VIDEO: Three yoga poses you can do anywhere
St. Joseph’s/Candler exercise physiologist and yoga instructor shares seven benefits of doing yoga
If running a marathon isn’t your thing, but you are looking for something new to try, consider yoga. Yoga is a different kind of workout that can improve muscular endurance and build stamina, and combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, may help with weight loss. Not to mention it’s known for its stress management capabilities.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that comes from India and includes breathing techniques, exercise poses and mediation. It’s a discipline – and for some a lifestyle – that links the body and mind, says Elizabeth Crofts, MS, CSCS, exercise physiologist with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Wellness Center and yoga instructor.
“Yoga can be what you want it to be. You can pick and choose what you want to take from it. That’s what I think is so great about it,” Crofts says.
Crofts took up yoga about 10 years ago. When she began teaching fitness classes in college, she at first stayed away from teaching yoga. She wanted that to be her personal time. However, her love for yoga led her to start teaching.
Crofts instructs several of the classes offered through the St. Joseph’s/Candler Wellness Center. There are many types of yoga. Some focus more on breathing and relaxation; others strictly on poses and postures; while several do a combination.
At St. Joseph’s/Candler, we offer:
- Hatha Yoga: Offered from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, this traditional type of yoga introduces you to the basic yoga postures, breathing and relaxation techniques. It’s suitable for both beginners and experienced yogis. Hatha Yoga is taught in the Candler Hospital Heart and Lung Building, suite 100.
- Yoga Sculpt: Offered from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. each Thursday, this class combines the principals of yoga and Pilates for a full range of motions and stretches for a full body workout. This class is taught in the Candler Hospital Heart and Lung Building, suite 100.
- Yoga for Cancer Patients: Offered from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday, cancer survivor and registered yoga teacher Cathy Baxter walks you through gentle movements that give you much needed energy, make your body feel better and give you a mental release. She also shares what transformed her life during cancer. This class it taught in the Candler Hospital Professional Building, room 508.
- Meditation: Offered from 1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. each Thursday, this class combines the principals of yoga and meditation. You will practice easy ranges of motions, stretches and breathing techniques. Meditation is taught in the Candler Hospital Wellness Center Conference Room.
What are the benefits of yoga?
Practicing yoga can come with many benefits for both the mind and body. Crofts offers a few:
- Increases joint range of motion
- Improves flexibility and balance
- Decreases stress
- Lowers anxiety
- May improve heart health, including lowering your blood pressure
- May reduce chronic pain and inflammation
- Social interaction when participating in a class
“What I like about yoga is because there are so many different styles, there is something for everybody,” Crofts says. “There’s the more relaxing, calming, very still side, and then there’s the fiery, really movement heavy side. And for everybody, there’s a little bit of relaxation.”
Learn more about our group fitness classes on our website.