Ashtanga Yoga Classes Now Offered at Sports Center

1By Michael Carmona

Yoga provides benefits of exercise, stress reduction, stretching and breath control, which increase circulation and energy. Students can take advantage of these benefits during stressful times, especially at midterms, by attending yoga classes at the Sports Center on the College of Southern Nevada’s Cheyenne campus.

“Ashtanga Yoga is a graceful athletic type of yoga that has become extremely popular in recent years,” wrote Kino MacGregor in the book titled “The Power of Ashtanga Yoga”.

Ashtanga Yoga, a 5,000-year-old sequence of postures, was designed to increase strength, flexibility, endurance for the body and a sense of stillness for the mind. The fundamentals of Ashtanga Yoga include the following: sun salutations, ujjayi breath, energy locks and vinyasas, according to Maya Yoga’s website, a popular yoga studio.

“Ashtanga’s intensity can also invoke positive life transformations off the mat, helping you to live fully with a deep sense of self in your daily life,” the website stated.

According to Gayla Coughlin, instructor of the yoga class at CSN and licensed manual therapist, “One of the benefits of yoga is that it helps develop incredible focus.” Coughlin said she preferred Ashtanga over other forms of yoga because of the structural organization of the sequences.

Yoga poses

Yoga poses

There are eight parts to Ashtanga Yoga. The class focuses on the third limb, Asanas, and the fourth limb, Pranayama. Asanas is Sanskrit for posture and pranayama is Sanskrit for breath control.

The class is meant to be an introduction to yoga. Its target audience is CSN students who have never done yoga before.

Erika Rodriguez, one of the students who participated in the class, said, “I haven’t done any kind of yoga before. Yoga was more challenging than I thought, but I still enjoyed it.”

Shania Roper, another student who participated, stated, “I decided to take this class because I want to be fit and flexible. I haven’t had any experience with yoga before. Doing yoga was tougher than expected, but I had fun.”

Students who want to participate are encouraged to bring their own yoga mats because the class takes place on a hard wooden floor. Drop-in classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays 1 to 2 p.m. and will end May 1 for the term. Students need a Sports Centers’ membership—$20 per semester.

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