Why not yoga? From increased strength and flexibility to heart health, check out these 10 amazing benefits to rolling out the mat (or aerial silk or paddle board) 🙂 Yoga does more than burn calories and tone your muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation. There are many different forms of yoga. Some are fast-paced and intense, while others may be gentle and relaxing. At Wilson’s we offer 18 different yoga classes, so make it a priority this summer to give a new yoga class a try!

1. Improves Flexibility and Balance: The regular practice of yoga gradually improves flexibility, posture and reduces aches and pains.
2. Increased Awareness of your Body: Yoga helps maintain a healthy body image and self-esteem. Yoga helps you learn and appreciate awareness in the present moment.
3. Builds Muscle Strength: Yoga is an amazing way to build and tone muscles which can be helpful in preventing injuries, as well as alleviate conditions like arthritis and back pain.
4. Relieves Stress: Yoga practiced in the right way can be as soothing as a hug or a massage when it comes to relaxing the physical body. Whether you’re holding postures, flowing through sequences, or in a seated meditation pose, everything begins to focus and slow down when you take your awareness to the breath. With repeated practice, you start to develop new habits towards a more relaxed internal state.
5. Immunity Boost: Yoga strengthens the immune system and is one of the main tools for maintaining the health of our respiratory system. Breathing technique and asana (posture) help improve the mechanical efficiency of our lungs by conditioning the respiratory tract that increase the elasticity and strength of the whole lung. This in turn helps prevent infection.
6. Supports Healthy Digestion and Blood Flow: The movements in yoga increases blood flow and can help facilitate internal functions of the body.
7. Helps you Sleep Better: Yoga has great restorative and meditative properties that relax the nervous system and can help you get a deeper sleep.
8. Good for the Mind: Practicing mindful awareness has been correlated with structural growth in the brain, including the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with executive function, working memory and attention.
9. Reduces Blood Pressure/Blood Sugar: Doing yoga regularly lowers cortisol and adrenaline levels and can help improve sensitivity to the effects of insulin for those with diabetes.
10. Supports a Healthy Lifestyle: Yoga keeps you active, helps reduce your daily stress, and encourages other healthy habits.

Check out just a few of the yoga classes offered at Wilson’s!

Aerial 101*: This class is open to all levels and is not a prerequisite for other aerial classes. It will take you through a series of poses utilizing the aerial hammock as a tool to achieve strength, length and overall health benefits. Aerial 101 is designed for success by performing the same progression each class for a minimum of 8 weeks. Not recommended during pregnancy. Please consult your physician.

Aerial Yoga*: Aerial yoga is a new type of yoga utilizing a fabric hammock as a tool to help students achieve traditional yoga poses. Increase overall health and physical agility while having fun and creating beauty. Hammock will be set at hip height. No experience necessary. Not recommended during pregnancy. Please consult your physician.

Board Balance*: Make a splash this summer! This class challenges the body while renewing the soul. Enjoy learning while adapting to the motion of the board. Find a continuous challenge to balance and the focus required to ground while afloat. Not recommended during pregnancy. Please consult your physician.

BodyFlow: A yoga, tai chi, Pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength, leaving you feeling centered and calm in one hour. (Express = 30 or 45 minutes)

Flight & Flexibility*: This class begins with 30-minutes of Flight, riding until your legs burn and your heart pumps. You’ll then move to a 30-minute yoga practice, focusing on upper and lower body flexibility and core strengthening. This combination increases your overall body position and awareness for injury prevention and enhanced riding performance, as well as bringing the mind to a place of inner calm and balance.

Forever/Chair Yoga*: This is a gentle class with the option of using a yoga chair, incorporating range of motion exercises, alignment, stretching, strengthening, awareness, breathing and relaxation to refresh, energize, improve posture, deepen breathing and improve sense of well-being. This is a safe and slower- moving class designed for seniors and people of all ages with physical challenges or those who might be recovering from an injury. Room will be a comfortable 80 degrees to allow for greater and safer mobility.

