Relaxing and restorative or energizing and exhilarating, yoga is far from a one-size-fits-all practice.
From chair yoga, for those with physical limitations, to hot yoga, for those who want to break a sweat, the ancient practice has limitless variations to meet the needs of all ages and ability levels. And yoga is not limited to traditional studios as yogis can be found practicing in local parks, shopping centers and, even, bars and restaurants.
“Yoga is for everyone and there truly is a class for everyone,” said Amy Fecher of Indigo Yoga. “Finding the right class for you can be tricky, but it’s out there.”
September is National Yoga Month, created to raise awareness of the many benefits of the practice and promote a healthy lifestyle.
“The benefits of yoga are endless, and everyone can benefit,” said Devon Schmidt of Day Yoga. “It helps boost mood, reduces stress, helps strengthen and tone the body, promotes heart health, increases flexibility, helps with chronic pain and improves sleep. It has helped me in every area of my life and I’m not sure where I would be without my yoga practice.”
Fecher – who has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than two decades – knows that getting aspiring yogis in the door can be challenging.
“For a lot of people, it truly is intimidating to walk in the door that first time,” she said. “If you can get them in the studio, you have a shot.”
Free outdoor classes – like Five Rivers MetroParks Yoga in the Park with Speakeasy Yoga and Indigo Yoga’s free classes at The Greene – make yoga accessible but practicing regularly increases the benefits.
Most studios as well as community recreation centers offer a beginners’ series of classes, designed for those who are new to the practice or coming back to yoga after time away. It’s about the basics and building a strong foundation for a future practice.
“We break down all the poses, so students gain an awareness on safety, alignment and how to modify poses to make them accessible,” Schmidt said.
Yoga is personal, not about perfection.
“Just come with a curious mind,” Fecher said.
Give Yoga a Try during National Yoga Month
* Yoga at The Greene
What: Indigo Yoga offers a free outdoor all-levels class for all ages and ability levels.
When: Sept. 10, noon
Where: The Greene Center Court, 4452 Buckeye Lane, Beavercreek
* Full Moon Candlelight Yin Yoga
What: An intentional full moon, candlelit Yin Yoga practice. Yin is a slow practice with fewer postures and longer holds. This style of yoga promotes mobility and aims to prevent injury by targeting the connective tissues, such as ligaments, bones, and the joints of the body that are not normally exercised in a more active asana class.
When: Sept. 10, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Speakeasy Yoga, 510 E. 3rd St., Dayton
* UnWINEd at Kai Yoga Studio
What: A brief and accessible practice followed by sips and nibbles.
When: September 15, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Kai Yoga Studio, 1 ½ S. Central Ave., Fairborn
* Girl Power Hour with Alia
What: An energizing power vinyasa flow coordinated with your favorite empowering tunes, a fun, unheated, faster-paced class with modifications offered. Anyone embracing their divine feminine energy is welcome to attend.
When: September 16, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Day Yoga, 1100 Brown St.
* Goat Yoga and U-Pick Lavender & Wildflowers
What: A relaxing yoga experience with GoatCountry’s goats followed by picking a bundle of lavender and wildflowers.
When: September 24, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Cedar Ridge Trails Lavender Farm, 5388 Medlar Road, Miamisburg
* Rest at Ignite Yoga
What: Time to wind down and turn inward to give the still space within the attention it’s been longing for. Expect stillness, soft movement and soothing mental focus.
When: September 25, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Ignite Yoga, 669 Miamisburg-Centerville Road