Post-Holiday Body Bliss: Different Ways To Practice Yoga, And Why You Should

"I've lost 35 pounds and feel more focused." - Chef Todd Perrin

After the holidays, feeling bloated and logy are common complaints. Something Todd Perrin of Mallard Cottage could once relate to. But not anymore.

“I’ve lost 35 pounds and I feel more focused.”

The chef, often described as “burly, brash, and entertaining,” says practicing yoga needn’t overtake your life. “ I don’t do it every day, but I do it as much as I can.” He describes Ashtanga yoga as “intense but approachable,” and says it encourages better habits, and yields powerful results. While he doesn’t consider himself particularly spiritual, he says he can’t help but respect the way the practice can change your thinking.

Ashtanga’s spiritual home is in Mysore, India, where Perrin’s highly accomplished yoga teacher Susan Hounsell studies each winter. Hounsell is also Perrin’s romantic partner, which he admits helped provide the nudge to start yoga.

Ashtanga’s benefits keep him motivated.  Hounsell teaches the demanding discipline at different levels by adapting movements to fit students’ abilities as they progress. It’s great for building strength, but like all yoga, is at root a spiritual discipline. The word yoga comes from Sanskrit, meaning both union and concentration, and the practice aims to create harmony, health, and peace in the mind and body.

Melanie Caines liked yoga so much that in 2010, she started her own studio, Nova Yoga. Side effects of her practice include “feeling joy” and “finding it easier to cope with life.”

The laid back, earth toned studio is reminiscent of the Sprout Restaurant and attracts a similarly progressive, ecologically conscious clientele. Multiple types of yoga are taught at Nova by multiple teachers, including pre and post natal, Kundalini, and Yin yoga. Nova Yoga’s popular yoga retreats to such destinations as Costa Rica and Portugal are definitely a nice way to get your winter practice in.

As yoga’s popularity grows , there is truly something for everyone. Not ready to commit to an Ashtanga practice? Try doing yoga with rescued rabbits or have a Yogassage session ( yoga + massage) at Hot Yoga Bodies, or maybe some cat cuddling yoga at the Mad Catter Cafe.

Some studios offer chair yoga classes for those with mobility challenges. Kids can do yoga with Soul Warrior Yoga For Youth. Hot yoga, like at Moksha Yoga, will shake the winter chills, Yogalign classes help posture and chronic pain.

There are many reasons to do yoga, many methods of practice, and it’s open to everyone.

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