Striking a pose for well-being
Practicing yoga may improve body, mind and spirit, but it also is a great way to have fun and make new friends.
Five regulars and welcome drop-ins meet Mondays and Wednesdays in a quiet second-story space, located near Business and Support Management behind the main Headquarters' building in Boise. There, under the scrutiny of teacher Dawn White, the group is guided through classic poses and forms of breath control ranging from easy to more challenging.
White has been practicing yoga for 16 years. She is a registered yoga teacher who has been teaching for six years – four of which have been at the Idaho Transportation Department.
"People tend to avoid yoga because they think the positions will be too difficult," said White. "We have a really good time. We take it seriously, but we have a lot of fun."
The history of yoga reaches back for thousands of years in India, but yoga went mainstream long ago, with "ancient practices melding with techniques that have changed and evolved as teachers have taken them back and forth between India and the West."
White teaches a kind of yoga called Iyengar, which is a form of Hatha Yoga that emphasizes detail, precision and alignment through performance of posture and breath control.
B.K.S. Iyengar, the developer of this yoga form systematized more than 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of "Pranayama," or breath control, with many variations ranging from basic to advanced. His idea is that students progress gradually by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit.
"We use props, such as blocks and straps, that allow positions that people would not necessarily be able to accomplish," White explained. "Compared to other forms of yoga, Iyenger has the lowest rate of injury. People should not be afraid of getting hurt in any way."
For participant Barbara Waite, the twice-weekly sessions provide an opportunity to relax, and gain more energy and mental clarity. "I'm here for personal growth, health and absolutely fun," she said.
"The first thing it does is help me de-stress," Waite said. "It helps me mentally, spiritually and physically."
She added that she could see the progress she has made with poses that could once be held for only a few seconds. "I can hold them much longer now."
White said her ITD group is always looking for new participants and no previous yoga experience is required. To learn more about the group or join, contact White at (208) 484-5077 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured below, clockwise: For Dawn White, it is important that yoga participants learn the correct way to engage in poses so that injuries are avoided. White shows a triangle pose. Participants demonstrate a pose that builds on each other's strengths.