{Below is an article written by Sarah Sowards which was published June 11, 2021 on the Club Fit website. Original article can be read here.

While primary research is not a bad place to gather advice and knowledge, sometimes hearing the same thing from someone else’s experience makes the data more believable. This can be the case for anything, and I could list examples, but for now we will settle for examining the evidence for my previous article: yoga and mental health. Recently I have been privileged to speak with several of our yoga instructors and members to discuss their experiences practicing yoga throughout the years. While each individual’s involvement has of course led to different outcomes, there did seem to be a central theme in everyone’s experience: yoga seemed to help improve people’s well-being and decrease their levels of stress, even if only for an hour (which, let’s be honest, these days even five minutes of feeling de-stressed is a blessing!). Through discussions with three instructors and three members, I feel confident in the conclusion of the previous article: participation in yoga can be helpful for decreasing stress and helping to improve one’s mental health.

Passionate about yoga even before becoming an instructor, Carl Vreeland spoke at length with me about how yoga has helped “save” him in a sense. Not one to shy away from an honest discussion about his life journey, Carl shared with me his personal struggle with mental health and how yoga served as a means to connect his mind and body. After, a sense of spirituality set in for Carl and he felt he was finally able to connect with his inner self and others in the world. He also began to feel a sense of something greater than himself, which offered a comforting feeling of calmness that eventually allowed him to understand, accept, and make peace with the hardships in his life. Now, Carl finds passion in his music and through instructing others through his Vinyasa and gentle yoga classes. If you’re up for a bit of a challenge and up on time, I would highly recommend Carl’s Thursday morning Vinyasa class!

Denise Weber has filled multiple roles for Club Fit over the years. Starting as a prenatal exercise specialist, Denise began incorporating yoga into her work and soon discovered how many needs of pregnant women yoga can fulfill. “I’m the sum of all my parts,” she declared as she explained

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