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Flexibility in Yoga Sessions

Those in Irvine who would like to get away from the frenetic pace of high impact aerobics and contact sports, or the cold impersonality of working with free weights and nautilus machines, can find what they’re looking for in yoga.

True, as a form of exercise, yoga lacks the machismo of football or martial arts, but it can be just as sweaty and physically taxing, with the added benefit of mental and emotional relaxation.

Yoga is all about the breath. One has to get the breath right before beginning anything. The deep inhales and the long, slow exhales have a way of calming and grounding a person in one’s own body. When one pays attention to ones’ breathing, all other concerns fade away. The past fades, and the future retreats, and all that is left is the present.

The different poses or asanas in yoga work on one or a combination of either strength, flexibility, or balance, all while maintaining a steady and deep breathing. Strengthening poses involve weight-bearing and are focused on upper body – arms, shoulders and chest, and the core – that is, the abdomen. Flexibility poses involve bends – forward bends, side bends, back bends, and twists, and different permutations of these. The forward bend is different when it is done standing, and different when done while seated. Balancing poses are those that involve remaining upright while in a precarious position, usually with one foot and/or one hand bearing the body.

Most asanas have simpler versions for beginners or more difficult versions for those who are more advanced. One has to be in touch with one’s own body in order to gauge its limitations and capabilities. There’s always room to grow, and none for stagnation. It’s like being one’s own physical therapist in InMotion.

Sessions usually end with a relaxation or meditation pose, usually just lying down on one’s back with eyes closed. This is called savasana or “corpse pose”. After the physical exertions during the session, this portion becomes a place for catharsis, and one feels quite boneless. It is not unusual for yoginis to doze off while in this pose, or release some pent up emotions.

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