CLAYTON — An ancient fitness regimen is gaining popularity and acquiring new followers throughout town. Practicing the art of yoga is something anyone can do, no matter their age or fitness level, according to Kelly Ziegler, owner and instructor of the newly opened OH Yoga studio.
Created over 6,000 years ago in India, it’s a form of exercise that quiets the body by blending elements of concentration and meditation while loosening joints and increasing muscle tone.
“I hear so many people say ‘I can’t do yoga’ and who think they’re not flexible enough,” said Ziegler. “It improves range of motion and all over wellbeing. Whether you are 60 years old or 3 years old, we all can do it to improve our health.”
OH Yoga, located on Oleander Drive in the Parkway Village shopping center, welcomed students last month. It was a vision a decade in the making for Ziegler who began following the teachings after the birth of her first son nearly 16 years ago. After a stint in the corporate world working in real estate, she decided to pursue her dream of sharing her love of yoga with others.
“It was a calling,” Ziegler said. “How often does anyone get to get up in the morning and do what they love every day?”
Besides generating a connection between the mind, body and spirit, yoga postures provide followers with health benefits ranging from stress reduction, core strengthening and a reduction in the risk associated with heart disease.
“Yoga brings calmness to your mind,” explained Ziegler, a registered and certified yoga instructor. “When your mind is calm, you are able to make better decisions. There are so many benefits from it that everyone can get something out of it. It just depends on what you are looking for.”
She noted participation is not just limited to women. Men, including professional athletes, are attending classes across the country. Balance, an increased range of motion and flexibility are things that can improve a golf or football game.
“Yoga has grown in popularity, especially with men,” said Ziegler. “I think they are surprised by the amount of physical strength that is needed.”
Hot yoga, including Bikram and a heated Vinyasa, are two of the styles taught at OH Yoga. It’s performed under hot and humid conditions providing detoxifying benefits to the body. Open seven days a week, Ziegler offers a wide variety of classes ranging from beginner and children’s lessons to restorative and gentle sessions.
“There are no judgments in yoga practice,” she said. “It’s all about improvements for you and who you are and what your body can do. It’s not competitive and there’s no reason to be intimidated.”