Yoga Offers Alternative to Traditional Workout
The practice of yoga balances the mind, body and spirit.
Most people think of yoga as rigorous stretching they can’t do.
While strength and flexibility are essential parts of the yoga process, more is involved.
It is about creating a union with the mind, body and spirit through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits.
In Sanskrit, the language of ancient India where yoga originated, yoga means “union.”
“The idea of yoga is to not just focus on the physical but to bring in the breath and meditation so we’re balancing the body, mind and spirit,” said Emily Gretz, co-owner of Crofton Yoga. “It has been around for thousands of years.”
Gretz said the form of yoga practiced today came to the U.S. around the late 1800’s.
“The physical postures that we use now are more of a westernized version,” she said.
Yoga, for some people, complements their running, biking or gym exercise. However it can be a person’s sole exercise program.
The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement or more slowly to increase stamina.
The approach to the poses varies depending on the tradition in which the instructor has been trained.
“For many people, yoga is what they do for exercise primarily. You can build quite a bit of strength and flexibility through yoga,” Gretz said. “If you want it to be aerobic it can be depending on the pace in which you do it. So, you can build the aerobic part into the physical postures, meditation and breathing. It really depends on how you do the yoga.”
Yoga is for everyone. There are classes available for people who are immobile and for people who want a sweat workout. Pre and postnatal classes as well as parent and baby yoga classes are available.
“It depends on what you are looking for. Beginners learn the basic postures, balance, flexibility and breathing techniques,” Gretz said. “You don’t need to know anything coming in. All you need is an open mind and willingness to try. It’s open to everybody and there are modifications always. You don’t have to do the rigorous practice as someone else does. Yoga is stress relief.”
- Summer Yoga Camp for Kids, ages 5 to 11, Jun. 20 to 24
- “7 Days for $7” promotion- Try a variety of classes for an entire week for only $7, Jun. 27 to Jul. 3
Crofton Yoga, 2431 Crofton Lane, Suite 11, Crofton, (410) 451-1625, www.croftonyoga.com