Yoga at Lifetime Fitness
March 10, 2023
If you are looking for a new fitness class that benefits your physical and mental health, a yoga class would be perfect for you. Recently, I took a yoga class at Lifetime Fitness in Mount Laurel. While I was not sure that I would be up for the challenge of doing yoga, the slow, deliberate pace of the movements turned out to be a great fit for me.
The class that I took was called Surrender, a meditative yin-yoga class taught by Jenny Sabia, a knowledgeable and passionate yoga instructor. During the hour-long class, we utilized deep breathing techniques to complete a series of passive stretches using long-held poses, each of which could be held for around six minutes. Sabia explained how the practice of yoga can improve health and reduce stress levels.
“Amongst a million things yoga does, reducing stress is one of them. We are taught how to create a calm mind here using our breath . . . . calming our whole nervous system and reducing stress. A lot of the poses we do can also aid in that. The whole vibe in general of yoga is to create a calmness that stays in your life,” said Sabia.
Each person in a yoga class experiences it differently because yoga is focused on mindfulness. At first, I felt uncomfortable posing on my mat, but when I looked around to try and figure out what to do, I realized that each person was working at their own level. The goal of the class was not about achieving perfection, it was about focus and effort. This helped me to relax and become more comfortable with the poses.
It can take a lot of practice to get the full benefit of yoga because you must be able to meditate and hold challenging poses. People with different skill levels can all take the same class though because yoga is a process that offers benefits at every level. According to Sabia, through practice, you can achieve greater intensity in yoga poses, but the ability to practice mindfulness makes it a great stress reliever for both beginners and experts.
“I think every time you come into the studio and put your mat down you are practicing something different and are learning something about yourself . . . . The main benefit in yoga is learning how to use your breath throughout your life when times are really hard,” said Sabia.
My favorite part about the class was the mental challenge of holding long poses. It helped me to clear my mind and be present in that moment. I left the class feeling more relaxed. I am glad that I went out of my comfort zone and tried my first yoga class. This class was a tremendous stress-relieving activity that I would recommend everyone should try!