Yoga instructor Suzanne Deason from Rolling Hills Health Club in Novato, California, has been practicing yoga for thirty-five years. You may have seen Suzanne on yoga videos or remember her from Richard Hittleman’s yoga program on television. Currently, Suzanne, along with several other distinguished yoga instructors, is working on a protocol or type of certification for yoga teachers. “In health clubs, I find that many of my students are athletic and come to class with injuries. Others approach yoga as they would a sport. They are very flexible and want to maximize every pose. I explain to them that yoga will make you flexible, but yoga is not just about flexibility. One student who could do a perfect Bound Eagle with his knees on the floor asked me how he could maximize the pose. I said, ‘What are you ever going to do in your life that requires you to use your knees in that way?’ I think it is important to bring the spirit of yoga, its benefits, and kinesiology into health clubs.
It’s important to hire trained teachers who have a background in yoga and kinesiology. Not everyone who teaches yoga in a health club is a yoga teacher; standards vary.”
Spas and Wellness Centers
The 1990s have seen a proliferation of wellness centers and spas around the world. A wellness center integrates a holistic path to wellness and offers various programs, from yoga to stress reduction. The medical personnel are usually trained in mind-body medicine, and doctors on staff address health concerns.
A visit to a spa might replenish the mind, body, and spirit, but a spa is not a medicinal setting. People frequent a spa in this country for pleasure. European spas have a medicinal component that is often covered by their insurance system. While some spas in North America are pampering palaces, others focus more on health. Yoga has be-
come popular in spa programs around the world. Optional yoga classes are part of both spa resorts and day spas. If you live near a spa, you may be able to participate in yoga classes given there.
Even if you have a hectic lifestyle, with a little ingenuity you can practice yoga anywhere, no matter who you are. There are asana suitable for airplanes and airports, for children and for seniors. Ultimately, you may want to deepen your yoga practice or learn more about yoga by attending a retreat. There are hundreds of retreats and many superb yoga teachers around the world. If you don’t want to wander too far away from home, you may prefer to retreat to a nearby spa or health club and check out what it has to offer in the way of yoga.
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