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Simplify Yoga Connects Mind and Body for Students as Young as Two

By Kelly Church

Simplify Yoga is a Coventry, RI yoga studio that helps connect people to their minds and bodies while relieving any tension or other ailments. Studio instructor Emma Nahod said what she believes to be one of the most important aspects of yoga is its ability to be a "holistic practice that doesn't require you to sacrifice one thing to serve another."

Nahod believes the mind and body to be "intimately connected" and practicing yoga helps support the relationship between the two. Often, those who practice yoga experience stress relief, and improved mental and physical health. Additionally, Nahod credited yoga with ensuring the cells in the body work more efficiently by focusing on proper breathing.

"Yoga and meditation practices help us learn how to self-regulate," Nahod said. "Much of the yoga practice is learning about how to be present and stay focused and clear, even in times of great emotion, stress or anxiety. It can also help us to learn how to navigate through life in a healthier way and give us tools to avoid unnecessary stress."

Nahod said because there are many types of yoga and every instructor has a different teaching style, it may take students a few times to find what class and instructor works for them. At Simplify Yoga, students have several classes to choose from, and are able to take classes seven days a week. The schedule includes stretch and breathe, gentle yoga, basic yoga, vinyasa flow, Zumba, Zumba combined with stretching, and Pilates. The studio also offers two kids classes. One class is for kids aged two to five, while the other is for kids aged six to 11.

"Ideally, [yoga] is a lifetime practice, and while the yoga practice of a 20-year-old and a 90-year-old might look different, it is still just as beneficial and accessible to everyone," Nahod said.

Simplify Yoga uses a mix of vinyasa and hatha yoga. Vinyasa classes include fluid movements, while hatha classes require holding poses for several breaths. In order to reap the benefits of both types of yoga, all classes incorporate elements of each type of yoga.

"Relax, breathe and listen to your body," Nahod said. "I know when I first started practicing, I was still in a no-pain-no-gain mindset and I ended up injuring myself because I ignored my body saying, 'okay that's far enough.' The yoga practice is an opportunity to simply take care of ourselves and, hopefully, enjoy ourselves."

Simplify Yoga doesn't require students to sign up prior to class, so drop in to the studio before any class. The class schedule can be found online at simplifyyoga.com. Classes are $14, with discounts for seniors available. Sundays feature a community yoga class that welcome all students for just $5.

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