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Relax and focus with yoga

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Young and old can find benefits in Kundalini yoga

By Special to the Monitor

UNM-LA has yoga classes to suit everyone this fall

Who needs yoga? According to UNM-Los Alamos yoga instructor, Siri Deva Khalsa, the answer is “everyone.”

“The more civilization progresses, the more we need yoga,” he said.

For the young, yoga provides mental discipline and good techniques to discipline the mind.

“Yoga is the perfect antidote to electronic media,” Khalsa said. “While modern media scatters your attention, yoga has the opposite effect.” It helps you focus and relax at the same time.”

Young people want to experience the world in new ways. They seek new experiences and this can lead to high-risk behavior. Yoga, on the other hand, provides a mind-expanding experience along with improved health and flexibility, as well as improved mental discipline, Khalsa said. What a great deal.

For the not so young, yoga has just as many benefits. For older folks and people with injuries, UNM-LA is offering EZ Yoga. This class uses a technique called “chair yoga.”

“For some people, it’s hard to sit on the floor. Students can really get the positions right without being distracted by discomfort when they use a chair,” Khalsa said.

Mental discipline and focus can be a problem for older people as well as for the young. EZ Yoga provides a way to sharpen the mind without over-taxing the body. The physical benefits of yoga can be available, even to the elderly.

 “Older people really can become more flexible,” Khalsa said. “It’s never too late.”

Then there’s the folks Khalsa calls “the lost market for yoga,”— guys.

“Men don’t do yoga because they need it so bad,” he said. “Men really resist relaxing.”

Khalsa has been teaching yoga since 1974. He practices the Kundalini style of yoga. The emphasis in Kundalini Yoga is on the breath, in conjunction with physical movement.  

No matter what your physical condition or level of experience, UNM-LA has a yoga class for you. All three yoga classes meet Tuesdays. Beginning yoga, called simply “yoga” meets from 4-5:55 p.m.; intermediate yoga meets from 6-7:55 p.m. These two classes begin Aug. 24. EZ Yoga is a short-term class and will be held Oct. 5-Nov. 23. It takes place from 2-3:55 p.m.  

All of the classes are offered through both Community Education and as credit classes. Visit www.la.unm.edu to register and to see the complete Fall Schedule of Classes. Fall classes begin Aug. 23. Call 662-0332 for help with registration.