Whether simply trying to improve flexibility or seeking a sense of calm in the chaos of life, many turn to the practice of yoga to gain a balance, both physically and mentally.
To assist in this search for balance, Mindful Yoga is coming to Gretna, meeting in the Dance by Design studios, 13633 217th Street.
“Yoga can help create balance in every aspect of your life,” said Melissa Asteya, a registered yoga teacher.
Asteya said she is a 200 RYT, which means she has more than 200 hours certified through the Yoga Alliance, a national certification organization.
While new to Gretna, she said she is excited to begin two six-week yoga classes, a Sunday afternoon class from 3 to 4:15 p.m. starting Feb. 2, and a Tuesday morning class from 9 to 10:15 a.m. beginning Feb. 4.
Asteya teaches vinyasa, or flowing yoga, which she said is very traditional as participants will literally flow from one pose to the next during the sessions.
However, she said students will not begin posing right away.
“The first session is a little more basic,” she said.
Participants will first learn breathing practice and mediation, Asteya said, and then throughout the class various poses will be layered in. As for the poses themselves, she said the class is fit so people of all body types and ages can participate.
“We like to say yoga is for every body,” she said.
To make this possible, each pose comes with a variety of options, such as variations of arm placements or the extent of the stretch.
“Every pose really has an infinite number of variations, but I offer two to four,” Asteya said. “The most important part of it is that they continue to listen to their body.”
Mindful Yoga can also teach those who may have physical limitations, as she said she has received training in yoga for multiple sclerosis and disabilities.
As for the “mindful” part of Mindful Yoga, Asteya said her class is very traditional as it balances meditation and the physical practice.
“I bring a lot of meditation and spirituality to it,” she said.
Each session will focus on a chakra, or energy center, she said, as well as the yamas and niyamas, which reflect on how one relates to the outside world and his or her internal self.
“The style I teach is not connected to any religion, so it really enhances any religious or spiritual backgrounds,” she said.
Through meditation, Asteya said students learn to be present with their physical state and emotional feelings, cut out distractions and focus on themselves.
“The most important thing is they're truly listening to and honoring themselves at all times,” she said.
This time of meditation provides mental benefits, she said, as it can develop stress management techniques such as breathing exercises and reflection.
Asteya said the physical benefits are also great, as yoga can help tone one's core muscle groups, build balance and increase flexibility.
“I find I have a lot of teachers and nurses for the mental benefits and athletes for the physical benefits,” she said.
The classes are open to people of all skill levels, she said, and set to instruct individuals to take what they've learned and bring it into their everyday lives, whether they are looking for the physical health benefits or the mental stability.
Asteya said those wanting to take either session can go online to enlightenyourpath.com , click the register page and pay online or send a check to the address given.
The early registration costs $75 per person, or $140 for two people and must be submitted before Jan. 25.
She said she will also provide private sessions at the Gretna Skilled Touch Massage and Wellness Center, 11757 South Highway 6, as an intuitive life coach, hypnotherapist and reiki master-teacher. Further information on these private sessions can also be found on her website.
Asteya said she encourages those with further questions to visit her website or email her at email@example.com.