Is yoga a sport or a spiritual practice?

While says the vote is split 50/50 (now 43/57 after my post) on this discussion, most serious practitioners will agree that yoga is instead, a way of life.

It can best be described as a fitness lifestyle, one that builds the connection between your body, mind and spirit. If yoga is a sport, it is one of the few that you actually get better at, the longer you practice it and the older you get.

“There is only one way to find out how plastic your body really is, and that’s by using it,” says Kathy Navis. “Regain flexibility and range of motion rather than watch it slip away over the years.”

guat yoga vira 1

She teaches and encourages anyone, at any age to begin exploring yoga as a means to better health and wellness with a variety of yoga classes available the year ’round at Door County’s oldest yoga center: Junction Center Yoga Studio in Jacksonport.

Yoga is an ancient practice, one that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. Whether it’s the immediate reduction in levels of stress or the measurable improvements in circulation and blood pressure, practicing yoga is one of the most enjoyable forms of “preventive medicine” that you can take. After a few sessions you will begin to notice improvements in your flexibility and balance. Over time, Yoga is also a strength builder.

Kathy invites regular students to bring along a friend anytime for a free class… help expand their knowledge and practice of yoga philosophy, the postures (asanas) and breath work (pranayama).

The benefits of Yoga do not occur overnight, but the results are indeed long lasting. As you become fit and flexible most practitioners will begin to notice an increase in overall vitality and a greater sense of wellness. The different Asanas each focus on gently improving the functional capacity of your skeletal joints, muscles and connective tissue. By linking the actions to the breath, one also begins to “quiet the mind” – to hush that endless stream of thoughts that some mistake for consciousness.

Yoga students will also begin to take greater notice of their posture as they gain awareness of the alignment and range of motion inherent in their own musculoskeletal system. According to a notable physiologist, we become less flexible as we get older mainly because of certain changes that take place in the connective tissues as our bodies gradually begin to dehydrate. It is believed that stretching stimulates the production or retention of lubricants between the connective tissue fibers, thus preventing the formation of adhesions. Perhaps the greatest realization you will experience in taking up the practice of yoga is that you are actually capable of changing and improving your range of motion.

Classroom attire in Yoga sessions is freeform, but dressing in layers is advisable so you can peel them off depending on the level of exercise and temperature of the room. Students will often wear leotards, shorts, t-shirts and tank tops under a layer of sweats that can be removed.

There is only one way to find out if yoga is right for you. Sign up for a free beginner’s class at Junction Center. All of the equipment is provided in a warm and comfortable environment. Beginner’s classes are for all ages, male and female and for any level of fitness or ability. Call 920.823.2763 to join or visit the Website at‎ to learn more.