On March 3 at 5:30 p.m. over a dozen yogis showed up at Just Breathe Yoga (at 3971 Rivermark Plaza) for an hour of yoga movements with an emphasis on flowing through their Vinyasa (a style of yoga). Taught from “the heart” by yoga instructor Brittney Hoang, this Heart Yoga Community Class is free and accepts donations. Two free community classes meet at Just Breathe Yoga each week—one meets on Friday at 7:15 p.m. and the other one meets on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
“There are dual purposes for the community yoga classes.,” said Angie Poon, owner of Just Breathe Yoga. “We’ve always had community yoga classes since we opened. It was to open it to people who want to try yoga and not make a commitment. It was an easy way to get people to try yoga. We want people to learn self-awareness, self care, that it’s okay to be in your head. These donation classes are taught by teachers who teach yoga as their practice of Seva (selfless service in Sanskrit) when they give back to their community. Ninety percent of our classes are heated Vinyasa yoga classes. Our studio is heated from 80 degrees to 90 degrees in our classes.”
Poon explained that the free yoga classes allow individuals of all ages and sizes to feel welcome in the yoga community.
“People always hear about the benefits of yoga and the hardest part is peeking your head in,” said Poon, who has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. “The main benefits of yoga is finding peace for yourself and being happy with your surroundings. It teaches you to never want more than what you can handle. Health benefits include mentally reducing stress, finding happiness and quietness in your mind and making your body stronger and more flexible.”
Since opening Just Breathe Yoga in 2010, Poon has seen her studio evolve.
“Over the last eight years, we have grown a large prenatal yoga community,” Poon said. “Now we have four prenatal yoga classes. I teach one of the classes and I trained two of the teachers who teach here as well. Through the last seven-and-a-half years, I also had two kids of my own. It’s not only fun to share my experiences after having two kids, I get to teach a class and be a role model too for the mothers. People see me and think, if I can do something, they can do it too. I tell these women they can do yoga until they give birth.”
Visit www.justbreatheyogarivermark.com to view Just Breathe Yoga’s upcoming community classes in addition to the regular class schedule.