Exercise can be inspiring
By Ryan Jones
Known as a practice that strengthens the mind, body and soul, yoga is becoming a form of exercise used by more than one million Canadians.
The 2005 Statistics Canada report on physical activity also reveals more than 70 per cent of people who do yoga are women.
According to Yoga Basics, a website which presents the history of yoga, the activity developed 5,000 years ago in Northern India and is still used today.
“The physical benefits include increased flexibility, muscle tone, strength and improved respiration,” said Romano Formicuccia, owner of Yoga Loft in Windsor. Formicuccia has taught yoga since 2004 and said because of his career he has become a stronger and healthier person. “Yoga also relieves stress, helps with anxiety and depression and boosts memory and concentration.”
Grace Fazekas, a University of Windsor student, finds strength in yoga and incorporates this into her education.
“I use yoga as an individual connection between body and mind,” said Fazekas. “As an acting major, I’m working on developing a connection between my mind and my muscles. I find yoga is the healthiest way to achieve this goal.”
While yoga can aid in physical development, it can also strengthen a person’s mental state.
Fran Vangent, a yoga teacher at Bright Yoga in Essex, found solace in yoga after her father died.
“I did yoga six times a week to escape my life,” said Vangent. “I noticed things were calmer, more relaxed. The tension in my body was relaxing.”
Vangent enjoyed yoga so much she took training classes to be an instructor.
“I’m thankful for yoga everyday,” said Vangent. “For my feeling of peace from the moment I get on my mat, to the feeling of strength in my body walking away.”
Vangent strives to be a kinder person, influenced by the gentle practice of yoga.
“I would not be me today without yoga.”