Yoga: Strengthening the mind and the body

  • Saturday, June 7, 2014

If the words Adho Mukha Svanasana, Bhujangasana and Ananda Balasana sound familiar, you are, in my eyes, a Yoga Guru. If Downward-Facing Dog, Cobra Pose and Happy Baby Pose are more recognizable, then you are probably participating in a yoga exercise program (the second set of names is a translation of the first set).

On the Yogabasics.com website the philosophy of yoga is simply stated as: “... mind, body and spirit are all one and cannot be clearly separated. Yet, there is a multitude of philosophical ideas developed by looking into the deeper dimensions of the body, mind and spirit.”

To be honest, philosophy is not my strongest forte and the one class I had to take in college was a real pain. How I got a “B” is still a mystery to me, as mysterious as philosophy. I concluded that my personality is too down-to-earth to even try to understand the “to be or not to be” questions of the world. It is therefore better to leave this specific aspect of yoga to the experts, like Georg Feuerstein’s “The Psychology of Yoga: Integrating Eastern and Western Approaches for Understanding the Mind,” Nayaswami Gyandev McCord’s “Spiritual Yoga: Awakening to Higher Awareness” or B.K.S. Iyengar’s “Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health.”

Yoga exercise is, of course, something else. Not that I am an expert in this field, but I have attended a number of classes and enjoyed it very much. I’m at least able to understand and follow the instructions. Yoga improves your flexibility and muscle strength, and it is said to improve the digestive, endocrine, nervous, energy and mental systems.

Staying flexible, especially when you are getting older, is always a good idea. It helps you move better and improves your balance, which reduces falls and fall-related injuries.

One important element of yoga is stretching. These stretches are called dynamic stretches and are different from the static ones. I was taught the last one. Before any sport activity, I had to stretch my muscles to the full extent of my ability and hold it for 15 to 30 seconds and then relax. But studies suggest a dynamic stretch is just as effective and sometimes better. A dynamic stretch moves a muscle group fluidly through an entire range of motion.

If all this sounds good to you, please join the free Gentle Flow class at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library on Saturdays, June 7 and 14, at 10:30 a.m.

Neighborhood Yoga Charleston is a joint venture created by Mount Pleasant residents Paula Yarborough and Shawn Oberrath. Paula and Shawn became certified yoga teachers through Gaea Yoga Center in March. They share a vision of making yoga accessible and available to anyone who wishes to participate. The Gentle Flow class at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library will be suitable for many levels of ability and experience, and both teachers are committed to finding suitable and useful poses for each and every body. Bring a mat or a towel.


Mount Pleasant Reel Club

Wednesday, June 4 at 2 p.m.

Book: “Mary Poppins” by P. L. Travers

Movie: “Mary Poppins” starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. Rated G; 139 minutes.

Summer Reading Family Storytime: Colors (ages 2-6)

Thursday, June 5 at 11:30 a.m.

Learn about colors with stories and activities.

Gentle Yoga Flow (ages 18 and older)

Saturdays, June 7 and 14 at 10:30 a.m.

Enjoy yoga for beginners with Shawn Oberrath and Paula Yarborough from Neighborhood Yoga Charleston. Bring a towel or an exercise mat.

DIY Arts and Crafts with Ms. Grace

Saturday, June 7 from 1:30-3 p.m.

Blast into arts and crafts with help from Ms. Grace.

Monday Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, June 9 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“He’s Gone” by Deb Caletti.

Monday Matinée

Monday, June 9 at 2:30 p.m.

“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (1989). Rated PG; 86 minutes.

Porkchop Productions Presents Rumpelstiltskin (grades K-5)

Tuesday, June 10 at 4 p.m.*

Thursday, June 12 at 4 p.m.*

Listen to a classic tale about turning straw into gold.

* Tickets will be given out 30 minutes before program

“The Big Bang Theory” Marathon (ages 13 and older)

Wednesday, June 11 from 2-5 p.m.

Watch nine episodes from the first season of “The Big Bang Theory.”


Baby Bumblebees Storytime (ages 6-24 months with a caregiver)

Thursdays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 10 a.m.

Family Storytime (ages 2-6 years; all ages welcome)

Thursdays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 11:30 a.m.

Mirjam Veldkamp is the Young Adult Specialist at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library Branch (1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161, www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com, www.ccpl.org, like us on Facebook). Email MTPReference@ccpl.org if you wish to receive a PDF copy of the programs being held each month at Mount Pleasant Regional.

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