Smile Politely

Free Day of Yoga This Sunday

Have you always wanted to try yoga, but you were nervous that you were not flexible enough? Perhaps you have tried it before, but you would like to try out a new teacher or style. Or maybe you’re just really stressed out, and you need to find some way, any way, to relax. No matter what your situation, Free Day of Yoga was created just for YOU.

Free Day of Yoga is this Sunday, September 28. Rachel Hills, owner of Two Birds, One Tree, has collaborated with seven other area yoga teachers to host free yoga and relaxation classes throughout the day at five different locations in Champaign and Urbana. Rachel’s goal was to create a sense of community among local yoga teachers, and to be able to provide yoga to those who have not experienced it before. The full schedule can be found here.

Hills believes that yoga is for everyone. “Don’t stay away from yoga because you’re out of shape, not very flexible, or think your body isn’t designed for it,” Hills says. “The beauty of yoga is that it is designed for all bodies and that you can find a teacher who encourages you to listen to your body and do what you can without overdoing it. Then you can experience the benefits of yoga for yourself, and see why it has been practiced for over 4,000 years.”

Residents of C-U have always been lucky to have such an eclectic mix of yoga and meditation classes to choose from, and Free Day of Yoga’s schedule reflects that. “Some yoga is physically challenging and athletic, and other styles of yoga focus on relaxation and meditation. Even in the different styles of yoga, teachers will have their own presentation style and emphasize different aspects of the yoga they teach.” Rachel says. Here are some highlights in the schedule of (what I hope will become) this yearly event:

  • If you are interested in the spiritual contour of yoga, i would suggest a visit to Ananda Liina at 6:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m. or noon. Located on a small tract of land outside of Urbana at 2308 N. High Cross Road, the Ananda Liina Community is focused on integrating the principles of yoga into every aspect of life. All of the buildings on the property are built on ecologically friendly principles, and Tiny Greens Organic Farm shares the 30 acres. In addition to some basic yoga poses at the 6:30 a.m. class, Mainjurii will teach Kaoshikii, which is a healing “dance” designed to enhance emotional and physical well being. It exercises endocrine glands and balances female hormones, though it is wonderful for males, too. At 10:15, Dada Madhuvidyananda will give a talk about the spiritual side of Bhatki yoga in everyday life, followed by some chanting and meditation at noon. If you have not had the chance to visit Ananda Liina, this is the perfect opportunity; however, since they are also holding a retreat on this day, space is limited, so make sure you RSVP.
  • In addition to organizing the event, Rachel Hills will be hosting two sessions. The first will be held at 10:00 at Two Birds, One Tree, and it will be focused on proper breathing techniques, kind of like yoga without the yoga. She will talk about why breathing is important, and how to easily incorporate proper breathing techniques into your life. (Please RSVP.) At 2:00, she will also be conducting a Guided Relaxation class at the Mettler Center.
  • If you would like to share yoga with your children, Don Briskin will be hosting a Kids + Parents class at the Mettler Center at 11.

There are many wonderful opportunities to explore the world of yoga on Free Day of Yoga. You may attend as many sessions as you like, just check the schedule to see what interests you.

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