Living Well

Yoga is about stress relief, not acrobatics

livingwellBy Katie Reeder • SMN Intern

It’s a myth that yoga is reserved for only the most acrobatic of people. And that’s good news considering the amount of stress that is often part of everyday life, said Jay MacDonald, a registered yoga teacher out of Waynesville.

“Everybody is running in 50 different directions,” MacDonald said. “It’s very hectic, and you want to give your body a break from that stress.”  

The point of her classes is to help people relax, and she does whatever she can to make those participating feel comfortable — even if that means having a class at someone’s home.

Yoga offers a convenient way for people to stretch and improve their strength and flexibility — something that may impact quality of life more than people think. Stretching lengthens the muscles and helps prevent injury, but flexibility is also involved in daily activities as simple as bending over to tie a shoe, MacDonald said. 

People can reap the benefits of yoga just by taking a few moments to stretch and breathe. 

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“If you’ve got 10 minutes and sit somewhere quietly and can breathe in and out a few times, that’s yoga,” she said. “Yoga does not have to put you in a split .... It’s just about taking a quiet moment and breathing.” 

MacDonald teaches yoga classes Monday and Wednesday 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 9:45 a.m. and 9:55 to 11 a.m. at Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center in Clyde. 

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