Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bending Back Stress

Increased flexibility, boosted immunity, eased migraines and peace of mind — all healthy outcomes of practicing yoga regularly.

Yoga is gaining momentum in the U.S. as it is helping people improve their health, according to

The city of Plattsburgh has three yoga studios, as well as different yoga classes on campus.

Adjunct Lecturer Tony D’Angelo teaches a Sivananta yoga class in the aerobics studio in Memorial Hall.

This particular subset of yoga focuses on stretching out various muscles and counts of timed breathing. The objective for the student is to center one’s energy and bring oneself back into the present in times of stress.

D’Angelo said the word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “yug,” which means “to join together,” or put simply, union.

“The original art of yoga began in India,” D’Angelo said, “and was started by seers who had a goal of uniting the individual soul with the supreme soul.” D’Angelo stated that the “supreme soul” can be interpreted as the idea of God or other divine beings.

Nancy Rendinaro, co-owner of downtown Plattsburgh’s Bridge Street Yoga Place, claims yoga has numerous health benefits.

She said that the benefits range from using breathing techniques to calm nerves and oxygenate muscles to alleviating lower back problems. These improve one’s general quality of life in every aspect.

Rendinaro teaches yoga for adults, children’s yoga and prenatal yoga to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

While she does not mandate certain dietary trends like vegetarianism or veganism on her students, declaring such practices an “individual thing,” she also upholds that “we encourage the consumption of healthy food. You are what you eat.”

“You learn to be in a happy place in your own space,” Rendinaro said. “It brings me into a place of balance, love and compassion.”

Berlin Krebs, a student teacher who has recently started teaching yoga classes, has some views of her own regarding the ancient art of yoga.

Krebs teaches Vinyasa yoga, a level of yoga similar to Sivananta, in that it is an intrinsically calming style of yoga. It focuses on cycles of deep breathing and different poses, all which stretch different areas of the body.

Like D’Angelo, Krebs describes yoga as “the union of the body and mind.”

When Krebs first began practicing yoga, she took a class at a local yoga studio at a friend’s suggestion. She eventually became acquainted with the owners of the studio and they let her take classes for free.

Krebs said yoga teaches self-awareness and a positive form of self-acceptance.

She has some advice for the beginner, and for the aspiring yoga practitioner: “Be patient. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but definitely keep coming back because that’s when the change begins.”

Luis Sierra, a certified instructor at ADK Yoga, also advises patience for the beginning student: “Listen to your body. Practice with the body you have rather than wishing it to be different from it is.”

“Yoga is extremely adaptable and as we learn more about the practice with a greater understanding of what is most beneficial for us, we can do this at any age with the body we have.”

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