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Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

Changa Bell Explains Why He Created the Black Male Yoga Initiative –

Posted: October 27, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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As told to Melissa Pandika

I LIVED A TYPICAL American lifestyle in my 20splenty of happy hours and plates of fried Buffalo wings. Then in 2002, when I was 30, it landed me in the hospital with a heart condition. I had never been diagnosed and couldnt afford a screening because I didnt have insurance. The doctors did offer me a pacemaker, but I was scared to have heart surgery, so I ended up checking out of the hospital.

That was a life-altering experience, one that sent me down the path of wellness. I started juicing fruits and vegetables and occasionally attempting the yoga poses in my dads books. I was also running every day. But sometimes my heart would stop beating while I was running, and Id bang my chest and cough. On one of my jogs, I saw my father under a pine tree at the park, preparing to do yoga. Since my heart was acting up again, I decided to head over to him and just die in his arms. Youre looking good out there, he said. I could sense his love and hope for me. Right then I wanted to live. I wanted to practice yoga and embody that aspect of my dads life even more. Later that week, I signed up for my first yoga class.

My dad is 79 now, and he spent 37 years serving as a first sergeant in the U.S. Army, all while practicing yoga. Im not sure how or why he got into yoga, but when he was only 21, his father died. After that, he became an ultra health fanatic. I always thought that juxtaposition was interesting: Here he was, a soldier, but also a man, bare-chested, with his body twisted into knots every morning in the living room.

I think I chose yoga as my main form of fitness to be like him. Id never witnessed him in discomfort or poor health my entire life. After a checkup with my cardiologist, I started regularly practicing yoga on my own, with my fathers guidance, and I found it gave me a heightened body awareness. I can feel a cold coming and know when to intervene. Ive grown more sensitive to what I put into my body. I used to love cosmopolitans and margaritas, but now I dont like the way alcohol makes me feel.

Yoga has brought me a certain emotional awareness that I wasnt used to before.

After three months of my new health regimen, I returned to my cardiologist for a checkup, and he was amazed to find my heart in excellent condition. He told me I never had to come back. I kept practicing yoga until I felt I had something to offer it, in the same way that MCs like Kendrick Lamar provide us with a great body of work and dont just take from hip-hop. I discovered that yoga offered me the same opportunity to give of my whole self.

I set out to create a safe space for other Black men to reap the benefits of yoga, one that was welcoming culturally and with mens bodies in mind. The Black Male Yoga Initiative grew out of that need. My goal: to train 1,000 people of color as yoga teachers, all of whom would train ten more people of color so it becomes a bigger part of who we are as people.

BLACK AND BROWN men are considered anomalies in this countrys yoga community, which is still largely young, white, and female. I actually stopped going to commercial yoga studios and did a self-practice for four to six hours a day. If I felt something wasnt correct, I would read classic texts to identify what I was missing.

The yoga community in Maryland can be surprisingly judgmental: Ill say, Hey, I practice yoga; I own a yoga studio, and the first question out of peoples mouths is often Oh, do you teach in the prisons? When I answer no, they ask, Do you work with kids in schools? I doubt my counterparts of other ethnicities get those questions.

I want men of color to know theyre welcome and wanted, and I want to earn their trust and respect by not committing these or other microaggressions. Ill ask them to hold a downward dog for 60 seconds but let them know that ten is fine. I want these rough-and-tumble guys to feel comfortable. One time, I was in a private lesson, working with this one guy on heart, hamstring, and shoulder openers, when he looked up and said, I feel like I want to cry right now. Whats happening?

Yoga has brought me a certain emotional awareness that I wasnt used to before. Before, if I felt myself get low, Id try to dull the pain by playing basketball. But now I ask, Why is that here? What is this going to teach me? Amid all the polarity and protests against police violence, the practice has given me an equanimity. I dont feel neutral about whats going on, but balanced in my mind and body, and solution-oriented, the same as I would be in a difficult pose.

I ask myself, how can Black men prioritize internal peace when a war is being waged externally on their bodies? That question has guided my personal journey to discovering peace and my calling to make it accessible to all, especially those who look like me.

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Changa Bell Explains Why He Created the Black Male Yoga Initiative -

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Twin Cities yoga instructor part of special network for Black men –

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Chance York is defying stereotypes and proving yoga practice is for everyone.

