Yoga a way of life for Blackfalds and Lacombe instructor

For many people, yoga is a fun hobby and way of staying in shape.

FLEXIBLE LIVING - Yoga instructor Jack Connors demonstrates a yoga pose at Dancer’s Edge in Lacombe.

FLEXIBLE LIVING - Yoga instructor Jack Connors demonstrates a yoga pose at Dancer’s Edge in Lacombe.

For many people, yoga is a fun hobby and way of staying in shape.

For Jack Connors, a yoga practitioner and instructor in Lacombe and Blackfalds, it is a way of life.

Many people, including many practitioners that Connors knows, focus solely on the physical aspect of yoga, said Connors. He went on to say that there is much more to yoga that than. It is an activity that focuses on the mind, breathing and body.

“Yoga is more than just being able to do a real flexible pose,” said Connors.

Because everyone is constantly being bombarded with thoughts, many of them negative, Connors said it is difficult for people to just take time out to be themselves.

Yoga allows him an opportunity to do just that, take time out from life.

He added that aspect of yoga, being able to take time to just be, is one of the big reasons he continues to participate in it.

“I think yoga teaches you to be a witness of your thoughts,” said Connors. He said what he means by this is yoga gives a person time to recognize their thoughts as being just thoughts without having to react to them.

“The metaphor I like to use is that you are sitting in a subway station and your thoughts are the cars going by. You don’t have to get on the car, you can just watch it go by. And it will go by, but so many of us are just used to jumping on every single train.”

Yoga has a calming effect on the body and mind, said Connors, and works to counter the SNS, or sympathetic nervous system, more commonly known as the fight or flight response. In times of stress, this response draws blood away from the organs into the limbs.

However, Connors said that many people become stressed by everyday occurrences, like getting a parking ticket, that can trigger an SNS response and subsequently have an effect on the body itself.

For example, many people ‘carry’ stress in their shoulders, causing knots and tight muscles in those areas of the body. Connors said yoga can work to relax these muscles and calm the response of such would-be stressful instances when they happen.

Breathing is also very important in yoga, said Connors.

He said breathing is not only important in order to do the poses, breathing exercises like alternate nostril breathing add to the calming effect of yoga and countering the SMS system.

Connors added that breathing is something humans take for granted much of the time but it is important because it is what determines if we are stressed.

Anybody who can sit on a mat and move around a bit can do yoga, said Connors. He added that there is no such thing as being too inflexible to try it.

“Some people tell me, Jack I can never do your class because I’m too inflexible,” said Connors. “To me, that’s like saying you are too dirty to shower.”

In fact, Connors said he himself was very inflexible prior to doing yoga and would never have dreamed he was capable of doing the poses he can perform now.

He also encouraged anyone to at least try yoga at some point in their lives.

While Connors admitted there are many benefits to yoga, he said those benefits should not be the reason someone wishes to partake in the activity. He said that people should do yoga simply to better themselves and that the benefits are more of a side effect.

Connors first started doing yoga as a distraction from his homesickness while he was going to school in France. A friend gave him a yoga DVD to follow and Connors was instantly hooked.

After returning to Canada, Connors continued his yoga training in Toronto and then in 2011 in Edmonton under Yogi Vishkvetu. It was there that Connors received his 200 hour yoga instructor certification and he will be traveling to India in November to study further under Yogi Vishkvetu to receive his 500 hour certification.

For the summer, Connors teaches twice a week at the Lacombe location of Dancer’s Edge Studio.

Classes are done on a drop in basis from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and cost $10 a class.

Classes at the Blackfalds studio will begin again in the fall.

news@lacombeexpress.com

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for the G7 Summit, at the airport in Newquay, United Kingdom, Thursday, June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Details on Canada’s vaccine sharing plan coming Sunday, up to 100 million doses

Canada’s high commissioner to the UK says details will come after the G7 summit

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade in Calgary, Friday, July 8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Newborn daughter’s death inspires MP’s bill on bereavement leave for parents

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec says a day or two off not enough for some grieving parents

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

United Nurses of Alberta is slamming Health Minister Tyler Shandro for suggesting staff vacations are causing emergency room problems. (Black Press Media files)
Physicians were suffering burnout and then the pandemic made it worse, UBC study finds

Burnout prevalent among 68 per cent of doctors – likely a reflection of issue globally, says researcher

Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. The federal government is bringing in a new coal policy saying new or expanded thermal coal mines create unacceptable environmental impacts.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable environmental effects:’ New federal policy restricts thermal coal

Policy puts another roadblock in front of Coalspur Mines and its Alberta Vista mine expansion

Kawasaki City Institute for Public Health Director General Nobuhiko Okabe speaks during a press conference after a roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures at Tokyo 2020 Games in Tokyo, Friday, June 11, 2021. A group of experts participated in a third roundtable on COVID-19 countermeasures proposed for audience-related infection control. (Franck Robichon/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics still undecided on fans — or no fans at all

Fans from abroad already banned from what is shaping up to be a largely made-for-television event

Most Read