November 18, 2013
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning to unite, and its practice helps to unite our body and mind as well as to unite us with our higher self. This makes it a perfect practice for the Thanksgiving and December holiday season. Give yourself a moment during the hustle and bustle to stop and connect to all of the things that you are thankful for and to unite with whatever makes winter a magical or special season for you. Of course, yoga can also be simply a fantastic physical exercise to strengthen and stretch tight muscles during this demanding time of year.
Whatever your reason for choosing yoga, there is a place for you to practice on the South Coast. Also, yoga is not a one size fits all type of exercise. There are different types of yoga to match different needs.
For those of you who wish life would run a bit more smoothly, you may find some of what you are looking for in Vinyasa Yoga. Vinyasa Yoga strives to create fluidity of movement, so you should be prepared to do more than stretch. Your instructor will guide you through flowing movements that are choreographed to your breathing. In fact, Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word for “flow”. Drop in on a Vinyasa yoga class at the Marion Yoga Loft in Marion and see how it feels. Wouldn’t it be great if some of that “flow” transferred to the rest of your day? The Yoga Loft also offers Men’s Yoga for those gentlemen out there who might like a little privacy. The Fairhaven Recreation Center also offers Vinyasa Yoga at their facility.
If you enjoy strength training, you may be interested in a variation of the Vinyasa tradition referred to as Power Yoga which provides a rigorous workout. However, keep in mind that during power yoga, physical strength is just an extra bonus. The real benefit is life balance and inner strength. Heated Power Yoga is gaining popularity. It is conducted in a room kept between 95-100% to increase flexibility and metabolism as well as eliminate toxins. You can find a heated class at Yoga on Union in New Bedford. Yoga on Union also offers Kripalu Yoga which has a spiritual focus on life transformation, so if you are looking for this type of “inner work”, be sure to check it out. Lastly, visit their website for some special classes like Thanksgiving Morning Yoga!
If you just need to rest and relax, Yoga Nidra is for you! Yoga Nidra or Divine Sleep Yoga is a form of guided relaxation that lasts 45 minutes to one hour. In a Yoga Nidra class, students lay on their backs in deep relaxation and following instructions from the yoga teacher, focus on their breath, emotions, and inner sensations. It isn’t uncommon for people to dose off during this yoga practice, but who couldn’t do with a nap now and again? Try Yoga Nidra at Life in Balance Yoga & Healing Arts in Mattaposiett. It is said that during Yoga Nidra, one hour on the mat is like three hours of sleep! Life in Balance Yoga & Healing Arts also offers Kids Yoga and “Mommy and Me” Yoga.
Also visit Life in Balance to try Yin Yoga(Restorative Yoga). This yoga style focuses on the flow of energy through your body and is known for holding postures for a long period of time. If you have trouble straightening up after getting out of your chair, these long stretches and deep breathing might be just what you need to loosen up.
Take a breath, take a moment, and take care of yourself this holiday season!
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