MINNEAPOLIS October is Emotional Wellness Month, but for Chance York, it's a lifestyle year-round. Of course, you have to start somewhere. For York, it was by following instructions in a pocket-sized book in the dorms freshman year.

"Yoga for Dummies," he said. "They don't even make this edition anymore but it changed my life. I feel connected, I feel peaceful, I feel like I'm learning about myself. I didn't know I could sweat just by breathing."

Then, like many of us, he got busy with other things.

"Out and about all the time, and I just found my lifestyle to be very unhealthy physically, emotionally, spiritually," York said.

Four and a half years ago, he remembered that little book and the way yoga made him feel. Today, he is a certified mindfulness and yoga instructor at several Twin Cities studios and organizations, including One Yoga and the YMCA.

"I use meditation, yoga, behavioral psychology, social-emotional learning to educate people of different ages," he said.

And different backgrounds.

"One of my favorite classes I get to teach is through a nonprofit called Black Boys OM," York said. "Yoga was more presented towards suburban white housewives. That really stigmatized large populations of people to think it's only for those types of people. So there is a lot of just like, you know, 'Black men shouldn't be practicing yoga because it's not masculine or it's not tough.' The purpose of this nonprofit is to destigmatize that."

"It takes a certain amount of bravery to walk into a yoga studio, and even more so if no one in there looks like you," York said.

Due to the pandemic, most yoga studios have moved to Zoom. So it might be a good time for anyone who has felt nervous to start.

"When you think of yoga as more than just being on the mat and just stretching and breathing and stuff, it's really a lifestyle of bringing more compassion and more awareness and less autopilot into your life. And you can get in touch with me, or there are many other great teachers out there," York said.

For more mental wellness resources, click here.

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Twin Cities yoga instructor part of special network for Black men -

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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17 Best Yoga Gifts for the Yoga Lover In Your Life – Self

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Heres a question: What do you get when you add together tons of time spent at home and loads of stress induced by a global pandemic? Answer: a very tired, tight body and mind. A body that desperately craves gentle stretching, room to breathe, and stability amidst the madness, if only for a few minutes every day.

If you arent someone who already practices yoga and meditation, theres no better time to start. Since many classes have moved online during the pandemic, its one of the few workouts you can do in the comfort of your living room with minimal equipment. And with the holidays fast approaching, you have every incentive to seek out the best yoga gifts for someone you love (including yourself). From accessories that complement their practice to studio-quality props (like woven blankets and meditation cushions) that round out their home studio, here is a selection of our favorite yoga-minded gift ideas that will satisfy everyone from the longtime yoga lover to the total beginner.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

17 Best Yoga Gifts for the Yoga Lover In Your Life - Self

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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New beer-themed yoga class a hit with beginners, says instructor – SooToday

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Local yoga instructor Amlie Goudreau has brought something she saw in Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie

Not many activities sound more relaxing these days than doing some yoga and having a beer with friends.

Amlie Goudreau, a newly-licensed yoga instructor, is currently teaching Yoga and a Pintyoga classes, where event-goers can do one hour of yoga, and then sit and enjoy a pint of beer afterwards.

I went to school in Thunder Bay and they used to do yoga and a pint at one of the restaurants there, so I decided to do my own version where we did yoga outside near the Bushplane Museum and then walked over to Northern Superior Brewing and had a pint there afterwards, said Goudreau, 24. It was a great hit after the first class so when the weather started turning, I wanted to see if there was a possibility to do it inside. With COVID-19 I wanted to make sure that everyone felt safe and that we were still socially distancing, so we decided on a maximum of 10 people.

This is a really fun way for people to try out yoga if they never have before. Its an all-levels, everyone welcomekind of yoga and I really try to create a fun and inviting environment for people to feel at ease. It can be intimidating trying something new, like yoga, that youve never tried, Goudreau said. The idea is that it gets people out with friends to socialize in a socially-distanced manner. Having the pint afterwards definitely adds a little bit more fun and character to the event.

Yoga and a Pintevents are usually two hours long, and the registration fee is $20per person. The fee includes one hour of yoga and a pint of your choice from Northern Superior.

Goudreau, who has been doing yoga for 10 years now, says that the health benefits of yoga are endless.

