Running is good for your heart and lungs, squats are great for your butt and legs and yoga revitalizes your body and mind. On Saturday, September 29th, LA Fitness celebrated the end of National Yoga Month during its official remodeling celebration by holding a special sunrise yoga class to kick-off the day’s festivities. Experienced yogis and first-timers alike filled the available space, and the attendees each left the early morning yoga class with a complimentary yoga mat and a feeling of rejuvenation.

“This was my first time taking yoga ever; my girlfriend talked me into finally doing it,” said Kevin Reid. “I always avoided yoga because it was out of my comfort zone, but I actually liked it. I just graduated from college, and I am trying to find a job and get my life started. I have a lot of stress in my life, so this was a nice getaway from all of that. My mind feels clear.”

The sunrise yoga class wasn’t just a relaxing getaway for his mind though; it was also a physically challenging workout for his body. This was something that came as a surprise to Kevin.

“It was a bigger workout than I thought it was going to be; I didn’t think that I was going to be sweating (laughs)” said Kevin. “I was struggling, but it was a good struggle.”

The mind and body benefits are what yoga regular Emilie Christensen has come to know and appreciate about the invigorating activity. She attends classes every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the LA Fitness club in Encinitas, so she was excited to receive an email inviting her to attend this one-time only sunrise yoga celebration.

“I like coming early for yoga; it’s a better way to start my day,” said Emilie. “For me, yoga is my time; it’s kind of like personal time. I just forget about everything else that’s going on, and I walk out feeling so much more relaxed. It’s nice after a work day too, because you can spend some time forgetting about work…It kind of just brightens my day (smiles).”

Yoga provides Emilie with a full body workout that works well for her. There is just one minor exception, and she has that figured out.

“With yoga, I can get it all done: strength, flexibility and toning,” said Emilie. “I do need to do more cardio though, but that is right outside the door (of the yoga class). I can do it all in one place.”

Kevin and Emilie offer great examples about the diverse benefits of yoga. Yoga can stand as a primary workout, or it can be a way to compliment your existing program. It provides an excellent core and stabilization workout, and it can help to increase your flexibility and range of motion. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced yogi or if it is your first time trying yoga, everyone can experience the benefits. Kevin and Emilie make it clear; yoga truly helps ease your mind and challenges your body at the same time.

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