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Hatha yoga is a complete system of physical exercise with proven benefits for mind, body, and spirit. Want to build long, lean muscles? Lower your stress level and lose weight? Read on and find out how yoga affects 10 major systems of the body:


1. Muscular. Yoga not only develops strength, it also corrects muscle imbalances brought on by doing one-sided sports like golf or tennis. Increases muscular efficiency, performed by football teams like the Philadelphia Eagles.


2. Skeletal. Yogis measure age by the flexibility of a person’s spine. Stretches every joint in your body, strengthens bones. After age 23, the venous supply to the disks naturally atrophies. Yoga pumps fluids to the spine, saves thousands of dollars in chiropractic and medical visits for back care.


3. Circulatory. If you don’t think you can get an aerobic workout doing yoga, come to a flow yoga class! Specific postures actually direct circulation – providing healing benefits for all major organs of the body.


4. Respiratory. Yoga provides probably the most advanced system of breathing in the world. Asthmatics often recover.


5. Endocrine. Various yoga postures stimulate the major glands of the body, balancing hormones. Also proven to raise serotonin, a neurotransmitter that relieves depression and prevents overeating.


6. Mental. Increases concentration and focus. Clears and relaxes the mind, proven to relieve depression more effectively than group therapy.


7. Nervous. Releases pressure and impingement of the nerves, balances the spinal cord.


8 and 9. Digestive and Eliminative. Yoga keeps the body clean through various postures that stimulate the lungs, kidneys, digestive tract and skin.


10. Pranic. Increases the flow of prana, or chi, also known as life energy. Energizes while it stretches and relaxes you.


Yoga Classes Moving to Holy Spirit Catholic Church



New Location. I am thrilled to announce that Monsignor Edward J. Dillon has invited me to move our yoga classes to the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, beginning in August. Holy Spirit is located at 4465 Northside Drive on the corner of Mt. Paran Road in Buckhead. Yoga classes will be held in McDonough Hall, the parish hall with beautiful, stained-glass windows and soft carpet – a perfect, peaceful location!


New Class. In addition to the new location, we will be adding a new class – Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. for Level I students.


Tuesdays, Open to All Levels 7:30 Wednesdays, Level II 12:30 Thursdays, Level I 5:30 New!


$15 single class


$50 a month to join either the Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday class


$65 a month for unlimited classes, any day of the week


To sign up, call 404-350-8581


Which Class Is Best For You?


As you consider which yoga class to join, you may want to consider the following factors:


Level I Class – Perfect for all those who are new to yoga, or who are resuming their practice and want to reacquaint themselves with basic breathing and postures. In a Level I class, we will also explore various self-healing techniques, stretch, relax, and rejuvenate ourselves. Learn to allow your body to open at its own pace.


Level II – Do you already participate in other vigorous exercise and want to join a class that not only builds strength and flexibility and peace of mind, but also makes you sweat? Flow yoga is perfect for you.


Open Class – The class on Tuesday nights is always geared to whatever participants want – sometimes we focus on relaxation, sometimes we do flow yoga or focus on areas of the body where we feel most sore.


Whatever class you choose, please don’t hesitate to see me before or after to ask for what you need! I am also available for private instruction.


As you choose your class, remember, yoga isn’t about getting anywhere. Ironically, we progress most easily by accepting where we are at any given moment!


Why I Love Yoga



Yoga for me is the chocolate cake of fitness. Not only do I look forward to every practice, after my first year of yoga, I had so much energy I could jog up Kennesaw Mountain.


Now I have two yoga teacher training certifications. I practice the kind of yoga I learned at the White Lotus Foundation of Santa Barbara, California, which is a vinyasa (which means flowing) style that connects the postures gracefully.


White Lotus is an eclectic blend of Sivananda, Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga developed by founder Ganga White to help himself recover from a severe back injury while still enjoying a sweat-producing workout.


The great thing about White Lotus yoga: unlike other styles, which dictate strict adherence to a particular order of poses, White Lotus practitioners believe the body and mind need variety.


“We don’t throw away tradition, but stand on the shoulders of the past to find out if we can see a bit farther,” Ganga White, founder of White Lotus Yoga.


Your Yoga Teacher



Catherine Carrigan is president of Total Fitness, an Atlanta-based personal fitness training company. In addition to two yoga certifications, she is certified by A.C.E. in personal training, A.C.E. and N.D.E.I.T.A. in group exercise, and is a certified Brain Gym consultant and Touch for Health practitioner. She is the best-selling author of Heartsfire Publishing of Sante Fe, N.M., with her book, Healing Depression: A Guide to Making Intelligent Choices about Treating Depression, and her plays have had four productions in New York.


Total Fitness for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit “Yoga transforms you by opening up the physical and mental binds that block your potential, limiting your life.” Joel Kramer, American hatha yoga master.

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