Yoga is for everyone, Palomar Studio staff in Belen believes

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Yoga is for everybody, says the staff at Palomar Studio, 111 S. Main St. in Belen. And by everybody, they mean everybody.

 

“Our youngest client is 2-years old,” said owner Helen Ashby.

“We have people up to 80-years old in our classes,” said instructor Ivy Rivard.

“It truly is for everyone, young and old,” Ashby said, “although at a certain age we might ask for a doctor’s note.”

Ashby opened the studio March 1 to offer Valencia County what she called a “true” yoga studio.

“It’s different from a gym-type class at the community center or senior center,” she said. “There, it’s at a set time and it might be included as part of an overall exercise class. Here it’s just yoga, and clients can come in at any time.”

Ashby has 12 years experience as an instructor and is certified. Rivard and another instructor, Lela Heineken, have been instructors just a short time, but both are working toward certification, which includes 200 hours of instruction and practice, plus a test. Among other things, the instruction covers physiology, anatomy and kinesiology, the science of human movement.

“Yoga is a science and an art,” Ashby said. “It is practiced many different ways by many different people. Here we do a more physical form. We work on flexibility, balance and posture.”

“Yoga is a lifestyle,” Heineken said, “but there are a lot of misconceptions about it. It’s not a religion. And what we do here is not the meditative type most people think of, where people sit cross-legged on a mat for half an hour. It’s more physical.”

Instruction, they said, is based on the individual’s condition and goals.

“People can start where they are, then move on to another class,” Rivard said.

“We all started somewhere,” Heineken said, “and it wasn’t where we are today.”

“It’s all about moving forward,” Ashby said.

Anyone can be helped through yoga, they said, including those who are overweight, out of shape or physically limited.

“We’re not here to judge. We’re here to help,” Ashby said. “Our technique is supportive and encouraging. It’s very healing, the practice of yoga.”

Palomar Studio offers classes in different styles of yoga including:

• Classic Hatha, which is a beginning style that features classic postures.

“It’s incredibly strengthening,” said Rivard.

“It’s excellent practice for the beginner,” said Ashby.

• Restorative yoga helps those with injuries, physical limitations or limited flexibility.

“Restorative is all done with props, like bolsters,” Ashby said, with the individual learning how to stretch and restore mobility.

• Yin yoga is floor-based and the individual works into a posture which they hold for 4-5 minutes.

“Everything is done slowly,” Rivard said. “There is a lot of emphasis on breathing and posture.”

“Breathe and posture go hand in hand,” Heineken said.

Most classes at Palomar Studio are offered in the morning on the schedule that begins Sept. 1, with 6 p.m. classes on Tuesday and Thursday. They run 75 to 90 minutes.

“We’ll have more evening classes in the near future,” Ashby said, after her instructors gain certification. “Saturday classes too.”

Cost is $7 per class, or $45 a month for unlimited use.

“The unlimited is a really good deal,” Rivard said. “In Albuquerque, you’ll pay about $16 per session.”

Ashby invited people to come by and give it a try. They might be surprised, she said.

“People who are not ‘yoga people’ really like it,” Rivard said.

For information, call 859-9069 (no texts).

 


Contact Dana Bowley