Celebrate National Yoga Month

Let’s do a graceful sun salutation for September: It’s National Yoga Month.

I have enjoyed adding to my workouts this form of exercise, which incorporates measured breathing, balance, flexibility, balance and relaxation through a variety of poses, or asanas. According to the Yoga Alliance, yoga can relieve stress and pain, foster flexibility, increase strength and improve circulation, among other benefits. I like that the classes I’ve taken challenge the strength of my core and other muscles while also allowing me to stretch and “live in the moment.” There’s something about assuming poses named after the warrior, eagle, pigeon, cat, cow, chair, tree and so on that take you away from the stresses of the day.

Adding to the growing interest in this type of exercise is the relatively new stand-up paddle board (SUP) yoga, which involves doing yoga poses while – yep – balancing on a paddle board on the water.

Ann York, Ph.D., associate professor in DMU’s master of health care administration program and a longtime exercise class instructor, is a fan and teacher of SUP yoga. She recently was featured on local news channel WHO-TV 13’s “weekly workout” series.

“The worst that’s going to happen is you fall in and get wet,” she says. “And the beauty is at the end, when you do your final relaxation, lying there on the board, floating in the water is just fantastic. It’s such a wonderful feeling.”

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