Hay River residents looking to be more deeply in touch with their energy flows or more just flexible can look forward to expanded yoga sessions this fall.

The town is offering seven different yoga classes provided by three instructors, which hopefully meets demand for a very popular activity, said Courtney Fraser, recreation programmer.

Among the new offerings include new contractor Sandy Wood, who has very recently been providing two early morning Rise and Flow classes every week on Tuesdays and Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. She is also offering Wednesday evening beginner classes from 7:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and Yoga for Kids from 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Wood has been in town for about a year, starting out working at the Northern Farm Training Institute. As a Registered Yoga Teaching 200 instructor, Wood says that participating in the practice is an obvious benefit for the winter months.

“This is the perfect season for yoga,” she said, noting that from her experience, participation goes down in the summertime as people tend to want to be outside.

“I don’t know how other people process the winter but last year was my first winter in the North and I definitely noticed changes in my energy and changes in my mental state.”

The yoga offerings, especially for beginners are ways to help people become more grounded, mentally aware, and physically active even as the pressures of personal and professional life pose challenges, she said.

The morning Rise and Flow and the evening beginner classes are fairly straightforward and geared to people who might be reluctant to participate, she said.

“I’m giving verbal instruction and demonstrating at the front of the class and it’s pretty easy to follow along,” she explained. “People can ask questions. I also offer adjustments and I assist so that if people need hands-on assistance and help adjusting the hips a certain way or if they need some pressure on the lower back I can help so that a pose becomes more of a relief.”

She said she can also provide feedback as a teacher.

As for the Yoga for Kids option, she is excited to be able to help with development for young children as it comes to self-management of energy, basic breathing exercises and other basics to the practice. The program is mainly geared to six to nine-year-olds.

“I’ve got about four little yogis that are joining me every Friday and I’m gearing it towards young children by making it a fun, high-energy, theme-oriented, story-based activity.

“So far it has been really fun, and it’s a really fun dynamic to sort of bounce off of the energy of the kids, and respond to that and tune into it.”

The other two yoga instructors are Lynda Baillargeron and Nancy Stewart-Neave.

Throughout the week, the town’s other sessions include Yoga 4 Strength (Tuesdays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.), Mommy Yoga (Wednesdays 10 30 a.m. to 1130 a.m), and Hatha Yoga (Thursdays, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.).

“All of the classes are completely different, so we think they should hit most of our targeted participants,” Fraser said. “Everybody should be able to find the yoga classes they would want to attend and would enjoy it.”

The town is also offering a new Spin 30/30 class as well as lunchtime fitness offerings to meet demand for noontime workouts.

Town council heard earlier this month that in the last week of September, 69 people took part in fitness programs offered by the town’s recreation department.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa.. Simon can be reached at (867)...

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