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Yoga has positive mental, physical benefits

For those looking to start the new year with a positive outlook and positive habits, yoga might be the answer.

Amy Henderson began teaching yoga four years ago at All is Well Health and Wellness on East Three Notch.

The classes are housed in the back of the health store.

“I initially started yoga because I was also doing dance classes and yoga helped prepare for a dance class,” Henderson said.

“I realized it’s worth dedicating a full hour to it. Yoga has many benefits.”

There are many different types of yoga, Henderson said.

“There’s yoga for every different personality,” she said.

“There’s basic yoga classes for beginners and ones for more experienced people.”

Yoga is meant to give the body time to calm down, Henderson said.

“Yoga actually means ‘yoke,’ and to yoke something is to pair something. You’re pairing movement with different things, with rest, with movement and it’s really up to you on what style of yoga you wish to do.”

Henderson teaches Yin yoga, which is a slow-paced style focused on postures held for long periods of time.

Most of the poses in Yin yoga are more passive, involving the floor, and focuses on relaxing into postures.

Another style of yoga Henderson offers is restorative yoga.

Restorative yoga is a yoga that features light twists, seated forward folds and gentle backbends that are held for five minutes or more.

“A lot of people are over stimulated from their busy day at work,” Henderson said.

“It’s good to take some time out of your day to decompress, correct posture and breathing.”

Yoga is about pairing body and mind, Henderson said.

“The idea is that people who come to my classes achieve a physical release that also helps release stress and helps you emotionally and mentally,” Henderson said.

The health benefits are endless, Henderson said.

“Yoga helps you stay flexible, maintains joints and can alleviate some chronic pains.”

For beginners, it starts out easy.

“The only hard thing for beginners is getting over the scary part of going to a class and attempting yoga,” Henderson said.

“We work with people starting out and help them achieve the poses. There are no expectations, no one should feel worried that they can’t do a pose or (will be) humiliated.”

When starting out, don’t expect to be perfect, Henderson said.

“You build up from nothing in yoga. There are several different ways to pose. You don’t have to do it the same every time. It’s about finding what your skill level is,” she said.

After a session, Henderson devotes 10-15 minutes allowing the students to decompress after the hour-long session.

Each session is $10, or $30 monthly. Classes are at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Yoga classes at All is Well will resume on Tues., Jan. 9.

For more information about yoga call All is Well at 334-343-7478.

Classes also are offered at Andalusia Health and Fitness, 334.582.2000; at the Yoga Place (contact Nancy Blackmon via Facebook), and privately (contact Addy Gantt).