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She Knows Her Yoga Inside Out

Yoga is more than an activity for Rhys Atkinson, it's a way of life. Working in health food stores on and off for 20 years, she absorbed the healthy lifestyle culture, and yoga seemed like the logical next step. Thirteen years later, she is spreading the message of the power of yoga.

"We do most sports and working out and such from the outside in," said Atkinson, who has been teaching classes at the Easton Community Center for some seven years. "But yoga you really do from the inside out, and it's not as important what the yoga looks like as how it feels."

Atkinson, who sported a PETA t-shirt, is an animal activist and has been a vegan and student of Buddhism for a number of years. During our interview, she paused to make sure a husky in a nearby parked car was not left alone without air conditioning.

She says anyone can do yoga, no matter your skills or flexibility. Getting in tune with your body's needs and capabilities is a part of the process. "You can do yoga class on a Monday and be able to do something that, when you take the same class on Wednesday, you won't be able to do because your body is different," she said.

Atkinson, a certified instructor, is offering Hatha Yoga for Well Being classes this summer at the ECC from July 6 to August 24 and a Yin Yoga one-day workshop July 24 for beginner and more advanced levels. She also teaches at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, in Milford once a month, and at Sacred Heart University when school is in session. She also gives private lessons.

To sign up and for more information, visit the community center website or call 445-1798. Rhys Atkinson can be reached by e-mail at atkinsongatsby@aol.com .

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