryland: 67.7 violent crimes per 10,000 people

Baltimore saw its deadliest year ever with an unprecedented number of young, black men shot to death. 

The year's total tally of 344 homicides was second only to the record 353 in 1993, when Baltimore had about 100,000 more residents.

The killing skyrocketed after the unrest and rioting of late April, hitting 30 or 40 homicides a month for the rest of the year.

The overwhelming majority of victims were young black men - 90 per cent - with most being killed by guns.

Shootings overall were also up, with 75 per cent more than 2014 and a total of 900 people shot.

7. Stockton, California: 67.4 violent crimes per 10,000 people

8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 65.3 violent crimes per 10,000 people

9. Cleveland, Ohio: 61.5 violent crimes per 10,000 people

10. Hartford, Connecticut: 55.8 violent crimes per 10,000 people

11. Atlanta, Georgia had 55.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

11. Atlanta, Georgia had 55.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

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11. Atlanta, Georgia had 55.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

12. Springfield, Massachusetts had 54.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

13. Anchorage, Alaska had 53.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

14. Tallahassee, Florida had 52.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

15. Odessa, Texas had 51.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

16. Newark, New Jersey had 50.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

16. Newark, New Jersey had 50.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

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16. Newark, New Jersey had 50.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

17. Buffalo, New York had 50.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

18. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had 49.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

19. Albuquerque, New Mexico had 48.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

20. Wichita, Kansas had 45.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

21. North Las Vegas, Nevada had 43.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

21. North Las Vegas, Nevada had 43.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

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21. North Las Vegas, Nevada had 43.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

22. Jackson, Mississippi had 43.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

23. Durham, North Carolina had 42.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

24. New Orleans, Louisiana had 42.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

25. Tulsa, Oklahoma had 41.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

26. Pueblo, Colorado had 41.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

DRHB5J RiverWalk in historic old town of Pueblo, Colorado. Professional Bull Rider's Association building on the left.

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26. Pueblo, Colorado had 41.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents.

27. Des Moines, Iowa had 38.7 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

28. Salt Lake City, Utah had 38.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

29. Tacoma, Washington had 36.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

30. North Charleston, South Carolina had 34.8 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

31. Tucson, Arizona had 32.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

31. Tucson, Arizona had 32.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents (pictured is the Tuscon skyline)

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31. Tucson, Arizona had 32.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents (pictured is the Tuscon skyline)

32. South Bend, Indiana had 32.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

33. Louisville, Kentucky had 30.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

34. Manchester, New Hampshire had 28.9 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

35. Providence, Rhode Island had 26.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

36. Norfolk, Virginia had 24.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

36. Norfolk, Virginia had 24.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents (pictured is the Norfolk, Virginia skyline)

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36. Norfolk, Virginia had 24.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents (pictured is the Norfolk, Virginia skyline)

37. Billings, Montana had 21.1 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

38. Sioux Falls, South Dakota had 20.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

39. Lincoln, Nebraska had 17.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

40. Eugene, Oregon had 15.3 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

41. Fargo, North Dakota had 14.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

42. Boise, Idaho had 13.5 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

43. Honolulu, Hawaii had 11.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents

43. Honolulu, Hawaii had 11.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents (pictured is Waikiki Beach)

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43. Honolulu, Hawaii had 11.6 violent crimes per 10,000 residents (pictured is Waikiki Beach)

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Missouri: The Shoot-Me State - The New York Times

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In an alarming victory for the gun lobby, Missouri’s Republican-controlled Legislature voted Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto and enact a wholesale retreat from gun safety in the state.

The law will let citizens carry concealed weapons in public without a state gun permit, criminal background check or firearms training. It strips local law enforcement of its current authority to deny firearms to those guilty of domestic violence and to other high-risk individuals. And it establishes a dangerous “stand your ground” standard that will allow gun owners to shoot and claim self-defense based on their own sense of feeling threatened.

The measure has drawn no great national attention, but it certainly provides further evidence that gun safety cannot be left to state lawmakers beholden to the gun lobby. Democrats opposed to the Missouri bill called it a “perfect storm” of lowered standards for the use of deadly force and an invitation for people to be armed without responsible controls. The measure was enacted by the Republicans, despite strong public opposition and warnings about the threat to public safety from the state Police Chiefs Association. Everytown for Gun Safety, one of the groups fighting the gun lobby, noted that stand your ground laws result in disproportionate harm to communities of color.

Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the measure in June, saying it would allow individuals with a criminal record to legally carry a concealed firearm even though they had been, or would have been, denied a permit under the old law’s background check. Mayors Sly James of Kansas City and Francis Slay of St. Louis warned against restricting the power of the local police to deny guns to those who commit domestic violence. They cited sharp spikes in domestic violence homicides in their cities, and they noted that the police would be left at greater risk by this bill.

Republican legislative leaders, who cut short debate on the override vote on the last day of the session, were ebullient in overriding a variety of the governor’s vetoes beyond the gun measure, including one that will force voters to show a government photo ID.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a lawmaker from Ferguson, which erupted in protests after the 2014 fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, warned that enacting the stand-your-ground standard would mean another “bad Samaritan like Zimmerman.” She was referring to the shooting death in Florida four years ago of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, by George Zimmerman; in that case the judge’s instructions to the jury contained some of the language of the stand your ground law.

Missouri is joining 10 other states that loosened gun laws to allow concealed firearms in public without the need for a permit. Federal gun controls still require background checks on buyers, but only at federally licensed dealers. Unfortunately, there is a separate and busy uncontrolled market where buyers at gun shows and on the internet do not have to undergo background checks.

In the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has called for extensive gun safety measures, including a ban on the assault weapons favored by mass shooters, closing background-check loopholes, ending the gun industry’s outrageous protection from civil damage suits and denying guns to risky suspects on the government’s no-fly lists. Donald Trump, endorsed by the National Rifle Association, favors more armed civilians ready to engage in what he calls a defensive “shootout.” This is one of the most pathetic measures yet of his pandering, when he should be leading, on an issue of vital importance to the public.

Correction: September 17, 2016

An editorial on Friday about Missouri’s gun law misstated the defense’s legal strategy in the George Zimmerman case. It did not rely on the “stand your ground” claim, but language from that law was contained in the jury instructions.

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Harry Potter Yoga Is A Thing And You'll Want To Apparate There Right Away

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'They're Being Eaten Alive!' What I Saw In A Cage-Free Egg Farm | The Huffington Post

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The first thing I heard from the darkness was a scream. “Are there children in here?” I thought. It sounded like a crying baby.

But our lights showed us the source. Hens across the barn were shrieking as they were being attacked. Many ― a few dozen, according to the farm’s own records ― would not survive the night. In the unnatural conditions on this Costco cage-free egg farm, they would literally be eaten alive.

As hundreds of major retailers move towards cage-free, many in the industry have been celebrating a humane future for animals. But as lead investigator of the Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) Open Rescue Network, I have a different reaction: horror. Because as you peel back the marketing, you see cage-free is not all it’s cracked up to be.

WARNING: The video below shows graphic content including injured and deceased chickens. It may be disturbing to some viewers.

Cannibalism is the first dark secret of cage-free egg farming. One study showed rates of cannibalism increasing by 3000% on cage-free farms, and it’s a horrible way to die. The cloaca of a hen (equivalent to a human vagina) is targeted because it is soft, fleshy, and covered with egg fluids. Driven insane by crowding, the birds attack this weak point, pulling out internal organs in the process. The victims of such attacks die, piece by piece. At the Costco farm, I watched as one bird, bloodied and unable to walk, dragged her body across a manure pile in a desperate attempt to flee. Despite our team’s efforts, this little hen could not be saved.

But cannibalism is just the tip of the iceberg. In everything from air quality to bone fractures, hens often do much worse under cage-free. Three times as many hens die prematurely. If this shocking increase in mortality occurred in a human prison, it would lead to criminal charges against the warden.

The basic problem for the hens is this: cage-free farms, like caged farms, squeeze birds into a space about the size of a piece of printer paper. Imagine living your entire life in a small shower. Now imagine living your entire life in the same amount of space, but with thousands of insane strangers crowding around you. This is the choice between caged and cage-free. Neither option is even remotely humane.

Cage-free is not just bad for the animals, though; it’s also driving up profits for industry. Bloomberg reports that the average consumer is willing to pay more than double the amount for a dozen cage-free eggs, a premium of $2 per dozen eggs. But costs only increase by around 15 cents per dozen for cage-free eggs. If we switched all eggs to cage-free today at these prices, industry profits would increase by $7 billion.

