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Yoga finds its center in Oxford community

By Annabel Brooks, For The Miami Student

Yoga, the physical, mental and often spiritual practice of controlling the breath and posing the body, is an activity offered abundantly in Oxford.

There are several different types of yoga, but the most common is Vinyasa. This discipline pays special attention to breathing patterns and connecting that to the body in motion.

The list of yoga's health benefits is lengthy, but several of the advantages are particularly worthwhile to college students.

Not only does yoga have physical benefits like improving flexibility, increasing muscle strength and improving posture, it also has been found to make you a mentally healthy, more centered person.

Doing yoga has the potential to reduce stress recognizably and to aid sleep.

At the University of Wisconsin, Richard Davidson, Ph.D., even found that the practice of yoga leads to greater levels of happiness.

Senior Kelsey Loss prefers to do yoga in the comfort of her own apartment, especially when temperatures drop.

"YouTube and Hulu have some great options if you want to do yoga but don't want to leave the house," Loss said. "I love yoga because when you're doing it, it doesn't even seem like a workout, but you can really feel it afterwards."

In Oxford, yoga is available at the Rec, the Student Health Services and the Oxford Community Arts Center. Classes are offered daily at the Rec for both Pilates Yoga and classic Vinyasa Yoga.

Pilates Yoga combines the two practices to incorporate strength exercises as well as the stretching provided by yoga. Miami Senior Emily Baker attends a Vinyasa class at least once a week.

"It's relaxing and a great way to unwind after a long day of classes," Baker said.

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Semester class passes are available at the Rec for $170, or $15 per individual class.

The Student Health Services also offers yoga classes for free for students, faculty and Oxford locals.

"I love doing yoga at the health center," Miami senior Chloe Beck said. "It's a very peaceful atmosphere and kind of a hidden gem in Oxford."

Off-campus, the Oxford Community Arts Center on College Avenue offers yoga classes away from the hustle and bustle of the university. At $10 a class, the Vinyasa classes are taught two to three times a week.