The weather this month has been gloomy. I was just thinking I can’t remember the last sunny day we had in Manitowoc County. We went 11 days in a row with no sun in January.
The snow and cold don’t bother me as much as I don’t like how dull winter can be in Wisconsin. There are a few things that help me thrive on the dark, dreary days of winter. Getting outside and taking a walk helps me relax. Herbal tea is a must in the evening. And yoga.
Yoga has been a fantastic tool that I would like to take the time to do more often. When I do yoga at least once a week, I notice my stress levels are lower and I feel better overall.
Yoga has many health benefits, according to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Yoga helps relieve arthritis symptoms, improves strength and flexibility, improves heart health, relaxes you, and improves sleep. Not to mention that doing yoga can lead to higher energy levels and brighter moods.
These are just a few of the benefits of yoga. In my opinion, we need yoga in Wisconsin, especially during the winter months.
That’s why MPL is teaming up with yoga instructor Kate Casey to run a series of six yoga classes called “Cats on Mats,” which runs from January through March.
Kate’s cats will be sneaking around while she teaches these classes virtually. Yoga in the midst of feline company from the comfort of your own home. Even if you don’t have a cat, dog, bird, fish, or small child, a favorite plant will do!
What could be better or more beneficial physically and mentally? The best part about this is that these classes are FREE! And who doesn’t like free?
One of the things that I have observed and experienced in Kate’s classes is that she is very body aware and actively shows off her bodily kindness while she teaches. In doing so, she invites her students to do the same.
What I mean by this is that if Kate is in pain from excessive exertion or has a previous throbbing injury, instead of pushing herself into a pose that could be harmful, she offers alternate poses and you invites you to do whatever you feel your body can handle.
She also invites her students to be more physically and mentally aware of how their bodies hold emotions. This makes the environment it creates safe and inviting, even for people who are trying yoga for the first time.
Kate is an RYT-500 yoga teacher, trained in ashtanga and vinyasa flow systems. She has been teaching since 2013 and has a solid understanding of human anatomy and alignment.
At MPL, we hope you can take advantage of these FREE yoga classes during what can seem like an eternally long winter in Wisconsin. We could all use a little more personal kindness these days – taking the time to stop, take a deep breath, and include a bit of stress relief in our lives certainly couldn’t hurt.
The first class, which took place on January 13, was fantastic, and I’m sure the next five will be just as wonderful.
The next class is at 7 p.m. on January 27. The remaining course dates are: February 10, February 24, March 10 and March 24.
The “Cats on Mats” series will be broadcast live on MPL’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/manitowoclibrary) with each session starting at 7:00 p.m. and will run for approximately one hour.
See you soon on the mat!
Meredith Gadzinski is a Public Services Associate at the Manitowoc Public Library.
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