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Pensacola's Breathe Yoga and Wellness Center Promotes Mindfulness in a Supportive Environment

By S. Mathur

The Breathe Yoga & Wellness Center offers yoga classes for all age groups, from small children to seniors. Director Tara Taylor says that "Our mission is to create a supportive environment that nourishes growth and connection by offering services steeped in quality, experience, and integrity."

The practice of yoga promotes mindfulness and provides a great workout. Taylor explains that "Although the primary focus of yoga extends far beyond the physical, the practice of yoga asana (postures) brings about significant positive effects on the body by building strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as creating better postural and respiratory habits."

Yoga restores freedom and flexibility to the body, and builds strength, especially in the core. The feet and ankles are strengthened through balancing postures; this helps to reduce the risk of injury. A full range of stretching, twisting, and extension motions promote spinal health, leading to better posture and breathing and thereby to increased vitality.

Regular meditation can improve your health, Taylor adds: "A regular mediation and yoga practice can help induce a deep sense of peace by bringing the nervous system into balance. When our nervous system is in a healthy state of balance we have a natural gateway available to us for healing and transformation."

As well as emotional and intellectual clarity, balancing the nervous system produces beneficial physical effects like lowering the heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, and stress hormones. It can also improve the functioning of the digestive and immune systems. Taylor emphasizes that mindfulness can spill over into other areas of life, and people find themselves making better choices about food, drink, exercise and other habits.

Ultimately, Taylor feels that yoga is about much more than physical exercise or the care of the body. It can become a refuge and a source of support: "One of the ultimate goals of the yoga practice is to build a healthy relationship with ourselves and learn how to be radically present with what is true for us in each moment. When we have a true sense of connection with ourselves and others, we can begin to live in a more balanced, harmonious and healthy way."

The studio teaching staff includes some of the best teachers in the area, who have years of experience. They offer a number of wellness services besides yoga. Workshops focus on healing, awareness and restoration. The July Hoop Dance camp for children brings third-to-eighth-graders a fun combination of hooping, dance, play, movement and yoga.

The camp imparts such benefits as spatial awareness, fine motor skills, group participation, creativity, self-esteem and self-expression. Other studio services include: therapeutic massage, structural integration, craniosacral therapy, life coaching my holistic counseling, intuitive healing and probate yoga classes. The studio also offers a 200-hour yoga teacher training course.

Breathe will participate in the 5th Annual Mahabhuta Yoga Festival to held in November this year. The event will bring yoga teachers, artists, healers, and musicians from across the Southeast to the gulf coast.

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