Creative Way to Practice Yoga in the Triad
Traditional yoga has its roots in Northern India, but in the Triad there are many different and creative ways yoga is practiced. From hipster millennials to die-hard yoga enthusiasts, everyone can find their niche, whether it be in Thai Yoga, Glow-ga or Goat Yoga.
Catherine Howard of Eir Heart is a Thai Yoga therapist based in Winston-Salem. Howard is certified in mind-body centering yoga therapy since 2014. Howard said mind-body centering yoga helps people to heal their trauma by finding where it sits in the body and working it out. While working exclusively as a private therapist, Howard wanted to grow her skills and understanding of physical adjustments for people. She then started researching Thai Yoga.
“Thai Yoga is assisted yoga,” Howard said. “You just lay there, and someone else does your yoga for you. It is really good for folks who have injuries. It will help loosen the body, help the fluids to move more freely and help the body realign itself.”
After extensive research, Howard received her Thai Yoga certification in Minneapolis also in 2014. She now uses Thai Yoga to help clients that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Autism.
“It does assist in finding those emotional pockets in the body and finding where we hold our memories,” Howard said. “I have found that, regardless if you are doing Thai Yoga, sometimes you find a place in the body and a memory floods back to you. We have to hold that memory and the body with care to heal and become healthy.”
Howard does open office hours on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at Top Tier CrossFit, located at 610 N. Liberty St. in downtown Winston-Salem for Crossfit athletes and the general public. For a more intimate session, she also does private sessions at the Wellness Collective, located at 823 W. 5th St. According to her website, Howard “passionately believe that we all deserve compassionate healing care” and offers a sliding scale method of payment for sessions. For a 75-minute session, she suggests $60-$100 and for an hour-long session, she suggests $40-$80. Visit her website to book a session or call (336) 497-1649.
Being a roller girl and having sore legs, I tried out a session on Sept. 29 and streamed it live on YES! Weekly’s Facebook page. To watch Howard work on me and to see what a Thai Yoga session is like, visit our Facebook page’s videos tab.
Glow-in-the-dark yoga or Glow-ga is offered at Sky Zone, located at 1572-A Highwoods Blvd, in Greensboro. Glow-ga is an instructor-led session where participants get to paint their bodies and do yoga on trampolines underneath black lights. The idea came from Sky Zone’s events manager Katie Allegro, and after networking with many instructors in the Triad, Ashley McLaren (of Crazy Happy Healthy) was chosen to lead the session. The very first Glow-ga session started Oct. 2 and has continued ever since on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Glow-ga uses some elements of traditional yoga but mixed with trampoline-specific moves.
“Glow-ga is different because it allows you to balance your core in a new way since the trampoline is an uneven surface,” said Rebecca Hansen the marketing and community relations specialist for Sky Zone. “That allows a variety of muscles to strengthen in the process.”
Glow-ga sessions are $10 and include a ticket and glow-in-the-dark body paint. Hansen said since the sessions are held in their indoor trampoline park, there is enough room to accommodate groups of varying sizes.
“We have even had a group came in for a private Glow-ga session,” Hansen said. “I think it was more of a team-building exercise. So, it is great if you want to bring friends or co-workers or somebody to keep you motivated.”
Hansen said that Sky Zone requires participants to wear white or neon shirts for their session so that they can safely be seen under the black lights. Hansen said there are shirts for sale at Sky Zone if participants forget to bring one.
Hansen said she foresees Glow-ga becoming a regular program at Sky Zone and the next session will be held on Nov. 13. For more information, visit Sky Zone’s website or call (336) 550-1800.
Cathy Yonaitis is the owner of UniteUs Yoga and Therapeutic, and she brings probably the most sought-after type of yoga to the Triad. Right out of her home studio, located at 6955 Storms End Trl in Greensboro, Yonaitis offers Goat Yoga. Goat Yoga is operated like a usual yoga session, with the obvious exception of goats running around mischievously while participants stretch. Local T.V. news stations FOX 8 and WFMY News 2 have taken notice of UniteUs’s Goat Yoga, and Yonaitis said she doesn’t know of any other Goat Yoga sessions in Greensboro.
Why is goat yoga so popular these days? Yonaitis said it is because goats make people happy and feel less intimidated to try yoga out.
“What I have noticed while doing this is people a lot of times have been too scared to try yoga, they think they can’t do it,” Yonaitis said. “They aren’t as intimidated by coming to a Goat Yoga class because they are drawn to the animals. They know it is about yoga, but they also know it is about the goats. It lessens the intimidation and makes people really happy.”
Yonaitis added that the goats enjoy it as much as yoga participants do.
However, Goat Yoga has ended for the time being, and Yonaitis said it is because her goats will probably become pregnant.
“But, in the spring I am hoping to have baby goat yoga,” Yonaitis said as I interrupted with an obnoxious “AWWW.” “Probably in May, it is going to be amazing.”Yonaitis specializes in alignment-based yoga, and her services include massage therapy, private Goat Yoga sessions and Raki. Yonaitis said Goat Yoga is a great introduction to yoga sessions, but she encourages people who want to seriously learn how to do yoga to come to one of her classes without the goats. I visited one Goat Yoga session about two months ago and added videos to YES! Weekly’s Facebook page. Visit our videos tab to watch how a typical Goat Yoga session would go.
To learn more about UniteUs Yoga and Therapeutic’s services, visit their website, Facebook page @www.uniteusyoga or call them at (336) 254-5560
Yoga in the Triad is of course not limited to these three styles. There are a plethora of different ways to practice yoga just waiting to be explored, so grab your mat and namaste.
Katie Murawski is the editor of YES! Weekly. She is from Mooresville, North Carolina and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in film studies from Appalachian State University in 2017.