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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Yoga class will be offered at local YMCA

Saturday, February 8, 2003

A beginner's Yoga class will be offered at the local YMCA. The twice-weekly six-week program of Beginning Yoga/Gentle in Approach starts Feb. 17 and runs through March 26. Classes will be offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

The cost to YMCA members is $96 for the 12 sessions. Non-members pay $120. That averages $8 per class for members and $10 for non-members. According to Rebecca (Becky) Williams, the Yoga instructor, similar sessions in other cities would probably start at $15 a class.

Williams comes with sterling credentials. The 60-year-old Terre Haute resident holds a Master of Arts degree in teaching from DePauw University. She received her Registered Yoga Teacher certification from Yoga Alliance at the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat in Rollinsville, Colo.

Yoga Alliance is a Yoga certification school and is the nationally recognized, self-governing body which sets standards for quality education of yoga teachers. Williams is the only known certified Yoga instructor in the Wabash Valley.

Local residents may remember Williams from two former businesses she owned in Terre Haute during the 80s and 90s. She had a gourmet kitchen shop, The Canister from 1986 to 1991. She also owned The Company Coffee at Honey Creek Mall from 1989 until she sold it in 2000. Her main interest now is Yoga.

Williams says Yoga is a non-competitive activity. Each participant advances to his or her desired level at their own pace. The diminutive instructor says she hopes to teach students a skill they can use for life even if they don't want to continue with classes.

There are many benefits to Yoga, Williams explained. It can help with stress relief, weight control and coping with pain. It may reduce the discomfort caused by whiplash injuries.

"One of the best things people can do for their overall health is to maintain their flexibility and balance," Williams said. "With flexibility and balance comes strength without resistance. That will greatly help prevent serious injury and broken bones if a person should fall. And it can be done by people of all ages. Yoga is part of a concept of the ancient philosophy of health."

A humble physician from around 200 BC, Patanjali, discussed the practice of Ahimsa in his essential Yogic text, Yoga Sutra. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word which is one of the earliest languages. It interprets as, harm no creature in thought or deed, much like the Hippocratic oath which addresses a philosophy of health.

According to Williams, a person should be able to improve their health, balance and flexibility and reduce the stress in their lives without harming their own body. She believes they can do this through meditation, exercise, postures and the philosophy of Yoga.

The class is limited to 15 students. Interested parties should register at the YMCA as soon as possible. The Y is open Monday through Thursday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. The first class will be an introductory class and may run longer than the hour time frame.

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