A stretch in the garden7/29/2015
Yoga has quickly become one of the most popular workout routines of late. Athletes as well as the average Joe have found that a well-rounded yoga practice can include dynamic flexibility training, core stabilization, strengthening and balance workout. But people forget it’s as much about the mind as it is the body.
“Yoga is a spiritual science developed approximately 5,000 years ago,” said Ofelia Mohr, yoga instructor. “Most likely yoga was practiced outdoors in solitude or smaller groups.”
Next Tuesday, try a more traditional yoga experience at the Des Moines Botanical Center’s Yoga at the Garden with Ofelia Mohr. The class will be held Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the newly opened outdoor Koehn Garden.
“Yoga in the Garden recreates the original yoga practice environment,” Mohr said. “Yoga wasn’t created for nice abs. It was created for spiritual enlightenment.”
Mohr has been practicing yoga for the past 25 years, since she was a teenager. Originally from Romania, she moved to the United States 11 years ago. In 2009, she began teaching Esoteric Yoga® in Des Moines. During Mohr’s Yoga at the Garden class, participants will practice asanas (yoga poses) as part of Hatha Yoga.
“During the asana practice, we will focus our attention to awaken the seven principal chakras along the spine. The chakras are energetic vortexes along the spine, which control different glands, organs and body functions,” Mohr said. “At the same time, their awakening allows the yoga practitioner to have certain emotional and spiritual experiences. Each yoga pose activates at least one chakra, and the participants will be guided how to awaken and feel them.
“Yoga aims to bring nature’s qualities in the human’s life,” continued Mohr. “That is why many of the yoga poses (asanas) have names of plants and animals: the lotus pose, the rabbit pose, the tree pose, the lion pose, the scorpion pose, etc.”
As yoga in solitude has its charm, yoga in group brings unique benefits to the practitioners. Mohr said the energies developed in a group of people practicing yoga together are exponentially increased compared to a solitude yoga practice. The difference between fitness yoga and yoga as a spiritual practice is the awareness of the subtle energies and effects.
People practicing yoga in a group have the tendency to support and motivate each other. The social factor is also very important in a group setting.
“I want the participants to understand that yoga is not a workout, but a meditative practice in which all the energy structures implode in a blissful experience,” said Mohr. “There are techniques in yoga suitable for everybody, regardless of age or physical condition. Yoga is not about how flexible or strong they are, but about the magical journey to awaken their soul.” CV
Yoga at the Garden
Des Moines Botanical Gardens
Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Members: $10; non-members: $15
Participants can register at this link: http://www.dmbotanicalgarden.com/events-programs/calendar-events/158-yoga-at-the-garden/ or show up before class and pay at the door.