BEAVERCREEK – Yoga offers a multitude benefits that stretch beyond physical physique. Those who practice explain that they feel more peace in their lives and a better connection with themselves.
“I would define it as a philosophy that connects the body, mind and spirit,” Yoga Instructor Katie Marshall said. “To practice through the asanas, you should be connecting your body alignment with your breath, your movement and you’re focusing on just that – it’s a really an active meditation.”
While performing the yoga postures, or asanas, individuals will find themselves stretching their bodies into uncomfortable territories. However, Marshall said participants can grow and push themselves by listening to their body and finding the “edge” within a pose.
“There’s discomfort, pain and a fine line – and only you know,” Marshall said. “Listen to your body, because your body will tell you. No pain, no gain is wrong. When you’re going into something, you have to listen and feel. Yoga is not comfortable, but there’s things you can do so you’re not wincing in pain. You individually decide where you can go.”
She feels that fear may keep some individuals from giving it a shot, but explained that yoga is not a competition between the individual and anyone else, except themselves.
“When you’re going into the poses, it’s an opportunity to improve yourself, to strengthen, lengthen your range of motion,” Marshall said. “Each round you should grow, it’s a learning experience … [but] people have to be careful. Their ego’s will come in [and will make comparisons to others] … They have to be okay with the fact that they’re an individual, it’s not a competition and I think people can get competitive – it’s a competition with yourself, it’s improving yourself. It can change moment-to-moment … It should be fun and empowering, and they shouldn’t worry about having expectations.”
Innerlight Yoga & Wellness, located on Fairfield Road in Beavercreek, offers a variety of yoga courses, including varying levels of classes, paddleboard and aerial yoga. The studio lists its class schedule on its website, and offers prices for individuals who wish to drop-in and try one class at a time, or a monthly rate for those who would like to commit to a more regular practice.
“It’s really about being kind and compassionate, and living life in a loving way,” Owner Jennifer Ater of Innerlight Yoga & Wellness said. “Yoga, to me, is a lifestyle. It can benefit us on multi-dimensional levels; it helps the body, joints and flexibility, balance and healing muscle tissue.”
Marshall offers yoga classes through the City of Miamisburg Parks and Recreation division, as well as Sinclair Community College. She is additionally offering yoga classes at 9 a.m. Saturdays at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton.
“Yoga is about being one, and every single approach leads to the same answer,” Ater said. “It’s a matter of having many roads to one source. My latest definition of yoga is that it’s a map back to your own heart, back to your own home. Yoga leads us to a place within ourselves that’s about freedom, love and truth.”