By Will McClure
In the rush of everyday life, hardly anyone is able to slow down to do much of anything, especially to take time and work out. However, with the new yoga classes being offered at Your Time Fitness and the Stamford Health Club, Stamford residents will have the opportunity to stay healthy, be fit and even slow down and relax from their hectic lives. A recent addition to the two health clubs, the yoga classes are instructed by Jamie Jordan and Lauren Ivy, who each brings their own methods of teaching yoga while still training to become certified instructors after completing a 10 month training course.
Yoga is described as a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing and meditation or relaxation, possibly helping to reduce stress and anxiety while also helping to improve one's fitness by increasing balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. The classes being offered are a new option in Stamford as yoga had not been offered at either health club until recently. Jordan, a Branch Retail Executive at BBVA Compass, had been teaching stretching classes before being asked to become certified to teach yoga. Hesitant to take on the 10 month program and be the only certified yoga instructor, talks of yoga classes were set aside until Lauren Ivy, owner and operator of Southern Charm Hair Salon as well as a yoga enthusiast, convinced her they could complete the certification program together and become the two yoga instructors for Stamford. Having started their certification program in August of last year, Jordan and Ivy have worked hard to become certified in yoga instruction, but have also begun offering the classes in the midst of their busy schedules.
"It's 200 hours of training," Ivy said. "You have to write papers, you have to do three hours of observation on other classes, you have to teach so many classes at the studio and just finish your hours." Ivy went on to mention how a class is laid out for the students, noting that the class usually depends on the instructor, but did say that many classes do begin with a warm-up session and end with a slow down, or cool down, period, ending with a lying down position intended to help relax the body after the end of the class. Ivy said that her own classes usually begin with the warm-up session lasting 15-20 minutes, then a differing middle section that she would change from one class to the next and then the slow down section lasting 15-20 minutes as well.
"[One of] my [classes] started with breathing, focusing on moving your breath all the way to your stomach. Then, we stretched with seated stretching and then warm it up to a standing stretch and then you do lots of constant flow of motion from constant standing to down into the floor and back to standing to help get the blood flowing from head to toe," Ivy said. Ivy noted that the reception to the classes has been all positive thus far, saying that the individuals she has talked to have said that they had noticed the benefits of yoga. She said that a lot of people that are big into running and weightlifting, who are not able to stretch in their regular workouts, have taken the classes and said that they should attend more often. However, Ivy also said that many people that attend enjoy the moment of relaxing out of their busy schedules, allowing them to make it about themselves and not worry about the outside world.
Whether they are new to yoga or exercising for years, everyone is invited to attend these yoga classes taught by Jaime Jordan and Lauren Ivy. The classes are free for members of Your Time Fitness and the Stamford Health Club and are included in membership. Classes are currently scheduled for every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 8:30 am and Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm at Your Time Fitness, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm at Stamford Health Club. The classes do include modifications for every yoga pose and beginners are always welcome. For more information about these classes, feel free to contact Your Time Fitness at 325-773-2170 or the Stamford Health Club at 325-338-5299.