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October 24, 2007 > Gentle Yoga for Health & Healing

Gentle Yoga for Health & Healing

Are you looking for a light workout exercise program that's easy to learn, requires no equipment, and soothes your soul while toning your body? If strengthening your cardiovascular system, stretching your muscles, and improving your mental fitness are on your to-do list, then a new yoga course offered through Washington Hospital's Women's Center may be just for you.
There are a few misconceptions about yoga, for instance, yoga being a religion. Yoga is not a religion. It is more of a set of techniques that use poses and focused breathing, requiring concentration and discipline. The result is a greater union of mind, body and spirit.
"Yoga can help the body heal and improve your sense of well being," according to course instructor, Bonnie Maeda, R.N. "Yoga can help people build confidence, improve the way you breathe and can help people cope with chronic illnesses such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, lung disease, and heart disease."
Gentle Yoga for Health & Healing is a yoga program that focuses on slow stretching, flexibility, and deep breathing exercises. Each sequence will include the basic principles of movement, your body's posture, and breathing awareness.
"Yoga has the ability to improve the overall health of the body," says Maeda. "This class is intended to help women improve their breathing, blood circulation and increase their energy levels."
The course is open to women only and will be held at the Washington Hospital Women's Center, located at 2500 Mowry Avenue in Fremont. The first series begins on Thursday, November 1 and meets once a week from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for six weeks. The fee for the six-week course is $75. To register for the course, call (510) 608-1356. No previous yoga experience is necessary.
Potential Physiological Benefits of Yoga Include:
* Improving breathing quality and efficiency
* Reducing muscle tension and fatigue
* Improving flexibility of the joints
* Increasing energy levels
* Improving quality and duration of sleep
Maeda graduated from the Yoga Room's Advanced Studies Program in 2002 and she has more than 35 years of nursing experience under her belt. A certified Relax and Renew Teacher, Maeda hopes to create a yoga class that can meet each individual's needs.
"I want our participants to gain confidence and feel successful," she says. "I've taught a 95 year-old woman in the past so I encourage women of all ages, abilities and body types to join our group."
Classes are now forming for the Gentle Yoga Program for health and healing. To learn more about this class and other Washington Women's Center education and exercise programs, call (510) 608-1356 or visit, click on "Services & Programs," and select "Women's Health" from the drop-down menu.

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