September is National Yoga Month! Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Celebrates by Offering Free Yoga Classes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

(Virginia 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 Recreation Center.
  • 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 Recreation Center.

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  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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 conditions.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 problems.
  5. Increased Strength: Yoga asanas (postures) use every muscle in the body, helping to increase strength literally from head to toe.
  6. 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.
  7. Improved Circulation: Yoga helps to improve circulation and, as a result of various poses, more efficiently moves oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.
  8. Cardiovascular Conditioning: Even gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
  9. 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.
  10. 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  

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 or sign up for our email newsletters at Find us on Facebook at

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.