June 21 is International Yoga Day, and Boyne’s balanced living [sic] will celebrate the day by hosting a free yoga instruction event at 6 p.m. on this Sunday at Sunset Park in Boyne City.
Leslie Neilson, the event organizer and owner of balanced living, told the Gazette that everyone is invited and encouraged to attend this free event, where multiple instructors will lead the class in various poses.
“balanced living is planning a gathering of yogis,” said Neilson. “Our instructors will be there to lead the community in sun salutations.”
She added, “People can come and go as they please, choosing to do one sun salutation series or all 108 we plan on doing.”
According to yoga instructor Suzi Blanckaert, a Sun Salutation is a sequence of 12 poses, or asanas, that is usually performed in the morning to welcome the sun and a new day.
“Sun Salutations are done different ways according to the teachings of different yoga traditions but the core of it remains the same,” she said. “The 12 asana reflect the 12 signs of the zodiac.”
Some of the benefits of yoga include improved flexibility and balance, lowering stress, boosting confidence and lowering blood pressure.
“Yoga is for every human being regardless of your state of health,” said Blanckaert. “We do it to stay happy and healthy.”
Yoga instructor Judith DeRaad said yoga is much more than just exercise.
“Most studios and gyms offer classes in yoga that are open to all fitness levels and ages,” she said. “Yoga encourages overall health and wellness. It’s not just working out, it’s about living a healthy lifestyle.”
DeRaad added, “With a focus on flexibility, yoga is an incredible benefit to your body. The postures are meant to reinforce the muscles around the spine; therefore improving posture.”
Benefits of yoga include:
• Improves flexibility and balance
• Lowers stress and improves mood
• Boosts confidence
• Helps with weight loss
• Increases strength and endurance
• Improves muscle tone
• Lowers blood pressure
According to the instructors, you can do yoga in any clothing but stretchy clothes are more comfortable.
Also, you can wear shoes but most people will be barefoot.
“Go for it. You have nothing to lose,” Blanckaert said. “Yoga is not difficult, as there are many forms that can be modified for anyone—older, young, thin or heavy, inflexible or Gumbies, mobile or wheelchair bound.”