healthy and balanced
NORTH BRUNSWICK — A local yoga business is celebrating its one-year anniversary.
To mark the event, the Inner Light Yoga Center is inviting all past, present and future students to an open house from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 17. Inner Light is located in Lion’s Plaza, 1626 Route 120.
Free yoga classes will be provided throughout the day, Inner Light owner Denise Trimble said.
"Yoga is the catalyst for wellness on a greater scale, Trimble said. "Through yoga and mindful movement, we not only create balance in our bodies, but we also create balance in our lives. The practice encourages us to live more mindful, to realize our connection to other people and to take better care of ourselves and each other."
At the open house, instructors will be available to answer questions about yoga and the various other classes the center provides, Trimble said. The event also will include healthy refreshments and a drawing to win free yoga classes.
Trimble describes yoga as a 500-year-old system of wellness that originated in India.
"The word yoga, translated from Sanskrit, means union — to join or bring together," Trimble said.
The core principles of yoga include aligning the body in hatha yoga postures (asanas), breathing practice (pranayama), quieting and focusing the mind (mediation), and rejuvenating the body in deep relaxation (savasana).
Yoga, Trimble said, links movement with breath and allows students to respect their body’s current physical state while exercising at their own level.
"Yoga is more than simply a physical exercise practice," she said. "It guides us in understanding the connection between the body, mind and spirit, encouraging mindfulness and health in each of these aspects of life. It also reminds us of our connection to other human beings and all life around the earth."
Inner Light Yoga offers various levels of yoga in classes that include the core principles with an emphasis on inner reflection.
"The classes are creative and graceful, yet challenging with a flow of postures linked with breath," Trimble said.
All seven teachers at Inner Light are thoroughly trained and certified and have at least 200 hours of yoga training with the American Yoga Association, according to Trimble.
"We invite everyone to try all of our teachers to discover which style best matches their needs, because the structure of each class varies by each teacher’s training and experience," Trimble said.
Trimble suggests the beginner/basic four-week series for people who have never tried yoga and for those with very little yoga experience.
This introductory class meets once a week for four consecutive weeks from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday nights. The class progresses through fundamental alignment principles and yoga concepts. The beginner basics four-week series cost $50, Trimble said.
"There are many physical benefits from yoga," she said. "It realigns the body, strengthens it and also promotes more flexibility."
The guided deep relaxation at the end of every yoga session also allows the body to rest and rejuvenate, Trimble said.
"Deep relaxation allows us to rest and to feel comfortable in our bodies," Trimble said. "Ultimately, we can transcend the body in a quiet mind."
Inner Light also provides specialty classes in various exercise practices.
The new tai chi classes starting in May will include instruction in a flowing series of 108 steps, meditation, breathing exercises and self-defense applications that balance female and male opposing energies.
"Tai chi chuan is beautiful meditation in motion," Trimble said. "When individuals who learn the steps connect with others who know them, the loop closes and it is like slow-motion dancing."
Yoga rhythmics classes combine yoga, dance, creative movement and breath work set to diverse music, ending with deep relaxation.
"The class focuses on the chakras — energy sources in the body that correlate with developing stages in our lives," Yoga rhythmics instructor Diane Erbe-Maltabes said. "Sometimes, we experience blockages or over-development in certain areas and yoga rhythmic helps to balance the chakras, restoring harmony to the body and spirit."
Restorative yoga allows the body to open, heal and rejuvenate, Trimble said. In this class, students relax comfortably in supported yoga poses, using props and deep breathing.
"Restorative yoga is wonderful for those with physical limitations or to help those recuperating from illness," Trimble said.
Inner Light also offers a mediation circle, which includes guided techniques for students to explore their inner selves.
The studio accepts donations for inclusion in the meditation circle. Every other class costs $14 per session. Class cards that reduce individual class costs also are available.
Anyone interested in taking a yoga class should arrive at the studio 10 to 15 minutes early to allow time for check-in and to get settled, Trimble said.
Yoga is practiced in bare feet and loose clothing that permits freedom of movement.
The studio also provides a full range of yoga props for use, as well as for purchase.