Theres so many benefits of doing yoga. I know a lot of professional trainers will try and integrate yoga into their practice - whether its for hockey players, football players, boxers, anyone - you cant ever avoid the inner benefits that yoga has. It has so many physical benefits too, like treating aches and pains when nothing else has worked. Once you take the time and really start practicing yoga on a regular basis, you really start feeling more inner peace and a sense of calmness. I truly believe that yoga has benefits for both the inner and outer body and that the benefits can range from actual pains that people feel to emotional pains, Goudreau said.

For Goudreau, teaching yoga is something that she not only loves, but thinks of as a way for her to relax herself and help others find that calm state within themselves. I love teaching yoga, she said.

So far there have been two Yoga and a Pintclasses, with the next one coming up on Wednesday.

Were going to be doing this every second month for two consecutive weeks, Goudreau said.

For people interested in doing yoga classes, not necessarily Yoga and a Pint, Goudreau teaches at the Klub on Queen Street on Thursdays and at Steel City MMA on Saturdays.

For up to date information on future classes, Amlie Goudreaus instagram page can be found here.

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New beer-themed yoga class a hit with beginners, says instructor - SooToday

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Where to buy the best yoga pants a k a Gen Z’s ‘flared leggings’ in 2020 – New York Post

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We know the youth are our future, but this time, theyre stuck in the past.

A nostalgic legging-centric trend first appeared (or rather reappeared) when an Instagram photo of YouTuber Emma Chamberlain started trending as a fashion moment.

The photo showed Chamberlain wearing a baggy Nike sweatshirt, white undershirt and wide-leg black yoga pants like the kind your cool aunt might have worn to Bikram Yoga in the 90s and early aughts. Only she might have called them, simply, yoga pants.

After Chamberlains blast from the past, TikTok teens took to the app with their new discovery, dubbing the stretch pants flare leggings.

Other trend-resetters followed suit.

Fashion stylist Rachel Zoes site, the Zoe Report, posted a contributors TikTok video wherein she tried the pants on for size. The woman in the video recorded her amazed reaction to the discovery. To her delight, she kicked up her leg to show off the bellbottom pant and urged us all to, get themmmm!

And yes, the pants do fashionably flare at the bottom and have the cozy appeal of their tighter, straight-legged sister. But millennials and Gen Xers were quick to chime in with their own looks. Many duetted the TikTok video, both to provide the right moniker just yoga pants and to show off their cool-again relics.

No matter the name, these leggings, yoga pants or groovy duds from the 2000s are back and still as comfortable as ever. Below is a roundup of where you can find flare leggings that fit your style and budget. Go ahead, order a pair to shove into your UGG boots or over your platform sandals and go back to a simpler time for a moment.

These might just be the original yoga pants or in any case, theyre sure to put you back in that early 2000s vibe. The Groove Pant comes in a few styles and colors, including the classic Groove Pant Flare, the Super High-Riseand the Groove Flare slitted version. They are all sweat-resistant and have four-way stretch, in case you actually decide to work out and not just pose for Instagram photos. They also range in size from zero to 14.

The classic Groove Pant is an online-only exclusive, so be sure to check sizes and stock often to snag a pair for yourself.

Amazons athletic line, Core 10, has its own flair for flared pants. The Mid Rise Wide Flare Yoga Bootcut Pant is a mouthful, but it delivers on its promises. The mid-rise fit hits right below the belly-button and the bootcut leg fits the bill for flared. These yoga pants also feature a waistband pocket, which can be a game changer for many pocket-less women at the gym or in the home office.

The Bootcut Pant comes in sizes XS-XL and the style is currently sold in dark heather gray, navy blue and the classic black.

The Kate Hudson athleisure brand has a few takes on this trend. The Ultra High-Waisted PureLuxe Flare pants are a fashionable and functional addition to a legging collection and they come in an inclusive range of sizes from XXS-4XL. Featuring all-way stretch, chafe-resistant technology and a sweat-resistant fabric, these are perfect for a high-intensity workout followed by a trip to the grocery store afterward. If you do feel like changing after your workout, they offer a Flare Jogger as well!

The best part is that they come with a 45-day workout guarantee if they dont hold up, get a full refund. Fabletics offers a VIP membership program that comes with substantial discounts, making these pants under $20 for a limited time if you sign up, but you can also opt out and purchase them at full price.

