“I always say yoga is for every body. Whether you are tall or short, flexible, unfit or just a bit lazy, everybody out there can do, and enjoy, yoga,” says Hayley Petznick of Lotus Heart Healing and Yoga. “I’ve seen 19-year-olds who can’t touch their toes and 65-year-olds who are doing the splits.”
Petznick recently started offering yoga classes in Sun Peaks and Whitecroft and is keen to share the health and wellbeing effects of the physical activity.
“There are so many benefits to yoga. The exercises can improve your strength, flexibility, balance and posture. Better posture generally results in improved digestion, increased metabolism and enhanced energy levels,” explains Petznick.
Focussed and controlled breathing techniques, known as pranayama, also deliver benefits, including increased oxygen to the body to cleanse and purify the blood stream and assist with respiratory problems.
Additionally, the meditation side of yoga can help to lower stress levels, improve self-confidence, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
“There’s nothing bad about yoga, and it can become quite addicting,” Petznick says. “After a few classes it stops feeling like a chore and starts being something you look forward to each day.”
The Sanskrit translation for yoga is union, and it’s no surprise that the social aspect of yoga adds another positive to the exercise.
“There’s a huge social aspect to it. The community in Whitecroft, in particular, is really coming together, making friends and sharing stories,” says Petznick.
Petznick, who gained her qualification after an intense, month-long yoga camp in Mexico earlier this year, is keen to see more Sun Peaks residents get involved.
Olly Coppo, a regular yoga student, says skiers and snowboarders looking to get ready for the winter season could benefit from a yoga class.
“It will make you a better skier or snowboarder by improving your balance and core strength. I’ve never felt as strong as I do at the moment, and a lot of that’s because of the core strength I’ve built through yoga,” explains Coppo.
Petznick currently runs classes in Whitecroft on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, and in Sun Peaks at the Cahilty Lodge on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings.
To find out more or view the schedule check out Lotus Heart Healing on Facebook.