Benefits of yoga include strength, flexibility

The first week of January is often a turning point for people. New Year’s resolutions permeate the minds of many people, and often these resolutions include a desire to improve in some way.

A practical path to self-improvement is yoga.

Yelena Storma, of Lotus Power Yoga & Massage, of Fond du Lac, holds a demonstrative yoga pose.

“Yoga allows you to start at the beginning, wherever you are in your life, whatever your level of fitness, whatever you have to do, that’s where you start,” said Lucy Mathers of Twisted Warrior. .

Yoga has historical links with India, and versions of it are taught in Buddhism,Hinduismand Jainism. However, the practice does not need to include any religion and has been adapted for the West in many secular forms.

Yoga practitioners in the community see the practice as a great way to improve strength, focus, and mental and physical health.

“Yoga gives you the tools to improve yourself,” Yelena said.Stormafrom Lotus Power Yoga & Massage, noting that it is not necessary to practice a religion to experience the benefits of yoga poses and techniques.

In Fond du Lac, there are several establishments either entirely dedicated to yoga, or offering regular classes there.

Students stretch and bend over during a yoga class at Twisted Warrior in Fond du Lac.

Open to change, growth

“Yoga opens you to change, it allows you to find your inner spirit and gives you the courage to try poses,” Mathers said.

“It can also be very social,” Mathers added because, she said, everyone falls. Whether it is an advanced student or a beginner, everyone loses the pose from time to time and it becomes less embarrassing.

“From unpleasant experiences, we learn,” saidStorma, who has been teaching at Fond du Lac for two years. “Life is pain and pleasure, yoga teaches you to overcome the storm. Very basic small steps show us how to accept ourselves, to achieve balance. Life is not alwaysParty. Thisit’s also work. “

Stormasaw many students coming to her with what she called “their story”.

This story is created by the things people say about themselves, and sometimes that story can be negative. People believe that they are not strong enough, or that they do not have the balance, or that they do not have the time to learn. CornStormabelieves that the only master of oneself is oneself, and if a person wants to make a change, and is serious about making a change, then he will be successful in that change.

“Yoga, I find, allows you to change that personal view,” saidStorma. “It can help with traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, a lot of things.”

To be present,to breathe

Lisa Ritchie of Fond du Lac has been teaching yoga forJuly,after earning her 200 hour teaching certification at Empower Yoga in Appleton. She has been practicing yoga for nine years. She teaches a four-week class both from her home studio and at Twisted Warrior on Thursday mornings.

Ritchie believes breathing, along with body and mind orientation, is the first thing anyone should learn before,and that poses come second.

“Yoga teaches me to be present, to slow down, to breathe,” said Ritchie. “It increases your inner strength and flexibility.”

“From the surface there will be flexibility and strengthening, better circulation, better balance and learning to be comfortable in the body,” said Amy Jarvis, also of Fond du Lac, who teaches in many places in the region.

“From the deeper breathing that you learn and cultivate, there is a lot of healing of the body. From the calming of the mind that occurs during practice with some regularity, there is peace and calm. practitioner learns to manage stress better, accepts himself or herself more fully, relieving anxiety and depression and increasing general well-being of the mind. “

Jarvis has been teaching since2012,and practicing seriously since 2010. She adds that she “got attached seriously” after the loss of,and that it helped her heal emotionally.

Lucy Mathers is leading a class at Twisted Warrior in Fond du Lac.

health and wellbeing

“Yoga has physical benefits like improving circulation, increasing flexibility and reducing high blood pressure,” said Sigrun Columbia-Navis, Agnesian Beginner and Continuing Yoga Class instructor. HealthCare, which is taught at St. Agnes Chapel and tends to average around 20 students.

Mary Waters, instructor for the Fond du Lac Family YMCA, said yoga can also improve balance, coordination, strength, mental focus and self-confidence. Waters began teaching yoga four and a half years ago, volunteering to start a class for grades one through five at the Boys & Girls Club.

“Having the kids on the mat and allowing them to play with yoga is a delight,” Waters said. This year, she’s offering teen yoga classes at the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA.

“I hope to provide teens with skills that will help them manage their stress, anxiety, and self-image (and) body image issues, (which are) common throughout their teenage years.”

Students pose during an evening yoga class at Twisted Warrior in Fond du Lac.

Opportunities to try yoga

  • Agnesian HealthCare, 430 E. Division St., offers three regular yoga classes: Beginner and Continuous Yoga, SoftYogaand prenatal yoga. For more information, visit or call 920-926-4960.
  • Club Olympia Fitness, 101 Camelot Drive, # 5, offers classes on Mondays and Saturdays, as well as yoga classes on Fridays. For more information call 920-924-7678 and ask for Lynn or Linda.
  • Fond du Lac Spirituality and Healing Center, 74 S. Main St., Suite 301 offers regular classes. For the schedule, find them on Facebook at or call 920-921-9404.
  • Fond du Lac family YMCA, 90 W. Second St., offers regular classes included with membership, taught by a variety of teachers. For a schedule, visit
  • Yoga and Lotus Power massage, 770 S. Main St., Suite 25, offers regular classes and the second class is free. For a schedule, find them on Facebook at or call 920-540-8112.
  • Twisted warrior, 61 N. Main St., offers regular classes and the first class is free. For a schedule, find them on Facebook at