I’m not one who likes instructional exercise classes, like aerobics, because of the competitive nature of the students. I also happen to be an absolute klutz when it comes to following fast instructions (I always move toward the left when everyone is moving right). It’s like my brain can’t get it right when the moves are so quick.
This is why I love Yoga classes. The pace is much slower and the everyone works at their own level. The stretching and flexibility that I get from attending is exactly what I need. You see, I found out about the yoga classes being taught here in the Woodlands last year, right around the time I injured my (already bad) back following a game of golf. Because of the ensuing pain and the subsequent back surgery, I never got around to going to any of the classes that were offered here. Six months later and feeling a whole lot better, I decided to give the classes a try.
Yoga here in the Woodlands is taught by Certified Yoga Teacher, Aviva Mayer. Originally from Romania and having lived in Israel for 30 years, she has been a yoga enthusiast for over 25 years and a teacher for 10 years. Currently living in Woodmont in Tamarac, Aviva started teaching in the Woodlands five years ago and has developed a following over the years. Her classes are three times a week and she does this all for free. Yes, the classes are absolutely free and she won’t accept payments. “I believe in the power of yoga. It has helped me and others spiritually and mentally,” she said.
Aviva teaches a form of yoga called Sivananda, which is named after Swami Sivananda, one of the greatest yoga masters of the 20th Century. According to the Sivananda website, Yoga means “a union of the mind, body and spirit with the Divine and while this refers to a certain state of consciousness both individual and Universal, it is also a method to help one reach that goal.” Aviva also received her Yoga Certification from Yogi Hari, a well-known master of Yoga who is based in South Florida.
Some of the five points of Yoga are:
Proper Exercise (Asanas) – Yoga poses help develop a strong, healthy body by enhancing flexibility and improving circulation.
Proper Breathing (Pranayama) – Deep, conscious breathing reduces stress and many diseases.
Proper Relaxation – Helps keep the body from going into overload mode, easing worry and fatigue.
Proper Diet – Eating simple, healthy and vegetarian foods that are easy to digest notably have a positive effect on the mind and body, as well as the environment and other living beings.
Positive Thinking (Vedanta) and Meditation (Dhyana) – These are the true keys to achieving peace of mind and eliminating negativity in our lives.
Aviva says some other benefits of Yoga are: Strengthening ligaments, having a nicer posture, a stronger back. and a mind/body connection.
Section One resident Gloria has been taking the yoga classes from Aviva for over three years. I won’t give her age away, but she looks fantastic for any age. “Yoga makes me feel like there is nothing I can’t do,” she says. Gloria has the flexibility and the type of posture a person half her age would envy.
“Yoga is appropriate for any age”, says Aviva. She welcomes all new residents to join the class. Yoga is not just for women. There was one male student attending the class I attended and there were nine women.
After my first class with her, I feel limber and loose. I’m more aware that I’m not standing up straight when walking or sitting at my computer typing. I even went to Target and bought a Yoga mat for my next class. I’m going to continue with the classes and see if I can regain some of that flexibility I once had.
Thank you to Section One residents for letting the class use your beautifully remodeled clubhouse for their ongoing classes. You can take a free yoga class on Mondays and Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 7:30pm and Sunday from 10:00 am to 11:30am. All you need is a towel or yoga mat and some comfortable clothing. If one of the classes falls on a major holiday, please contact Gloria to confirm. Her number, plus dates are on the calendar above.