WORDS BY LIZ KING/ IMAGES BY ABBEY GARLICK
Our local yogi, Liz King, has nailed down ten reasons that you need more yoga in your life. No, this is not so you can show off your headstands as a fun party trick, or because you are addicted to wearing your yoga pants all the time, but rather something more beneficial to the community at large. Read on to find out why she believes yoga has the ability to make you experience Denton in a more mindful and communal way.
1. Community – As mentioned in my last column, the traditional definition of yoga is “to yoke” AKA bring together AKA create one powerful, united, badass community that cultivates great things for itself and the generations to follow. A community that is fun, loving, passionate, creative and strong. In other words, yoga can help Denton keep doing what is has been doing so well already!
2. Health – There are so many benefits to having a yoga practice. Physically speaking, yoga creates strong, limber bodies that are adaptable to their environments. Yoga is also highly beneficial for mental and emotional release. We get so caught up in our own lives, schedules, and drama that sometimes (all the time) our minds and emotions need a break! A consistent yoga practice presses the “pause” button so our minds and hearts can relax, recollect, and rejuvenate. Grounded and clear thinking leads to living a bigger, healthier, and more loving lifestyle. Healthy bodies and minds equal happy hearts and souls!
3. Culture – Denton’s yoga scene adds to the fundamental characteristic of our town – our uniqueness. With our wide array of passions to offer like art, music, comedy, film, festivals, outreach programs, education, fine dining, craft beer and more – it’s no surprise that Denton has a little extra somethin’ somethin’ in the culture department. Denton’s diverse yoga scene only adds to its cultural uniqueness even more!
4. Diversity – Speaking of diversity, Denton’s yoga scene has tons of it! Looking for a strong, intense, and powerful yoga flow that will leave you dripping in sweat and coming back for more? We’ve got it! Are you more interested in something slow, gentle, and more restorative to help you wind down from a crazy day? We’ve got you covered. Something in between? Spoilers: we have it all. Denton’s yoga community is getting bigger and better every day which means there is something for everyone and every body.
5. Supporting Local Business – One of our favorite things to do in the Lil’ D. Getting involved in Denton’s yoga scene puts you smack dab in the middle of supporting local business and there are a lot of different ways to do it! Whether that is through taking a class at a studio, gym, or an organization, at a school that offers yoga classes to students or finding a private teacher who offers yoga classes. Participating in Denton’s yoga scene is a great way to be proactive and support your community.
6. Stress-Relief for Students, Teachers, and Parents – Although the health benefits have already been addressed, this particular topic needs to be emphasized. Y’all. School is hard. Whether you are a student, teacher, raising a student, or have a loved one who is a student or teacher, all parties could use a little (a lot) more stress-relief and that is exactly what a regular yoga practice can provide. Yoga can help teach our community simple things like how to breathe, have proper posture that will help you stay focused and energetic, how to recognize when it’s time for a break and what it takes for you to chill out and refresh (because everyone is different). It’s all about the little things and yoga can help us discover them!
7. Enjoying the City of Denton’s Finest (aka Parks and Rec) – this kind of goes hand in hand with number five but instead of local business you are literally supporting (and enjoying) your town and the amenities you already pay for. Like being outdoors? Grab a mat, some friends, and go do yoga at the park. You can even bring your pets and children! The City of Denton Parks and Recreation department has set us up with countless opportunities to engage in yoga here in Denton (bringing my yoga mat on a city-led kayaking trip is on my personal to-do list…but that’s just me).
8. Acceptance – Ah, something we could all use a little more of. Maybe you flunked a test or missed a deadline at work. Maybe things are starting to get crazy with family or friends. It happens. Yoga is all about teaching us how to be accepting of our circumstances so we can clearly see how to move on. What’s easier – resisting or releasing? An accepting community creates and understanding community. Denton is so great because there are different views and opinions that make up or town. But with this needs to exist acceptance, love, and empathy.
9. Mindfulness – How many times do you drive down Oak Street and completely ignore the beautiful, historic houses you fly by? Or when was the last time you stopped and acknowledged the way the tree lights light up the square at night? How about that last time you listened to your friend talk about their day and when they finish all you can say is “oh, yeah totally!” because you didn’t actually pay attention to anything they said. Yoga forces us to slow down and really see our surroundings – something that can only enhance our Denton experience.
10. Gratitude – Last but not least, yoga is good for Denton because it reminds us why we love it. It helps us find gratitude for the smallest of things, like the way the sun shines on the tents and vendors at the Farmer’s Market, and the big things like bringing our families to Denton festivals and parades. Yoga reminds us why we are here and why choose Denton as our home.