BRADENTON – Dim lights, soft music and an intimate setting. This is yoga. The centuries old fitness technique has a reputation of peace and relaxation but it’s so much more.
Yoga is a workout all its own, working the entire body, burning fat, toning muscle and improving strength.
Crunch group fitness instructor Victoria Chadsey says yoga is a lifestyle for all ages.
“Anybody from a 16-year-old to a 65-year-old can do yoga. A lot of people say they can’t touch their toes, but it’s more about just being there and being in the moment, taking deep breaths and things like that.”
As a six-year yoga instructor, Chadsey says she tries to motivate members to live that lifestyle.
“Breathing slow and you know, slowing down your body to think better and have a better mentality and taking care of your body, in turn helps all of that.”
Chadsey carefully steps around hands and toes, demonstrating poses such as planks, the dolphin pose and the warrior pose.
Crunch member Elaine Morales says it’s a time to recharge.
“We do a lot of stretching and we breath a lot. We relieve any tension from work. I really love it.”
It’s a much needed hour of stretching, which Chadsey says not all fitness members pay too much attention to.
“But stretching five minutes after you do a hard workout is a lot different than stretching for an hour. Stretching the body for a full hour, just focusing on breathing, helps rejuvenate the blood flow in the body and loosen the muscles.”
And it’s something you can do at home. A few minutes of stretching in the morning, during work or right before bedtime can go a long way.