I dont know if were more thrilled to see these back in style or shocked that they still exist, but the original fold-over waistband yoga pants are still very much available at Victorias Secret. While they did make the switch to calling them Yoga Flare, a compromise if you will, not much else has changed. The Incredible Yoga Flare pants have the iconic fold-over waistband and come in a variety of both new and nostalgic styles, including a rhinestoned logo, animal-print and the classic hot pink. The beauty of the fold-over waist is that these pants can be worn as a high or low-rise style and are comfortable for all-day wear because of the cotton-modal stretch blend.

The pants range in size from XS-XXL and feature three different inseam lengths.

Spanx has come a long way from nylons and shape-wear. The company is synonymous with a super comfortable and sliming fit, and these dressed-up flare pants are no exception. The Perfect Black Pant, Hi-Rise Flare pants use a special smoothing ponte fabric and their trademark Gut Check shaping in the waistband, ensuring your curves are well-hugged and accounted for. They only come in black, hence the name, but the color works for the yoga studio, the office and beyond.

What they lack in range of color, they make up for in sizing, coming in XS all the way up to a 3XL. They also come in three different lengths petite, regular and tall so no more dragging your bellbottoms on the floor for women of any height.

Wait, did that say UV protection in a pair of leggings? These high-tech pants from Uniqlo protect against UV rays for when you want to bring your workout outdoors. The fabric is said to block 90% of UV rays, and they also feature Cool Touch and DRY technology to make sure you stay cool and sweat-free, even in a hot yoga session.

The ankle-length pants have a mid-rise fit and come in two colors: dark gray and black. Currently this style is online only, and comes in sizes XXS-XXL.

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Where to buy the best yoga pants a k a Gen Z's 'flared leggings' in 2020 - New York Post

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Just breathe – how yoga can help you get through the pandemic –

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There are some simple things you can do to relieve pandemic stress, according to yoga instructor Katie Goodman. To start, she says, just breathe.

SAN ANTONIO A local yoga instructor wants people to know there are simple ways to get through the added stress of 2020, just by breathing.

Katie Goodman of Connected Life Yoga says by practicing remaining in the present moment, people who have addictions of any kind (food, drugs, or toxic people in their lives) can get some instant relief.

Goodman says those unhealthy habits can be a way to escape the present moment or avoid dealing with discomfort - but that by using yoga, you can learn to sit with that discomfort by holding poses and breathing through it.

There are also simple yoga poses which can be done while sitting in a chair.

Goodman also calls yogas physiological effects impressive for the way they calm the body when triggered. She says a consistent practice calms the nervous system and mental synapses that are triggered when tempted to give in to an addiction. It also helps to increase and regulate key hormones like serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine.

Fitness event in San Antonio, TX by Heard on Monday, October 26 2020

Connected Life Yoga is hosting a donation-based yoga class for the HEARD Foundation, which offers wellness and financial relief to those in the service industry. The first 15 people who come will get a shirt, and the first 10 people who show up who work in the service industry will receive a free mat.

The class is being held on Monday, October 26, at 4 p.m. at Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen, located at 103 East Jones Avenue in downtown, about a block away from the San Antonio Museum of Art.

For more details, check out Goodman's Instagram.

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Art Exhibit, Meditation, and Yoga in Sag Harbor – East Hampton Star

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Temple Adas Israel is located in Sag Harbor.

Temple Adas Israel is offering an online tour of the "Modigliani Unmasked" exhibition at New York City's Jewish Museum at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. The show features early drawings by Amedeo Modigliani, an Italian-Jewish painter and sculptor. Many of the works are being shown for the first time in the United States.

The John Jermain Memorial Library is open by appointment for 20 minutes of book browsing, printing, and faxing, and 45 minutes for computer use, while the Zoom programs continue on Tuesday with a 20-minute meditation class starting at 10 a.m. A gentle yoga class will be held at 11 that day. A trivia contest with a Halloween theme will take place on Friday at 7 p.m.

Oct. 10 was the 110th anniversary of the library's opening, and in honor of the occasion an anonymous donor pledged to match donations to the library if $10,000 were raised by the end of the month. Donations can be made by visiting the library's website,

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Art Exhibit, Meditation, and Yoga in Sag Harbor - East Hampton Star

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Student helps campus restore inner balance with virtual yoga class | Texas A&M University-San Antonio | TAMUSA – The Mesquite

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Texas A&M University-San Antonios JagFit free virtual workout classes include yoga on Zoom.

