Published: 7/19/2012 2:11:02 PM
Yoga improves concentration, flexibility
When one thinks of a cobra or dog, an image of an animal typically comes to mind.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but think yoga instead.
Cobra and dog are just some of the many positions in yoga, an ancient art form that traces its origins to the India and seeks to achieve tranquility through meditation.
Fort Bragg youth are becoming acquainted with yoga as part of Fit EDGE, weekdays, at Towle Courts.
EDGE stands for Excel, Develop, Grow and Experience) is an afterschool program that provides cutting-edge art, fitness, life skills and adventure through Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Child, Youth and School Services.
The goal of Fit EDGE, according to the Fort Bragg FMWR website, is to encourage a healthier lifestyle through physical activity and nutritional awareness programs.
For Tiara Green, 12, yoga seems to be a welcomed activity that reaps positive benefits.
“It calms you. It relaxes you, so if you’re stressed out, you feel much better,” said Green, a rising seventh grader at John Griffin Middle School.
Green said she has improved flexibility since joining yoga.
“Usually, when I would do most touches, it hurts and I’d get out of it quickly, but now it doesn’t hurt,” she said.
Yoga does indeed increase flexibility, as well as muscular strength and mindfulness, said instructor Candace Adams, who is certified through Yoga Alliance, an organization that provides support services and leadership opportunities for instructors.
“Yoga gives you a conscious awareness of the body, which could translate into conscious awareness in other areas of your life,” Adams said.
For youth who study yoga, the benefits range from being able to focus and concentrate better in school, to gaining a body awareness that carries into an extracurricular activity such as sports, Adams explained.
Brittany Reaves, 12, said she has benefited from yoga.
It has helped her to relax her mind, said the upcoming sixth grader at Reid Ross Classical School.
“You have to keep focused so your mind doesn’t wander everywhere, so you don’t worry about certain things,” Reaves said.
Emily Allen, a Fort Bragg Family member, agreed.
“You learn how to focus on things and to channel your emotions on treating people right,” she said.
How important is yoga to Allen?
“Yoga is pretty much it,” said Allen.
Participants in the EDGE program must be in grades 1 to 12 and must have a valid CYSS card to register.
Registration may be done at Tolson Youth Activities Center, Central Enrollment at the Soldier Support Center or online at https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil. To lessen wait time for walk-ins, call 396-8110.
For the latest EDGE information, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com/cyss/the-edge/.
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