The Rev. Julie Poore's yoga classes aim to enhance mind and body.
Poore, who ministers at Osceola United Methodist Church, offers yoga classes for the public.
When Poore was 3 years old, her parents sent her to dance lessons, and her teacher had her do little warmups that were yoga poses.
"Back then, I don't know that she knew they were yoga, but they were, and that was always a part of (it)," Poore said.
Poore took dance throughout high school. She started buying DVDs to do yoga, and eventually went to a yoga festival in Iowa City. That is where Poore met James Miller, her teacher and trainer.
Poore got her 200 hours certificate in 2010. In January, she got her 400 hours certificate. Next January, she hopes to get her 500 hours.
There are many various types of yoga. Poore teaches Hatha yoga. She also practices Adamantine — a type of Hatha yoga.
"It is more about balancing in our body and mind and our spirit. Our left and and our right, and all of that," Poore said. "It has, in my understanding, a little bit more of the spiritual aspect. There's some that people do just more for fitness and things, but this is a total 'all of you' kind of thing, and that's why I like it more … yes, it is a mind, body experience."
She started teaching classes at Osceola United Methodist Church in August. She had been transferred from a church in Granger to Osceola.
"When I came down to meet with them … I told them this was a very important part of my personal life, and I wanted to share that," Poore said. "I was teaching at the church where I was before. They were excited about it."
Poore said the response to her classes has been positive and Osceola United Methodist Church has been supportive. She said it's a form of fellowship, and it's something that helps people become more centered.
For yoga class member Elisabeth Reynoldson, centering herself is one of the things she likes most about Poore's classes.
"It makes me take time to relax and breathe and forget about the craziness of the day," she said.
Reynoldson has been coming to the yoga class for six months. Her favorite pose is the back-bending "up dog" pose.
Best of your ability
During Poore's classes, she makes it known each pose is about strengthening each person's own body and limits, and not worrying about how much more other people in the class can bend or stretch.
By doing this, Poore helps ensure people know yoga is something that all ages can do.
"That's really important to me," she said. "That's part of how I was taught, too, … because it's really about listening to your own body, and it's about listening to your mind and taking your body where you can go. And, I really and strongly believe that anybody can do yoga. We all have to find that way to do it."
Each person working to the best of his or her abilities is one of the reasons Poore has her yoga chair class. She said even if people aren't able to get down on the floor, there are other things that can done in the chair or standing with the chair.
"It's really exciting to me to hear people say, just in the short time that we've been doing it, the changes they see for themselves," Poore said. "Some people are sleeping better. Some people don't have as many headaches, or they're just feeling better in general."
She added, not everybody can do everything. The goal is to figure out what your body can do, and challenge yourself without injuring yourself.
Yoga does have health benefits, Poore said. She said people have found they sleep better and there are studies of yoga reducing stress and blood pressure, as well as strengthening the body, digestive system and sense of balance.
As for the poses Poore likes the most, she said "triangle," which stretches the legs and spine, and "tree," which is balancing on one foot.
"When I get it, to have that feeling of just really being centered," Poore said. "I feel very like a tree. I feel very rooted, but I feel very tall and just kind of that whole line of balance. And, that's part of what this is, not just prayer position, it's about the connection of your left and your right side of the body and balance."