Industry growth fueled by cage-free is not just speculative. In the year after a massive industry shift to cage-free, the American Egg Board is projecting a 5% increase in per capita egg consumption. Premium pricing is leading to greater investments in egg production. This means millions more birds may now suffer in the nightmarish conditions of modern egg farms. Indeed, the very Costco farm we investigated recently secured $1 million in financing to expand their cage-free egg operations.

The solution to the problem is to change, not corporate practices, but the incentive systems underlying those practices. Corporations operate in a world where shareholders demand earnings, where animals are legal “things” that help create those earnings, and where meaningful regulations on turning “animals” into “earnings” are nonexistent. It is not a surprise, then, that (not unlike the financial industry) voluntary reforms are constantly undermined. Indeed, under the present system, corporations are legally required to evade and undermine; companies that try to do the right thing will be punished by the market for taking on unnecessary costs.

That is exactly what is happening with cage-free. Corporations are finding ingenious ways to cram more birds into an already tiny space. Until the system changes ― by giving animals some semblance of legal rights ― these corporate abuses will continue.

True progress for animals, then, can’t depend on corporations like Costco. It will come the same way other great rights movements have made progress: by changing our political system. And while the notion of a constitutional bill of rights for animals might seem fanciful, so too did gay marriage a generation ago, or women’s suffrage at the turn of the 20th century. Yet look at where we are today.

In short, let’s “free the hens,” as Bill Maher so nicely put it to Costco last year. But freedom for animals won’t come from going cage-free. It will come when we enshrine their freedom, dignity, and even personhood as a basic legal right.

Disturbed by what you’ve read? Ask Costco to take action to stop this cruelty!

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Harry Potter Yoga Is A Thing And You'll Want To Apparate There Right Away - BuzzFeed News

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Do you have a sore back from sitting on your broomstick all day? Wish you could get more flexible for Quidditch?

2. You might need Harry Potter yoga.

On October 30, in honor of Halloween and Day of the Dead, Circle Brewing Company in Austin, Texas, transformed its weekly beer yoga class (where participants take a yoga class and then have a pint) into a Harry Potter-themed yoga class.

3. The brewery was turned into Hogs Head Inn for the occasion.

Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

4. Instructor Isabel Beltran taught a 60-minute class inspired by all things Potterverse.

Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

Beltran, an Austin-based yoga instructor, model, and painter, read from The Deathly Hallows throughout the class to keep with the themes of Halloween, Día De Los Muertos, and Harry Potter.

Beltran and her sister, Ximena N. Larkin, came up with the idea for the class when they were brainstorming ways to boost attendance at Beltran’s regular classes.

Their idea was to do something around Halloween that integrated the themes of life and death from Harry Potter, Halloween, and Día De Los Muertos.

“We’re Mexican and celebrate the Day of The Dead. It’s not morbid, but rather a celebration of life… It felt very natural to combine the three to make it timely,” Beltran told BuzzFeed Health via email.

5. Yoga is all about flow, intentional movement, and meditation. Beltran melded these elements seamlessly with material and ideas from the Potterverse.

Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

For example, the class included sun salutations “to pay homage to the Order of the Phoenix.” Tree pose was renamed Whomping Willow (and done while holding a wand). And while doing the cat-cow pose, the class was told to channel Professor McGonnagall’s ability to transfigure from one animal to another.

As the class transitioned into Warrior II (aka Reverse Wizard), Beltran told them to imagine their happiest memory as they concentrated on saying “expecto patronum.”

6. “We made it a gentle class to make sure it was welcoming for all wizarding levels,” Beltran said.

Alexa Gonzalez Wagner

7. But the way Beltran ended the class was perhaps the most inspired part of the whole thing.

Alexa Gonzalez Wagner / Via Facebook: circlebrew

During savasana (aka corpse pose; the final pose of the class where practitioners lie peacefully in a resting position absorbing the practice they’re just completed), Beltran read “The Tale Of The Three Brothers.”

She then ended the class with a reading of and meditation on Dumbledore’s speech to Harry from the end of Deathly Hallows, which she also read aloud: “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”

8. The next Harry Potter yoga class is on November 20…but it’s already sold out.

The theme will be magical creatures to coincide with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Potterverse spinoff.

9. Which is too bad, because Ginny Weasley seemed pretty excited about it.

10. Oh, and so did Luna Lovegood.

11. You can check Circle Brewing Company’s calendar to see if future Harry Potter yoga classes are in the works.

Warner Bros. Pictures / Via gif-database.tumblr.com
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