family doing yoga
Any exercise class that instructs me to totally relax sounds great. I don’t want to feel the burn or out-cardio the person in the next row. Yoga is not a competitive sport. Most people are looking for a chance to get away and nurture themselves. Whether you are pregnant, a mother, a caregiver or anyone else, for that matter, chances are you can benefit from the practice of yoga. From infants to elders, from soccer parents to celebrities, they are all drawn to yoga.
Luckily, we have wonderful instructors and yoga classes available in Naples. I went to Veterans Community Park and met Kathleen Casey, a seasoned yoga instructor who embodies a wealth of knowledge.
“Yoga is for everyone. It can help you clear your head and remind you to simply relax. Many of us are so busy that we are constantly in motion. Some of my students that visit for the first time confess that they are so busy, they don’t even have time to breathe,” Casey explains. “It is true. Once a person gets accustomed to a pattern of going and doing nonstop, they do forget to breathe. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, they report feeling exhausted, and often sad.”
After talking with Casey, I can see that her yoga class offers a comfortable way to break that pattern of believing that busy is better.
“People are longing for something, although they may not be conscious of it,”she says. “They want to be able to settle their minds and find peace in life that is somehow missing. This is why people today are turning to yoga.”
Casey taught me to think of yoga as a process that involves the whole mind/body experience. I spoke with her for over an hour and could feel her passion for helping others through yoga, which she has studied and practiced over 30 years.
Prenatal Yoga with Missy Balsam is another type. Moms-to-be can practice yoga to help relieve pregnancy discomforts, stress and tension. It is a unique way to prepare themselves for childbirth. They will learn stretching techniques and strengthening skills.
Can you imagine tiny babies doing yoga? It’s happening at Mommy and Me Yoga at Veteran’s Community Park. This is an exciting way to connect with yourself while bonding with your child. (It’s multi-tasking in a good way). The instructor, Barbara Johnson, recently gave birth to her second child and has great enthusiasm about getting this program off the ground.
“I teach mom and baby yoga postures that they do together, along with meditation,” she explained. Grandparents or dads can participate also.
It is reported that actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her baby enjoy yoga class together, as well as celebrity Tori Spelling and her child. So, Hollywood has nothing on Naples.
Experts say yoga movements can promote baby well-being and improve motor development. Babies can explore, stretch and enjoy quality time with Mommy. Some find that yoga practice can improve a baby’s vision and depth perception. It can also help boost their ability to sit, crawl and walk. Who knew?
Maybe Kids Yoga, which is held after school hours, fits your family’s needs.
“I taught yoga in kids’ camp. The kids loved it! It was fun for all of us. We do a variety of team-building games and teach leadership, as well. I share stories about honesty and karma, and help children to focus their thoughts,” Johnson explained. “I think parents like knowing their children are in a safe environment, having fun and learning new skills.”
Thousands of people are seeking the benefits of yoga. Maybe you have noticed the comfy yoga apparel being sold at stores from Wal-Mart to chic boutiques.
I was astounded by the variety of yoga classes offered locally. You can choose Gentle Yoga, Beginners Yoga, Power Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Multilevel Yoga, Yoga Basics or, last but not least, Yoga Dance which is offered at Unity of Naples Church. I don’t want to overwhelm you with choices, but I hope to shed some light on all the new twists that yoga has taken, which all sound fun to me. Regardless of which programs you are considering, it is important to first consult a doctor before starting a new exercise program.
It is up to us to take care of ourselves, so we can feel energized enough to love and take care of others. Though it is tough to detach from your day-to-day duties, it is easy to see why it is necessary to make time. As yoga instructor Kathleen Casey said, “We all strive for a sense of balance.”