[colored_box color=”blue”]Yoga … with Lynn
Thursdays • 9:30 a.m.
Elburn & Countryside Community Center
All levels welcome
To register, call Lynn at (630) 365-0163 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ELBURN—Elburn resident Erin Walsh said she has always been athletic, but she was looking for an activity with a different approach, something that connected the mind with the body.
When she saw the ad for “Yoga … with Lynn,” held at the Elburn and Countryside Community Center, it sounded like exactly what she was looking for.
Walsh is an accomplished equestrian and rides competitively. She said yoga has helped her with her posture and increased her ability to stay focused and centered in her riding.
“It really opens me up, my hips and my chest,” she said. “It helps me to relax into the position I need to be in for riding.”
Walsh has a busy life with a professional career, two dogs and her horses. She said taking the yoga classes has helped bring more balance into her life.
Not only has she seen these benefits, but Walsh said she truly enjoys the class.
“Lynn (Meredith) is so joyful,” she said. “It’s the most joyful part of my day.
And everyone in the class is so nice. It feels like a community, and I really like that.”
Another student, Marianne Moye, has also been taking Meredith’s yoga class. Moye has taken yoga classes before, but she particularly likes this one.
“Lynn’s energy, excitement and knowledge make it invigorating,” Moye said. “She’s always bringing fresh ideas and activities to the class.”
Moye said that Lynn is in-tune with the people in the class—she gets to know each person and looks out for each one.
“She’s very accepting of whatever level we’re at,” she said. “She also leads us to levels we didn’t know we were capable of. She makes it interesting and fun, and yet we’re getting quite a workout. The time flies.”
Moye said she has already recognized a number of benefits she is getting from the class.
“I’m standing straighter,” she said. “It’s almost unconscious. I’m eating better and I drink a lot of water. It influences a person to have a healthier lifestyle. I’m slimming down and I’m able to sleep better.”
The first thing Meredith does when students arrive at the class is to have them relax and let go of the stresses outside of the room.
“Forget about the stress of trying to get here on time,” she said. “Forget about that to-do list.”
Meredith, who grew up in Elburn and graduated from Kaneland High School, said she has been practicing yoga since her college days, when she would come home from classes and watch “Lilias, Yoga and You” on T.V. A theater major, she said that the theater movement classes she took were very similar to yoga, in that the students were linking their breath to their movements, becoming more aware of their senses and focusing inward.
Later, in the 1990s, Meredith trained for and became a Pilates instructor. Although she likes Pilates and is able to incorporate some of the its principles into her yoga, she was really intrigued by yoga and how deeply one can go into its practice.
“Yoga actually changed my personality,” she said. “I’m much more stable, more centered and less anxious. I’m less reactive than I used to be.”
Over the past 10 years or so, Meredith has taken a number of in-depth week-long classes in yoga, becoming certified to teach. At the time, she was doing it mainly for herself.
Then, about a year ago, she started feeling pulled to teach.
“I had gotten so much out of it, I wanted to share it with others,” she said. “I wanted to make it more accessible, so that people can start from where they are.”
According to Meredith, there are many benefits to be gained from a yoga practice. She said the focus calms her mind, and that going inward, she is able to listen to where her body is. She uses it as a diagnostic tool.
“It can help you manage depression and anxiety, and it’s also good for your heart and your other organs,” she said.
Chris Hocksprung, another student in the class, said that she had major surgery a few months ago, and her doctor told her to find an exercise with low impact. She had been running on the treadmill and lifting weights, as well as working with a personal trainer.
She said that when the yoga class is finished, she has more energy, and she feels she’s given her muscles a good workout.
Hocksprung said she has trouble sleeping, and the breathing she learned in the class has been helping her to relax more.
“When I get stressed at work, I go to the bathroom and breathe,” she said.
Meredith begins another session of classes on Thursday, May 9. The classes are 90 minutes, and one session is five classes. The cost is $50 per session.
Meredith said she’s grateful that she is able to share the benefits of yoga with others. She ends each class by thanking the students for attending. Using a Buddhist meditation, she sends them off for the day by saying, “May you be well; may you be happy; may you be peaceful.”