NEPONSET – Bertelsen Park in downtown Neponset was filled Thursday evening with area residents looking to unwind and feel the positive effects of yoga.
Neponset native and yoga instructor Carol Golby-Saunders offered a free session during a visit from the Marshall Islands, where she currently works on an Army base and teaches yoga part-time.
Yoga-goers of all ages showed up for the one-hour session, bringing along with them yoga mats and their positive energy.
“The best thing about yoga is it’s not competitive, so you can work at your own pace. And it improves breathing, muscle functions, helps reduce stress, increases energy levels, improves balance and focuses one’s attention,” said Golby-Saunders. “Yoga makes people feel better not only physically, but emotionally.”
Golby-Saunders stressed yoga is one sport all groups and ages can take part in.
“For the elderly, it improves joint movement. For the young kids, they can be active, and there’s a lot of poses that are named after animals, so you can adapt it to their interests.”
At Thursday’s session, the yoga was peaceful and full of stretching with breathing and relaxation techniques. Golby-Saunders followed most stretches with a small explanation of the health benefits associated with the yoga position. Some stretches she explained helped with releasing toxins from different parts of the body and increased blood flow throughout the body as a whole.
Golby-Saunders said her reasoning behind getting into the sport was trying to get back in touch with some of the moves she had learned in a tumbling class she took as a child. As she got older, she noticed she wasn’t able to do the stretching she once was able to do, so she decided yoga was the next closes thing that reminded her of the tumbling moves.
“As I got more involved in yoga, I learned more about the other aspects like meditation, some of the chanting and have tried to encompass a little bit of the mediation, the breathing and the song into my classes,” she said. “I hope to extend that interest out to other people.”
Golby-Saunders talked a little bit about teaching yoga in the Marshall Islands. Although most of her students are Americans, she does work a little bit with the Marshallese culture.
“Most of the Marshallese people are very shy and normally won’t even want to try yoga,” she said. “If they come, they will be more into the singing, and it will be more of a flowing dance yoga.”
Another unique aspect is when she does teach the culture, classes are divided between men and women, as most do activities separate from one another.
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