Body and Soul Yoga

The Oracle explores yoga as a relaxation technique.

Ms. Ichikawa stretches her back and hamstring with a difficult yoga pose.

By: Monica Cai

In a time of economic recession and high stress levels, people are searching for a way to release their worries and get some quiet time. From as early as 5000 B.C., yoga has provided inner peace for monks, peasants and now, the everyday person. “It’s a workout, but it’s also a time to relax your mind and not consider other things in life,” English teacher Diane Ichikawa, who is also a yoga instructor, said. “It leads to physical and mental calm.” Ichikawa teaches basic Hatha Flow, one of the many types of yoga. “A lot of people are scared because they think they have to be flexible [but] you build flexibility,” Ichikawa said.

Yoga, which originated in India, was meant as a physical and mental discipline. Today, everyone from Hollywood celebrities to Hall of Fame athletes raves about its effects.

Yoga’s benefits extend to people of all ages. Sophomore Cami Freeman started doing yoga when she was in the third grade. “You feel really refreshed,” she said. “After you work out, you’re tired and not that happy, but after yoga, you feel more centered. I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great way to relieve your stress, and I know a lot of people need that sometimes, so they should go do it.” Freeman recommends Yoga Source, a yoga studio in downtown Palo Alto.

Several other locations in Palo Alto provide yoga classes. Yomas, which offers both yoga classes and therapeutic massage, has group lessons, private yoga instruction and even yoga parties. Located on 2635 Middlefield Rd., Yomas has a $10 per hour per person, $75/hour minimum rate policy.

Another studio is the California Yoga Center. With a large variety of classes, the California Yoga Center is a prime place to relax and work out at the same time. Located on 541 Cowper St., it offers the option of either a drop-in fee or a multiple class discounted one.
So as the yoga masters say, “namaste” and good luck with your own yoga journey

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