The Gulfcoast of Florida is a rapidly growing community with world-class amenities, including The Opera House, Ringling School of Art and Design and Siesta Key beach. In addition, the Sarasota Suncoast has a diverse and expansive yoga culture that is thriving and growing rapidly. There are studios located throughout the area and the community that offer all forms of Yoga for all levels of yogis from beginners to advanced practitioners.
It is a great place for one to begin their Yoga journey, as there is a magnitude of Yoga variety to explore. Local teacher and owner of Soul Yoga Sanctuary, Kelli Jaco says, “Most people need to find what works for them. People will gravitate towards what works for their personal style. That is what is so great about Sarasota; there are different styles for everyone.”
You can get down and sweaty with a Hot Bikram or Vinyasa class or you can slow it down with meditation or Restorative Yoga. If flying in the air is your style than an Aerial or Silks Yoga class may be for you. Learning alignment is a fundamental component of Yoga and through Hatha (an alignment style) you can create a solid foundation to root your practice. In Yoga, there are many styles throughout the world that are practiced and many more that are coming into existence. If you don’t jive with one form such as Vinyasa, you may find yourself more drawn to Yin or Hatha classes. The beauty of Yoga is there is no “one size fits all” theory and each day may be different.
So who should practice Yoga? Everyone! Yoga is an activity that anyone can participate in one form or another. It has been widely used for mental clarity, rehabilitation therapy and stress reduction in recent years. According to Cheryl Chaffee from Garden of the Heart, “If I had a nickel for everyone who said “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible!” I would be a millionaire. If you don’t start you won’t get good at it.”
Sometimes Yogis may find themselves discouraged if they have an experience of something that leaves them feeling defeated or confused. This may drive one away from something like Yoga. Kelly Prince, teacher and owner of Body Heat states it perfectly, “Some of us are unaware what Yoga is. The truth is that it can be whatever you’d like it to be, whatever works best for you. You can practice for the physical or mental benefits.” Whether you are in it for the physical or mental component you inevitably get a little bit of both.
Yoga can be a great workout or mental therapy, and it holds the potential to complement other areas of ones life. It may improve your overall performance and quality of life. Courtenay Smith, teacher and owner of The Yoga Shack says, “I came to it for the physical reasons and then I was like this is baller and I will do it for the rest of my life for the mental reasons! I want to be able to do Yoga until I am 80 years old.” She can and will too, just like many Yoga practitioners who have found themselves unapologetically submerged to its boundless calling.
Remember, each class is different and so is every day. One day you may love to move and another you might wish to lie on the floor. Trying a variety of classes and finding what best suits you and your life style might be the gate to a whole new realm of possibilities.