If your week consists of sitting in front of a computer at a desk, or keeping up with energetic children (or both!), then you need to make time for Eastmark’s fall Yoga in the Park series on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. through Nov. 29.
Committed yoga practitioner and self-proclaimed “fitness freak” Kiley Beal (she has certifications in TRX suspension training, personal training, and yoga teacher training) leads an hour-long yoga session in The Eastmark Great Park. Her favorite poses are your key to easing the tension in your body and releasing the worries on your mind that result from a busy and fast-paced week.
In an abstract sense, Kiley’s favorite poses mimic a geometrical shape, a celestial body in outer space, and a water mammal, but the benefits they afford the body are quite concrete. Here’s Kiley’s take on Triangle, Half-Moon, and Dolphin and just a few of the rewards they offer, especially if practiced regularly.
“This pose is my favorite because of the length and opening I receive while in it,” said Kiley. “In today’s society we have seen more back injuries due to weakness from daily activities — or lack thereof — and this particular pose is a fabulous back and core strengthener.”
Benefits: Triangle stimulates function of abdominal organs and improves digestion; helps to alleviate symptoms of menopause; can help to correct a hunched back, and if practiced regularly will banish backache forever.
Balancing Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
“Balance wasn’t my strong suit coming in to yoga,” said Kiley. “I was dripping sweat in classes as soon as I was forced to balance. Once I found strength and stability, balance poses became not only one of my strongest areas, but among my favorite.”
Benefits: Balancing Half-Moon strengthens ankles, knees and legs, abdomen, buttocks, and spine; it helps to open chest and shoulders; and improves balance and coordination.
Dolphin Pose (Makarasana)
“I actually despise this pose,” said Kiley. “My shoulders are not open and my upper body strength is rather weak. Which is exactly why I love this pose. Yoga is about growth and finding who you are, and difficult poses humble me, allow me to have discussions and occasional arguments with my ego, which eventually lead to letting go and growing.”
Benefits: Dolphin stretches your hamstrings, calves, and arches. It helps to relieve backache, fatigue, stress, and mild depression. Dolphin helps prevent osteoporosis. It is also a great alternative to those who have wrist issues when in Downward Facing Dog. The difference between Downward Facing Dog and Dolphin is when in Dolphin instead of using your hands, you are on your forearms, keeping your hips high and shoulders activated and rolling down your back.
The Yoga in the Park series is free and open to the public thanks to a partnership between the Eastmark Community Assembly and ZenLife Yoga in Queen Creek. In lieu of a class fee, participants are invited to make a donation to our charitable partner, House of Refuge, a nearby organization that provides transitional housing and support services to families experiencing homelessness.
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