Unless you’ve been living under a mat, you’ve heard of and seen yoga studios. What was once a mystic exercise of mind and body has become a mainstream activity with many customized variations. Yoga has been around for centuries, and while it’s been practiced here in the states for years, it wasn’t until trainers and teachers put a practical spin on it, did mainstream America jump onboard. Now a fashion trend as much as an activity, many start-ups have cashed in on the lifestyle. Some cling to the tradition of yoga and what it can do for your mental and physical wellbeing. Here in Ellicottville, Laura Solly has been learning, training and teaching yoga to those looking for the whole package.
Laura had a great inspiration in her dad who was a practicing yogi throughout her childhood. In 2008 Laura expanded her experience by training (200 hours) at Healing Waters in East Aurora. Laura’s first sessions were taught at a local Inn and even at the library …
I think sometimes when we are down, a light draws us up, and that’s what happened when Laura lost her father. “After my Dad passed away, I really dove into the whole theory of yoga and what it meant on all levels,” Laura told me just recently. She said she never really intended to teach, but wanted to learn all aspects of yoga, and that included teaching. After a while, she realized she was pretty good at it.
The timing was perfect for Laura. Yoga was becoming not just a popular activity but a hot trend and so easy and affordable for a newbie to try. And the health benefits - both physical and mental - are advantageous. Regular yoga practice improves circulation, relieves stress and keeps muscles loose and stretched. When is the last time you could comfortably touch your toes?
Yoga is growing so much in today’s health market, and although a lot of people are using it as a great physical exercise, they fail to explore the mental benefits. Laura’s classes include exercises for both the mind and body, and now there are classes for all abilities and ages …
Chair yoga offers folks a chance to participate and learn from a seated position. Those recovering from injury can maintain their flexibility off the floor and elevated. Elderly students can also move and flow from the comfort and support of a chair. As we age, sometimes it becomes harder to focus and concentrate. Yoga can increase brain power and reduce the effects of depression. My 74-year-old mom has been taking senior yoga classes and I have definitely noticed a difference in her overall attitude and demeanor.
Kid’s yoga provides an awesome alternative to staring at a screen. Once these zombie children are unplugged and have a couple classes under their belts, they will surely realize that physical and mental exercise can be fun and challenging. The constant barrage of input kids gather from school, activities, the internet and other media can drain on their focus and energy. Practicing yoga once a week can make a major difference in a kid’s attention span. A noise-free and gadget-free escape is something we could all benefit from these days.
If you’re interested in giving yoga a try, Laura Solly Yoga certainly has a class for you. The August schedule features a 4-week session of Chair yoga for just $50 if paid by July 25 ($60 after that). Dates for Chair yoga are Aug. 1, 8, 15 and 29. Kids yoga is also available for 4 weeks in August on the 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st, $30 if paid by August 1 ($35 after). Or sign up for one of Laura’s regular Hatha yoga sessions, which she offers three days a week. View her schedule, pricing, and reserve your spot on the mat through her website at www.laurasollyyoga.com. For questions, call Laura directly at 716-353-0951. The Laura Solly Yoga studio is located behind Daff Dry Goods, 17 Washington Street, downtown Ellicottville, NY.