By Jonathan Theros
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
She feels healthier and appreciates life a little more every time she leaves a session. Yoga has changed life for Emma Peters ’16, and many others who participate regularly in yoga session agree.
To relieve stress about tests and school or to gain a little more flexibility, yoga is a way to aid people in theses areas and improve your overall health said Peters.
One of the major, and most obvious, benefits from yoga is an increase in flexibility. Doing yoga stretches muscles which can help them feel less stiff and tired.
Most people who participate in yoga improve their flexibility by 35 percent in 8 weeks according to doctors with the International Association of Yoga Therapists. Yoga instructor and Grosse Pointe North student Julia Babcock ’16 agrees.
“The beauty of yoga is that you can take it at your own pace and before you know it your flexibility has drastically increased,” Babcock said.
Another of the many major benefits is strength and relaxation. Yoga focuses on breathing techniques and patterns which can help lead to more relaxation according to Peters. Peters participates in yoga around six days a week.
“I just love being able to feel myself getting stronger, and it gives me the relaxing time everyone needs in their day,” Peters said.
Peters does her yoga at Living Waters Yoga, a yoga studio in Grosse Pointe, usually with instructors Jackie Stevens or Babcock. Another popular studio for South students is Yoga Shelter, also located in Grosse Pointe.
Yoga is great way to improve your heart health and your circulatory system according to a recent Harvard study. It can lower heart rate which helps many lower blood pressure and lesson risk of heart disease. It also may boost your immune system and lower cholesterol and triglyceride (type of fat) levels in the blood.
Against the typical stereotype that yoga is only for women, the athletes on the South boys lacrosse team are participating in some yoga classes throughout the offseason. There is a lot of benefits from yoga even for men, according to South varsity lacrosse player Michael Coyle ’16.
“It helps you relieve stress that you do not need on the field in a bad way. Your temper is greatly cut which is especially beneficial to my brother Jerry and I,” Coyle said. “It is also great bonding time. All your boys trying to see who can get the furthest stretch is a lot of fun.”
Yoga has many health benefits from stronger muscles to a stronger heart said Babcock. Yoga studios like Yoga Shelter and Living Waters Yoga are no more than a short car ride or call away, and offer an assortment of styles ranging from a type of intense bikram to vinyasa.
“There is a variety of classes to try–ranging from strengthening, hot classes to gentle, restorative classes.” Babcock said. “Yoga has something for everyone.”