Yoga has been around for thousands of years. It was practiced only in Eastern countries until the 1960’s when gurus brought the teachings to the Western world. Yoga has since then blossomed in to a world-wide phenomenon offering benefits for the body, mind, and soul.
The Florida Keys with its year-round sunshine and laid-back lifestyle has become a ‘mecca’ for yoga practitioners. Its seems you cannot drive 1 mile down the highway without seeing a sign for yoga classes being offered. But what is all the hype about? …
By now you have probably heard that yoga increases your flexibility, improves your balance, and helps you relax, but studies have been done to prove a multitude of other health benefits as well. Yoga builds muscle strength. Strong muscles not only look great, they protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain.
Yoga improves your posture and corrects your spine. It strengthens your bones with weight bearing postures and protects your joints from injury by moving them through a full range of motion on a regular basis. Yoga increases blood flow which improves your circulation and brings more oxygen to your cells especially in places like your hands and feet.
Yoga helps regulate your adrenal glands, your ‘fight or flight’ reactors and hormone regulators. It lowers your blood pressure and relaxes your nervous system. A regular yoga practice will help you to focus more when you’re awake and sleep deeper when you’re asleep.
Just to name a few. This list of health benefit for practicing yoga goes on.
Not all yoga is, as one of my yoga phobic friends likes to say “full of huru guru.” There are dozens of styles of Yoga. Finding the right one for you the key to your success and enjoyment. Some yoga is very gentle and some yoga is very rigorous. Some like it hot and some like it air conditioned. Some like it in a studio and some like outdoors. Some styles are very strict and others are more free-form. Yoga offers something for everybody and everyone. There is no such thing as too inflexible or too out of shape to start. I recommend speaking to your Yoga instructor before the class begins and letting them know what your experience and/or concerns are so that they can be sure to make suggestions and offerings appropriate for your level. Remember that just because one yoga class didn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean all yoga classes won’t work for you.
Once you’ve mastered a few poses, yoga can be practiced anywhere and the benefits received anytime making it the perfect recommended accompaniment to any fitness or workout routine.
Places to take a class in the Upper Keys:
Crossfit Key Largo – mm 100 – www.cfkeylargo.com
Key Largo Yoga North – mm 99 – www.keylargoyoga.com
Fit Body Boot Camp – mm 95 – www.fitbodybootcamp.com
Froggy Fitness – mm 92 – www.froggyfitness.com
Mariners Wellness Center – mm 91 – www.babtisthealth.net
Key Largo Yoga South – mm 91 – www.keylargoyoga.com
Ashtanga Yoga Shala – mm 90 – no website
Paddle 88 – mm 88 – www.facebook.com/paddle88
Islamorada Fitness – mm 86 – www.islamoradafitness.com
Village Square – mm 82 – www.villagesquareislamorada.com
Feature written by Seychelle-Ocean Child, Professional Standup Paddleboarder, SUP Yogi, Adventurer
I was born and raised in the Florida Keys and have always had a deep connection to the water. I am an internationally competitive SUP racer and current long distance World Record holder in SUP. I began teaching Yoga on standup paddleboards in 2013. With my extensive knowledge of the sport of SUP and 13 years studying Yoga, I have developed a unique curriculum for teaching safe and FUN yoga classes on the water. I also lead SUP Fitness and Private SUP coaching lessons for beginner to advanced paddlers, as well as lead SUP Yoga teacher trainings. My classes on and off the board are a blend of the diverse styles I have practiced and a journey to cultivate strength, energy, balance, and bliss within our bodies.
I am passionate about life, fitness, nutrition, love, and being happy. I believe that anything is possible. My mantra is “Breathe and Smile”
It is my life’s dream to share this adventure with you.
Blessings and Gratitude,