What is Yoga?
The word “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit term meaning to yoke or to unite. Practicing yoga creates balance in body, mind, and spirit. At the physical level, Yoga is a scientific art designed to bring health and harmony to the various systems and areas of the body and mind mainly through postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana).
What are the Benefits of Yoga?
The practice of yoga holds several benefits and can create a positive permanent difference to the life of anybody practicing it on a regular basis.
Some of the positive benefits of regular yoga practice include:
- Stress relief
- Improved concentration, determination and mental focus
- Improved flexibility, balance and strength
- Improved core strength
- Increased energy and vitality
- Increased cardiovascular endurance
- Improved immune functioning and digestion
- Calms the nervous system
- Weight management
- Emotionally uplifting and life affirming
- Greater self-awareness and well-being
What to bring?
- Yoga Mat
- Water Bottle
- Towel, Blanket or Bolster if Needed
- Comfortable Clothing
- Arrive Well Hydrated
*Please arrive early. Some classes are scheduled back to back and there is no waiting room at the AYC – please be courteous/patient as some classes will not be able to begin immediately at their scheduled time.
*Please tell your teacher if you have any injuries, limitations or if you are pregnant.
*Please remember to silence or turn off your cell phone during yoga class and store it in a cubby by the front door.
*Please leave your shoes outside under the benches by the door – there is not enough room inside.
*Avoid coming on a full stomach BUT make sure you are well nourished so you have all the energy you will need for your yoga class.
*There are three ways to pay for your classes at the AYC: online by credit card, cash/check onsite
Testimonials from Our Students
I am a 71 year-old male who had knee replacement surgery in 2005 and
subsequently broke my back in a fall, in 2006. I also have arthritis and a old
neck injury. I was experiencing a great amount of pain and stiffness in my
joints, neck, spine, and my body generally. In the spring of 2007 I decided to
try yoga. Marinda Hollar, director of the Arlington Yoga Center, discussed my
various disabilities with me before helping me decide on a program of exercises
geared to my needs and abilities. I began with a modified form of yoga-like
exercises developed by Pete Egoscue. Within three months I began to experience
relief of pain and gained greater strength and flexibility throughout my body. I
enjoyed the classes. Unfortunately, after about a year, my neck and shoulder
pain began to recur. While yoga continued to help the rest of my body, it no
longer relieved my neck and shoulder pain. I returned to the medical doctor who
had administered two steroid injections to my neck three years earlier, a
treatment that had virtually eliminated my neck pain at the time. I received
another steroid injection which has not given me as much relief this time. I may
try one more injection in a month or so. But I found it reassuring that both my
treating orthopedists recommended I continue with yoga because of its overall
benefits for my flexability and strength. I’m now practicing yoga again. I have
to be careful with my neck and shoulder, but I enjoy the other benefits I obtain
from the exercises. Yoga may not be able to relieve all my pains, but it has
certainly helped, both physically and in the overall feeling of calm and
relaxation it imparts. Try it. You’ll be glad you did.
–Jim Cornehls August, 2008
“I first began practicing yoga with Marinda Hollar after a particularly
bad bout with insomnia. I knew that I needed a way to relax, and that is how my
journey began. Shortly thereafter, I was diagnosed with moderate to severe RLS
(Restless Leg Syndrome). The practice of yoga and the help of an excellent
neurologist have helped calm my symptoms a great deal. If you had asked me even
a year ago if I would be practicing yoga faithfully, I would have laughed at
you. Now, however, I tell everyone who will listen how much it has helped me.”
Sally Amendola “Relaxing has always been my hardest task. Since I’ve discovered
Marinda’s pain free classes, I have been amazed at how easily I can relax my
body and mind and what a difference it makes in the way I feel. It really makes
so much sense and I look forward to the classes. I’ve made so much progress in
such a short time and I am looking forward to even more.Thanks AYC.”
I’ve been taking the Pain Free class for about 8 months and it’s made a
BIG difference in my life. Before starting the class I had started having a
little trouble standing up straight after I had been sitting at the computer for
a couple of hours. That really bothered me. After a couple of weeks of the Pain
Free class I started to notice that I didn’t have any trouble straightening up
after sitting for a long time, and I just generally felt like I could move
better. I love it that the class has such a mix of people, older, younger,
skinner, and I can feel a sense of acceptance in the class, that we all move
differently and that’s okay. Also, I’ve noticed that even with some of the
positions that we do in every class I can feel something different each time,
even with the shavasana pose I can feel differences in the way my muscles move.
I still have a long way to go because my goal is to move to one of the more
advanced classes. For that I still have to overcome some of my “issues” , number
one being that I’m lazy, but I’ll keep working on that!
–Pam McBride, June 2009
When I first started coming to your Pain Free Yoga class I had just
flunked a semester in Nursing School. My problem was stress because I knew all
the information but couldn’t pass the tests because of high test anxiety.
Nursing School is incredibly stressful. I stopped exercising to give myself more
time to study which was a huge mistake! Consequently, my health started
suffering. Exercise has been a huge part of my life for years. I have always
contributed my good health to exercise and healthy eating (for the most part).
After a couple of months in Nursing School my back hurt, chronically, for over a
year and I just felt crappy and run-down all the time. Plus I gained over 25
lbs. The reason I’m telling you all of this is because since I started going to
your Pain Free class about 3 months ago my back has almost completely stopped
hurting and I feel 100% better! I am running again and I seem to be able to deal
with stress better. I feel like the old me is back! I know this is all due to a
combination of things I have done, but I believe your class has lbeen the
biggest factor to lead me in the right direction. And coming to your class helps
keep me motivated to continue want and try to be healthy. One thing that makes
your class so much better than a class at the gym is that you are so
knowledgeable about the body. You know how the different moves affect the body
and why to do them. Sometimes I feel like I’m in an Anatomy class. I love
anatomy and physiology! That’s why I’m in Nursing School. Also, I can tell that
you love what you do and you don’t teach yoga just to teach yoga but you do it
to help people feel better.
–Michele, July 2009