Psychology senior Nadia Padron teaches Restorative Yoga and Vinyasa Flow.

Padron said she is helping students and people around San Antonio relieve stress through a gentle practice.

Amid a global pandemic, various political issues and economic uncertainty, taking a few hours to meditate with yoga can help alleviate stress, Padron said.

It has taught me so much about life. Yoga is about love and acceptance, Padron said.

All levels are welcome to join Restorative Yoga at 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Zoom.

It takes letting go of [your] expectations, Padron said.

Padron teaches another class, Vinyasa Flow, for those looking for a more fast-paced class at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The links are available on her website. Padron recommends having a blanket, pillow or a yoga mat in preparation for her class.

For more information on yoga and other JagFit virtual classes, visit here.

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Student helps campus restore inner balance with virtual yoga class | Texas A&M University-San Antonio | TAMUSA - The Mesquite

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Studies show how yoga may help boost age-related areas of brain – Atlanta Journal Constitution

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Still, three areas of consistency emerged.

One was that yoga practice could be associated with more gray matter volume in the hippocampus. Another was the increased volume in certain areas of the prefrontal cortex, and the third was increased connectivity across the default mode network. The latter plays a part in what we call self-referential processingprocessing information about yourself, review paper co-author Jessica Damoiseaux, a cognitive neuroscientist at Wayne State University, told the publication for the November issue.

While the significance of the increased volume of gray matter its not completely clear, Damoiseaux said it suggests there may be more connections between neurons, which can indicate better functioning.

Better studies built on smaller experiments will produce clearer studies, according to Scientific American. Recently, Gothe got a federal grant for a study that will randomly assign 168 older adults to six months of yoga, aerobic exercise, or stretching and strengthening courses.

The aim is to examine the influence of the different regimens on brain anatomy and cognitive performance.

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Studies show how yoga may help boost age-related areas of brain - Atlanta Journal Constitution

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Yoga helps mind and body to become and stay healthy – The Killeen Daily Herald

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Yoga is known to be excellent training for a clear and healthy mind. But yoga also promotes physical health in multiple ways.

Yoga has so many amazing benefits, said Beth Funk, founder and executive director of Life Moves Yoga with offices in Killeen and Harker Heights. A regular yoga and mindfulness practice can improve heart health, help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety, reduce inflammation and chronic pain, promote quality sleep, improve flexibility and balance, and enhance your overall wellness.

While some of the benefits derive from better stress management, others result from gentle physical movements and yoga postures in yoga, which help promote flexibility and reduce joint pain.

Practicing at least 2-3 times a week is often enough to help you notice a difference in how you feel and can lead to improved quality of life, Funk said.

One reason many Americans find the way into the nearest yoga studio is back pain. Statistics show that four out of five Americans suffer from back pain at some point.

A variety of trials and studies found evidence that regular yoga practice helps very effectively with short-term back-pain and improves long-term or chronic low-back pain moderately.

The American Society of Pain even recommends physicians to recommend yoga to patients with long-term pain in the lower back.

Yoga also offers pain relief for arthritis patients.

Although data shows that exercise helps alleviate pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis, gentle yoga movements can improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around painful joints.

Other studies showed that yoga could also help rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, osteoporosis, balance and mobility issues, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, and ADHD.

Funk said practically everyone could do a yoga class.

If you can breathe, you can practice yoga, she said. One of the most common things I hear is, I cant do yoga because Im not flexible. Flexibility is not a requirement for starting a yoga practice. Rather, flexibility is a beautiful and beneficial byproduct of a regular yoga practice.

Since there are various yoga styles, it is essential to find the right match before starting a practice regimen.

Not every style or pace is right for every person, however, and it is important to find the right fit for you, she said. Practicing yoga does not have to mean tying yourself up like a pretzel. While it is true that we become stronger and more flexible through the practice, it is important that we participate in a way that makes sense for us.

Yoga sessions typically last from 45 to 90 minutes. The Harvard Medical school even recommended following yoga video instructions at home for 10 to 20 minutes several times a week to improve health and reduce pain.

The Life Moves Yoga studios are located at 2710 S Clear Creek Road in Killeen and at 3045 Stillhouse Lake Road, Suite 110 in Harker Heights.

Yoga helps mind and body to become and stay healthy - The Killeen Daily Herald

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October 27th, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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