Feeling a little stressed?
Then it might be time to head down to Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, where workout group Yoga Rocks the Park kicks off this Sunday for their weekly yoga sessions accompanied with live music.
The hour-long sessions are free, last one hour and begin at 4 p.m., weather permitting. A children's yoga class begins before the adult class and costs $10. Kids between the ages of 4 and 10 can participate. Live music will take place during the adult session, as well as 30 minutes beyond the conclusion of Yoga Rocks. Beginners are welcome.
Though the class is free, Yoga Rocks is accepting donations. Money raised from the yoga series will go toward the Bike to Sight campaign, through which international doctors from the University of Nebraska Medical Center perform cataract surgery on those who could not otherwise afford it.
A Little History
Yoga Rocks the Park is a national movement with events in Denver, Omaha and Phoenix. The movement, which is known as YRP, started in Denver eight years ago. The initial meeting was a humble one; just a few prayer flags and founder Erik Vienneau practicing yoga with a few friends. Along with their sessions, they collected money to donate to local nonprofits.
That link between yogi and charity continues today, and is part of YRP's desire to create a unified community where yogis gather to be present and also to be generous with their contributions to local organizations doing good.
Does Yoga Really Work?
Yoga isn't anything new; its popularity in the United States has grown tremendously over the past two decades. It's gone from being a novel practice to a widely-accepted alternative to high-stress workouts and overcrowded gyms.
As such, there's been plenty of research about the health benefits of yoga. Here's just a few things we found during our research:
- Stress reduction: Because yoga focuses on breathing, specific poses and meditation, yogis (those who practice yoga) tend to experience more frequent periods of relaxation. More relaxation = less stress.
- Chronic illness therapy: Yoga has been shown to reduce the effects of heart disease and high blood pressure, two conditions linked to stress.
- Hangover reduction: As weird as this one sounds, yoga experts say certain poses (shoulder stand, plow, fish) stimulate the thyroid glands, resulting in the body's increased ability to metabolize the side effects of too much booze.
- Mild to moderate bronchial asthma: A 2009 study by Indian researchers revealed that, after an 8-week yoga course, asthma patients had better lung function and overall quality of life.
How Can You Sign Up for YRP?
So, are you convinced you need a little yoga in your life? If you want to join the Sunday afternoon YRP group, head to the Yoga Rocks the Park website. The site gives you the option of pre-registering for free, or with a donation. If you have questions about the program, go to YRP's Contact Us page.