Fitness enthusiasts take to yoga
Posted Thursday, July 12 2012 at 16:31
Melissa Macharia, 29, has been trying different exercise options to lose weight and has recently taken yoga as an option.
Armed with DVDs, she has been working out at home, unable to afford the classes offered in the local gym.
Africa Yoga Project along with Healthy Woman Magazine and Healthy U have been sponsoring yoga sessions across the city as part of creating awareness around this form of exercise.
Melissa joined a group of women last Saturday at the Junction Mall for a 45 minutes session. This was her first class with an actual instructor, as opposed to the DVD’s she had been using at home.
“There is nothing as good as having someone to instruct you. My body feels stretched,” she said after the session at the Junction. “It’s something I would like to continue with because my goal is to be fit.”
Yoga is gaining popularity in the country as gyms across the board offer classes, at a fee.
“It is catching on really well. Once people know what it is and its benefits they are interested,” said Billy Sadia, operations coordinator of Africa Yoga Project.
“There has been a misconception of what yoga is, a cult or something, but it is not.”
Yoga has been practised for thousands of years and though they are different aspects of it, it’s gaining popularity as an exercise.
Most of the classes focus on physical poses, with one learning how to move the body in new ways, and breathing techniques.
The recent session at the Junction was the third in a tour that has seen yoga sessions held in high traffic malls to create awareness of it as a form of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
Africa Yoga Project uses power yoga to empower communities and change lives. It conducts classes in different communities as a way of enriching people’s lives and fostering peace.
Its main focus is the community with instructors carrying out free classes at in different locations, hospitals, schools and prisons. The 40 trained instructors are paid a minimum wage of Sh10,000 each.
They are able to earn money as yoga instructors by working in gyms or giving private classes.
“We help them get work to earn their own money,” said Billy.