Yoga benefits mind, body and soul

by Andrea Iseman
Life Reporter
Published: February 14, 2008

The demand for yoga classes is increasing because it appeals to all ages, said Leanne Henwood-Adam, fitness co-ordinator at North Campus.

The ‘warrior’ pose strengthens your legs, back, shoulders, and arms, building stamina. Photo by Andrea Iseman

The ‘warrior’ pose strengthens your legs, back, shoulders, and arms, building stamina. Photo by Andrea Iseman

“It is the thing to do,” she said. “It is a way for people to exercise that won’t be detrimental to the body.”

During the winter term, yoga is offered three times a week, compared with other classes which are only offered once a week. Students and faculty participate in classes together.

“It is not uncommon to have 30-plus people on a normal day, where other classes might only have 20,” she said.
Humber practices the most widely-used type of yoga, hatha yoga, which promotes bodily postures, breathing techniques and meditation. For a more intense workout, power yoga offers a vigorous fitness-based approach, which increases flexibility and strength.

Elaine Cerro, a yoga enthusiast and instructor at Humber for many years, said out of all the classes the Athletic Centre has offered, yoga has been a constant one.

“At the very beginning, classes were a lot smaller, and now I have noticed a huge difference,” she said. “I am also careful to give options, because I don’t want to freak people out that it is too hard.”

Cerro is also a continuing education assistant for the school of media studies and information technology, and said she sees a lot of students who don’t eat properly, exercise enough or have proper sleeping habits.

“Think of your body like a car, and the fuel is sleep and proper nutrition,” she said. “Yoga class is giving you some boost during the day.”

The effects of yoga are also instantaneous, and can be felt as soon as the activity is done, unlike other gym activities where results are only seen in the long-term, said Cerro.

“Yoga is just so simple that you can do it anywhere,” she said. “You can do it on a plane, or even in your car.”
Fourth-year Media Studies student Augusta Shaw, 22, said yoga makes her feel instantly relaxed and tones her body, giving it increased flexibility.

“I feel more focused and at ease,” she said. “It preps you for the rest of the week.”

Students who are suffering from a lethargic and fuzzy mind, where they find it hard to concentrate and sleep, can do with a little exercise to encourage better mental, spiritual and physical health, said Cerro.

“Do whatever you can to remain active, so that in the end you don’t get in a position where you can’t even get out of a chair,” she said.

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