Beach, VA) - Virginia Beach Parks &
Recreation is celebrating National Yoga Month, and encouraging
residents to discover the many benefits of this mind-body practice.
Throughout September, free yoga classes are offered for anyone age 14 and up.
Combining stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation, yoga can
help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart function. Try any
-- or all -- of these free fitness classes!
- Basic Yoga incorporates exercises to
increase flexibility and strength through static postures and
coordinated breathing techniques. These classes are ideal for beginners,
although all are welcome. Sunday, September 7 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30
p.m. at Williams
Farm Recreation Center, and Saturday, September 20 from 9:15-10:15
a.m. at Great
Neck Recreation Center.
- Gentle Flow Yoga introduces basic yoga
poses with a gentle approach. This format focuses on placid yoga poses
that are easy on the joints. This a great starter class for beginners. Wednesday,
September 17 from 10:15-11:15 a.m. at Bayside
- Hatha Yoga teaches you to appreciate
your body and gain mobility through gentle stretching, balancing, and
strengthen poses. Simple breathing and relaxation techniques will help
lower stress, quiet the mind, and rejuvenate the body. The level of the
class will vary according to your needs and goals. Thursday,
September 4 from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Princess
Anne Recreation Center and Tuesday, September 16 from 6:30-7:30
p.m. at Princess
Anne Recreation Center.
- Vinyasa Yoga This style of yoga links
movement with the power of the breath, and is designed to bring balance
to the mind-body-spirit. You will work on strength, flexibility,
alignment and body awareness. All levels welcome. Friday,
September 5 from 10-11 a.m. at Kempsville
A Virginia Beach recreation center membership or
day pass is not needed for these classes. And there is no need to sign up in
advance; just show up and enjoy! A limited number of yoga mats are available
for use during class.
In addition to these free yoga classes, several
Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation instructors have created quick videos
teaching their favorite poses. Visit www.Facebook.com/VBParksRec
for these videos; a new video will be posted each week in September.
Need more reasons to try Virginia Beach
Parks and Recreation’s free yoga classes? The
Yoga Health Foundation has shared ten benefits of yoga:
- Stress Relief: Yoga reduces the
physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga
helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Related
benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving
digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of
conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
- Pain Relief: Yoga can ease pain.
Studies have demonstrated that practicing yoga asanas (postures),
meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with
conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and
hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain, and other chronic
- Better Breathing: Yoga teaches people to
take slower, deeper breaths. This helps to improve lung function,
trigger the body’s relaxation response and increase the amount of oxygen
available to the body.
- Flexibility: Yoga helps to improve
flexibility and mobility, increasing range of movement and reducing
aches and pains. Yoga also helps to improve body alignment resulting in
better posture and helping to relieve back, neck, joint and muscle
- Increased Strength: Yoga asanas (postures)
use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally
from head to toe.
- Weight Management: Yoga (even less vigorous
styles) can aid weight control efforts by reducing the cortisol levels
as well as by burning excess calories and reducing stress.
- Improved Circulation: Yoga helps to improve
circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves
oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
Conditioning: Even gentle yoga practice can provide
cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing
endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
- Focus On The Present: Yoga helps us to focus
on the present, to become more aware and to help create mind body
health. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination,
reaction time and memory.
- Inner Peace: The meditative aspects of
yoga help many to reach a deeper, more spiritual and more satisfying
place in their lives. Many who begin to practice for other reasons have
reported this to be a key reason that yoga has become an essential part
of their daily lives.
For more information on Virginia Beach Parks and
Recreation’s yoga classes, contact Birgitt Kisbaugh at BKishbau@VBgov.com.
Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation’s vision is a
balanced, sustainable and value-focused system of parks, recreation and
public spaces that creates a sense of community. We are accredited by CAPRA,
the certifying agency of the National Recreation and Park Association. For
more information, call (757) 385-1100 (TTY: 711 Virginia Relay), visit VBgov.com/parks or sign up for our email
newsletters at VBgov.com/eNews. Find us
on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/VBParksRec.
In 2008, the United States
Department of Health & Human Services designated
September as National Yoga Month to educate about the health benefits of yoga
and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.