At a yoga studio in Waynedale, students breathe, bend, twist and stretch their way to a healthier, happier state. "No pain, no gain doesn't apply to this form of exercise," said Kaitlin Johnston Kochenderfer, 26, owner/instructor of Kaitlin's Yoga.
"It's not about being able to touch your toes either...as long as you can breathe you are heading in the right direction."
As in some sports you want your muscles to cry "uncle", the opposite is true in yoga. Yoga should make you feel warm all over.
"Simply come as you are," stated Kaitlin. Even if you don't quite feel like coming. Check in! You'll be surprised. "It's about the journey... be yourself as you step on your mat. Feel the stretch. All the way down your arms. Inhaling. Exhaling," are the words of this Registered Yoga Teacher.
Every body is different, and yoga is about working your own individual body. It's good for you. One important thing to remember, this form of exercise is not about comparing yourself to the person next to you. It's about training your own self to feel wonderful, actively restoring your own energy.
As the class continued the atmosphere was relaxing, with mellow music flowing throughout the entire hour. With great attention to detail, Johnston's smooth voice assisted the students through their poses. For those just learning, a prop was provided. Like cushions, pillows and soft blocks. That way, if a student had not yet achieved the strength or flexibility necessary, the props could be used as learning aids. Props also allowed the student to hold poses for a longer period of time. Each student is encouraged to use props and work in whatever range of motion is safest and most effective for them.
Many people believe that yoga is about the physical positions, it is, somewhat. More importantly it is the breathing. "As we learn to slow down, we connect more with our breathing and feel what is happening with our body." With this, we are able to take that much needed break in our life and begin to alleviate the stress.
A favorite quote by Charles Einstein says it all, "Everything about you is related to everything else. You cannot change one thing without changing everything." If you work on one area of your life you will inevitably affect all of the other areas.
Several studies have linked yoga classes to a lower heart rate and blood pressure; helping relieve anxiety, depression and insomnia. Yoga also benefits menopausal women as it helps hot flashes and is good for prevention of osteoporosis by strengthening bones.
There are many types of this gentle gym, non-competitive form of exercise. There is Acro Yoga, Partner Yoga, Hatha Yoga, yoga for sports, football, soccer, runners. Kaitlin's focus is on Hatha Yoga, a traditional type of yoga that is very popular. Group or individual, this type of yoga can get your mind-body connection together. From balancing poses to heart opening poses, they each strengthen you inside and out.