The City of Ames Parks and Rec offers an amazing opportunity during the summer months for people to practice yoga for FREE at the local Bandshell Park. Some people may be yoga virgins, others may be veterans and many more might be somewhere in between. Each week offers a different experience since there is a different instructor with his/her own unique style.
Today was the first “Yoga in the Park” session for the season. There were about 70 people that showed up…we made it through our practice before the sky opened up and the rains fell. Such a great way to start off a Saturday morning!!
I love the yoga community, the reminders to stay present (both on and off the mat) and the focus and balance it brings to my life. I always feel so much more relaxed, refreshed and revitalized after a yoga class. 🙂
I write a fitness article every month for our local Ames magazine. This month the focus was on “Yoga in the Park.” Here is a picture of the published article with the text below (since the text in the picture is so small). I hope you enjoy 😉
Yoga in the Park
Yoga IS for everyone and can provide you with instant gratification and long lasting transformations to your physical and mental health and well-being. Have you ever wanted to try yoga? No more excuses. Now is the time to try. “Yoga in the Park” is a FREE class offered at Bandshell Park in Ames from 10-11 am on Saturday mornings June 7 through August 2 (except Saturday, July 5). “Yoga in the Park” is the perfect opportunity to get outdoors, breathe some fresh air, soak up some vitamin D, improve your strength and flexibility, and try something new.
Yoga benefits our general health and well-being in so many ways. It helps increase strength and flexibility. When you attend your first yoga session, you may notice that you cannot bend over and touch your toes. If you stick with it, your strength and flexibility will increase and some of those poses you originally thought were impossible will become possible. Sheri Meyer is a yoga instructor, “I was drawn to yoga for a physical workout, but as I continue my practice, it has become so much more! Yoga is a beautiful practice that provides me with a sense of awareness, discipline and a toned body; it melds my mind, body, and spirit and truly enhances my life. I relish my own practice and have the honor of leading others; helping us all to love our bodies and show ourselves grace.”
Yoga helps teach us to slow our breath (prana), relax, and focus on the present. When faced with a stressful situation, this can help our bodies respond by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (calming response) instead of the sympathetic nervous system (fight-or-flight response).
Yoga helps thwart depression and anxiety. There are many inverted poses that help increase serotonin levels, which elevates ones happiness, improves immune function, and promotes self-esteem and self confidence. Who doesn’t want to be happier and healthier?
Yoga helps us relieve stress, unclutter the mind and sleep better. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, yoga provides our nervous system with the downtime it needs to recharge. Yoga helps us train our bodies to better handle frustrations, fears, anger, and desires that can sometimes cause us unnecessary stress.
Yoga helps us improve our range of motion and ease joint pain. Melissa Tedone is a firm believer of the power yoga has on improving our health and well-being. “When I was diagnosed with an autoimmune form of arthritis, my rheumatologist prescribed yoga. Yoga’s controlled “flow” keeps my joints lubricated for better range of motion, and eases pain by gently stretching my connective tissues. Two years later, I treasure my regular yoga practice as a time for me to let everything else go, breathe deeply, and focus on reconnecting with my body and helping it to heal.”
The yoga community in Ames is truly AMAZING!! Come join others who are looking to improve their health and well-being, while soaking up some vitamin D and fresh air on Saturday mornings at Bandshell Park. See you on your mat!!
Have you tried yoga? If you’ve tried yoga, what do you love about yoga? Would you go to yoga if it were free in your area?