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Westport Yoga Teacher Says Namaste

WESTON, Conn. – Some Westonites are tapping into the 5,000-year-old art of yoga as the perfect way to destress, unwind and center themselves right before the holidays.

Yoga instructor Paula Schooler is holding yoga classes every Friday throughout December at the Norfield Grange and says her classes are open to any age or experience level.

The poses might sound strange: There’s the downward dog, the warrior and the windshield wipers. But the benefits of yoga can change not only your stress levels but also your overall health, said Schooler, a Westport resident.

“This helps with body alignments, shoulder expansion, posture and relaxation. What we’re doing opens up the body, the lungs, the ribs and abdomen,” Schooler said during a recent class.

The typical class with Schooler lasts about an hour, but the tools and poses are something she hopes will become everlasting to her students. “Yoga is not about the hour of action, it’s about what you take away from it and how you bring it into your everyday life.”

Schooler gave tips to her students about the simple pleasures of rolling your back, shoulders or hips for 30 seconds in the middle of the day to release built-up tension.

“Our lives can be so stressful and part of those stresses is what we do to our bodies. So many of us spend the day sitting in the car or sitting at the computer, imagine what that does to our bodies,” she said. Yoga will help open up the hips, relax the abdomen and neck, which are central stress locations.

For many first-timers, Schooler said, it’s amazing to see the transformation during the class. “I love to see people’s expressions when we get into certain poses because it looks as though they just had a little mini nap, yoga is so refreshing,” she said.

Anyone interested in taking a class can call Schooler at 203-226-6465. Classes are held at the Norfield Grange, 12 Goodhill Road, from Dec. 1 through Dec. 30. The cost is $90 for all five sessions if registration is completed before Nov. 30. Anyone registering after Nov. 30 will pay $100.

Bring a yoga mat, blanket and water to the classes.

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