WILMINGTON — Helping to relax people’s minds and deal with their anxiety are goals of some locals helping others by leading yoga classes.
Tammy Reed — who owns Conscious Yoga and is one of the members of the Wilmington Yoga Collective on Main Street — is a certified instructor of Kundalini Yoga. Reed started her yoga joined in 2001 after the birth of her first child.
“I was initially drawn to yoga out of curiosity,” said reed. “As I became more familiar with the practice, I became increasingly aware that yoga was a complete technology that nurtures the body, mind, and spirit.”
She described the practice as about listening to the “cues of the body and spirit” to bring balance to all aspects of life.
“No matter who you are or what you have going on, this practice is for you,” she said. “It is not just for the flexible, or the young, or the thin, or the ‘put together’ — it is for the human.”
To folks who may be hesitant about starting yoga, she encourages people to carve out a time in the day — three to five minutes — to practice.
“After time you will feel a shift and a difference, it is that shift that inspires your practice to grow and grow,” she said.
Jennifer Durren, a member of Wilmington Yoga Collective on Main Street, has been practicing yoga for seven years before getting her teaching certificate. She’s also hosted yoga classes at Galvin Park on Saturdays.
“I was looking for something fun to do with coworkers. I’d been seeing ‘aerial yoga’ and thought would be a fun team-building activity,” said Durren.
After she and her friends tried it out, she started exploring more traditional yoga, and things started to shift for her.
“It had an impact on my anxiety and my stress levels,” she said. “I noticed the health benefits and I started to feel a sense of community. As a single mom with a busy schedule, that means a lot.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, she would watch live streams provided by the studio she attended.
“I don’t know where I’d be, mentally, without those,” she said.
It was watching those videos that she started getting the idea of becoming an instructor.
Durren talked about how practicing yoga gives people a chance to find a balance, slow down and breathe, and be in the present.
“Yoga is nurturing and gives the students permission to relax,” she said.
She knows that yoga can be intimidating due to how it has been represented by certain body types or athleticism.
“Find a studio or someone who teaches a beginners class. Yoga is for everyone of all body types. There are so many types of yoga for all phases of life,” she said.
Amy Kreider, a social studies teacher at Clinton-Massie Middle School, teaches yoga at Community Yoga at 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Kreider has been practicing yoga for about 12 years and instructing for about 10. and she has utilized yoga for her colleagues at Clinton-Massie, as well as for the students.
“I learned there were ways to use breath work to help with anxiety,” she said. “Once I understood that, I showed how it could be used in the classroom as a tool to help my students when feeling anxious.”
She recommends yoga to anyone who is interested. She acknowledged that going into it for the first time, one could feel out of their comfort zone. She felt a similar way.
“Once I tried it, though, I couldn’t believe I never did it before,” she said.
She recommends finding someone to go with. If they don’t like it, try somewhere else or a different type of yoga.
“There’s a plethora of information and YouTube videos out there. You can find out about all the different types of yoga,” she said. “I started learning with a book from the Clinton-Massie library. “
For more information about her class, visit akyogabliss.weebly.com. For further information about the Yoga Collective, visit wilmingtonyogacollective.com.