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Pyrmont Yoga Options

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Sydneysiders are embracing the growing popularity of various forms of yoga, with over 280 yoga schools in the Sydney metropolitan area alone.

“It’s definitely growing in popularity, and so is pilates,” said Peter Bortolin, Director of Pyrmont Health and Fitness Club.

Practiced worldwide for thousands of years, the exercise provides many physical and physiological benefits, including muscle strengthening and an improvement in posture, sleep, breathing and memory.
An exercise which attracts all ages and both sexes, local gyms note that the majority of their yoga clientele are female.

“Our yoga classes do contain more females,” said Mr. Bortolin.

Vincent Hampel, Group Fitness Coordinator at the University of Sydney’s Sports and Aquatic Centre, said that their yoga classes are made up of 70 percent females and 30 percent males.

“The classes attract an average of about 23 participants a month, and they vary in ages from students to middle aged community members from different ethnic backgrounds,” said Mr. Hampel.

There are several different types of yoga:

  • Ivengar – Holding poses for longer periods of time, and involves the use of props (yoga blankets or straps) to bring the body into alignment.
  • Bikram/ Hot Yoga – Practicing in a hot room to promote loosening of the muscles and sweating.
  • Ashtanga – Fast paced and flowing.
  • Hatha – Generally a basic type of yoga that is slow paced and gentle.

Those who practice yoga claim various reasons for taking it up and the benefits they found from practicing.

“I took it up originally as something to do with my friends and found it very relaxing and really noticed the difference in flexibility,” said 20 year old student Miranda Cashin.

“I think it’s a great way to strengthen and increase flexibility. I also noticed that it really flattened my stomach and improved my posture. Also, a friend of mine lost five kilos just from doing yoga,” Ms. Cashin said.

“My back has benefited a lot. I have stage one of degeneration of the spine so I have had constant problems with my back,” said UTS student Leetahl Katz, 20, of Enmore.

“The yoga has strengthened the muscles and eased the pain to practically nothing, which helps considering I work in a bar and spend a lot of time on my feet,” she said.

Sydney University’s Sports and Aquatic Centre offer 20 to 25 Hatha yoga classes per month. Pyrmont Health and Fitness Club have one class every Saturday, specializing in Dynamic yoga, while Pyrmont Community Centre have two classes every Wednesday evening.

“Yoga is an excellent way to stretch the body, focus the mind and relax the spirit,’ said Mr. Hampel.
“And once you have learned a few moves and breathing techniques, they can easily be integrated into your regular fitness routine.”

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