Solidify your 2018 resolutions with yoga
At the West Linn Adult Community Center, we know that workout resolutions come and go. But there is no other exercise program as enduring as yoga. It's been around for more than 5,000 years.
The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin, other than that it was developed in ancient India. But yoga practitioners do know that it does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It's a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing, meditation and relaxation.
There are more than 100 different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense, while others are gentle and relaxing.
When you check the internet about yoga, the information becomes quite overwhelming. Many different words are used for explanations and examples because yoga comes in so many forms. Hatha yoga is a widely known form; it combines a series of basic movements with breathing. Then there is vinyasa yoga, which is a series of poses that flow smoothly from one to the other. Power yoga is a fast-paced, higher-intensity practice that builds muscle, while ashtanga yoga is a series of poses combined with special breathing techniques.
Regardless of the name and any confusion about how to do it, we all know that any type of exercise is good for us. And that's why the West Linn Adult Community Center offers many differentexercise classes, including a new second yoga class, Mind Body Wellness. Taught by yoga instructor Kristin Fein, this class is for anyone of any age. It will also help those who are recovering from surgery or suffer from chronic pain. This class will help improve your mood, reduce anxiety and increase circulation.
I talked with Fein recently about why she likes to teach yoga.
"I started teaching yoga in 2011," she said. "What attracted me to yoga was that whenever I practiced it, I always felt tremendously uplifted as well as phenomenally improved within my consciousness and in my body. I wanted to share my practice with others!
"This yoga class, Mind Body Wellness, is practicing to go deep inside, free the self from all distractions, all challenges and all responsibilities, allowing ourselves to become fully present and to truly tune in and tap into our best selves where we are able to rest in total freedom and peace," she continued. "We practice guiding the mind and body — going within — and being a detached observer, focusing on what we are experiencing in the here and now, feeling inside and outside of our body, using deliberate thoughts to bring about a heightened sense of well being.
"As we become observers of our own mind and body," Fein said, "we can experience our true selves as peaceful beings behind the thinking mind. We gently stretch the entire body, releasing all stress and tension, while allowing all that is good to flow through our awareness and breath."
Mind Body Wellness integrates mindfulness, meditation, visualizations, essential oils, gentle stretching and yoga poses. It can be done on a mat or in a chair.
To empower your New Year's resolutions, come and check out this new class, which is held at the West Linn Adult Community Center, 1180 Rosemont Road. The eight-week class is held from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. and again from 1:15-2:15 p.m. each Thursday. Drop-ins are welcome, too.
To learn more and register, visit westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec.
The lunch menu this week features pot roast, mashed potatoes, vegetable medley and apple pie on Friday, Jan. 26; Swedish meatballs with egg noodles, zucchini and lime-pineapple Jell-O on Monday, Jan. 29; and clam chowder, BLT sandwiches and butterscotch pudding on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Cost is $5 per person.
Mieke Wiegman is a volunteer at the WLACC and editor of the center's bi-monthly newsletter.