Fusion Hot 60*: This practice utilizes the same sequences from Fusion Hot 90 with the exception of 1 round (rather than 2) of standing strength postures and includes the fully vinyasa flow as well as 10 minutes for core, stretch and a short savasana. Not recommended during pregnancy. Please consult your physician.

Fusion Hot 75*: This practice uses the same sequences as Fusion 90 with the exception of 1 round (rather than 2) of the standing strength postures. You will flow through the same vinyasa sequence, enjoy 25 minute of core and flexibility training and end with a savasana. Not recommended during pregnancy. Please consult your physician.

Gentle Flow*: A harmonious fluidity of movement and breath. We begin with centering and gentle warm up exercises and then build progressively with postures that lengthen and tone all the major muscle groups. Modifications and props are incorporated to support alignment and progression. The room will be heated to 85 degrees with radiant heat only to create a safe and gentle environment for strength and flexibility. Class length is 60 minutes.

Gentle Yoga*: Begin with full yogic breathing followed by various stretching and warm-up postures to develop flexibility and turn one’s attention inward. Progress through sun salutations in a slow and methodical manner to synchronize breath with movement and create heat in the body. Join with spiral twists, shoulder stand and a final posture before going into relaxation pose with guided meditation.
Appropriate for all levels of experience and practice. The room will be heated to 85 degrees with radiant heat only to create a safe and gentle environment for strength and flexibility. Class length is 60 minutes.

Iron Yoga*: Combine tradition weight training principals with breath and body awareness in yoga postures for increased strength, weight loss and total body fitness.

Mindful Movement*: Mindful Movement is a basic introduction to ancient eastern medicine, but is in no way at odds with western medicine beliefs or practices. This class combines energy medicine, Qigong and elements from yoga to provide a gentle but effective hour of healing movement. Participants will learn Donna Eden’s basic routine to bolster the innate ability to fight off infection and disease while correcting imbalances within the energetic body. Qigong uses simple repetitive movements that encourage strength and flexibility while freeing up the mental focus to go “within.” Yoga influences will include basic aerial fundamentals—in the silk or on a mat—and will focus on breath and poses. Participants experience emotional and physical ” break-throughs,” increasing stress management and greater joy in life.

Peaceful Yoga: A calming, stress-relieving yoga class to stretch and strengthen the body gradually. Emphasis is on building awareness of the breath and the body. Asanas are practiced at a slower pace with attention to alignment and detail. Recommended for all levels looking for a soothing, relaxing, and restorative experience.

Radiant Yoga*: Strike a balance of breath, postures and flow in a room heated to 95-100 degrees with radiant heat to create ‘tapas’ (healing for your body, mind and spirit). Come to this class to cleanse your body, length and strengthen your muscles, and calm and sooth your mind. This practice may include strength postures as well as arm balances. Come strike a pose! Not recommended during pregnancy. Please consult your physician.

Rooftop Yoga: Rooftop Yoga is a 60-minute class on a rooftop deck of Wilson’s District location that is taught at a moderate intensity level with options offered to decrease and increase intensity. The rooftop sights and sounds of downtown Columbia will inspire students as they enjoy their yoga practice.

Vinyasa Flow: Likened to a dynamic dance, is a practice where postures or asanas are connected through the breath. Build heat, endurance, flexibility, and strength. Creative sequencing around surya namaskar (sun salutations), weaving together wisdom teachings and music inspire physical, energetic, mental, and pure bliss states of consciousness. Props are used to facilitate poses. The class is taught with modifications of higher & lower intensity.

Warm Iron Yoga*: Combine traditional weight training principals with breath and body awareness in yoga postures for increased strength, weight loss, and total body fitness. Room will be heated to approximately 80 degrees.

Yoga: This 60-minute class provides focused practice that strengthens and tones muscles, increases bone density and establishes correct body alignment through asanas, breathing techniques, warm ups and relaxation. (Express = 45 minutes)

*Specialty classes are included with current Passport memberships as well as those with Class Pass. Drop-ins are welcome at the rate of $7.50 + tax for Wilson’s members and $15.00 + tax for non-members.

SOURCES: DoYouYoga, YogaJournal, American Osteopathic Association

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