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Yoga puts students at peace

Staff writer

Carolan McFarland told her group of female students Saturday at Butler Community College’s free class day that yoga was adaptable; anyone can do it.

With about 20 years of experience, she has witnessed this fact. When she taught physical education in Kansas City, she would use yoga positions for elementary school students.

“They love it,” McFarland said. “It was interesting to watch kids who were hyperactive calm down.”

On the other end of the spectrum, McFarland used yoga with a 94-year-old woman who did poses from a seated position.

On Saturday, she tailored her classes for her group. She started off easy, even referencing a book, “Yoga for Wimps.” Sun salutations and cat stretches were traditional yoga poses used but McFarland also took her time to introduce the group of women to yoga with breathing exercises and simple neck and back stretches.

As a massage therapist in Marion, McFarland has seen how tension builds in the back and neck and she took extra time in these areas. She asked the group how many of them had headaches and nearly everyone put up a hand. The neck-twisting exercises, utilizing heavy breathing, are good for headaches and she urged students to use them even while they are at work.

Although McFarland wanted to work out her students’ aches and pains, she believes yoga is just as much an exercise for the spirit. Half of what breathing in and out of poses is to provide relaxation.

“You just feel peaceful and good after a session,” she said.

Over time, McFarland has tried to incorporate a little yoga-centered philosophy into her sessions. Every class ends with a meditation.

“It’s about connecting to the universe,” she said.

Last modified April 5, 2012

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