The word yoga means “to yoke”. It means to bring together.
I learned that when I was going through yoga teacher training. I enrolled in a yoga –teacher-training program at a local community college at the first duty station I lived at with my spouse. I was taking advantage of affordable in-state tuition rates. I was also finding ways to develop myself and enjoy my time during a heavy training and deployment cycle for my spouse. The yoga training helped me hold things together when it felt like things were falling apart, which is fitting since the meaning of the word yoga is bring together, or unify.
I loved the yoga teacher classes I took. I never finished. We moved before I could complete my 200 hours. Even though that program did not give me a license, it gave me an appreciation for yoga as an exercise as well as a form of meditation. For me, when I move through the flow of yoga poses I pay attention to my breath and clear my mind. This helped me manage my stress when I was struggling to find work, adjust to a new duty station, and learn how to live with little communication with my newlywed spouse.
Many years later and I still practice yoga whenever and wherever I can. When I have high stress and low stress. When I need a workout, a stretch, or a mind clearing.
One of the amazing aspects of southern California is there is so much yoga! You can’t throw a stone without hitting a yoga studio. I like a good studio yoga session, but I often seek out low cost, by-donation, or free classes. It allows me to try lots of different styles and locations with flexibility. I have listed a few of the local yoga offerings below. With the low cost it is an easy way to try it out and see if it will help manage stress while getting a good workout and stretch at the same time.
- Connected Warriors Yoga
Connected Warriors Yoga is a nonprofit organization that organizes free trauma-conscious yoga classes and events for military, veterans, and their families. They operate out of various locations across the country. They currently offer evening and weekend classes on Camp Pendleton in The Paige Fieldhouse and 21 Area Gym. Check the latest schedule for times.
- iHeart Yoga in the Park
In a park overlooking the water in Dana Point a local studio hosts free/ by donation yoga. Classes in the park are held on Tuesdays 10-11am. Check their facebook page or website for the most up-to-date schedule.
- Stroller Warriors
Check the workout schedule of your local Stroller Warriors Chapter. They may have a yoga day.
- Community College Courses
Check your local community college listing! They often have fitness degree and certification programs that include workout components. When you enroll and register you can sometimes find a once or twice a week yoga class that you can attend all semester. Bonus that many community colleges offer low cost childcare options.
Do you know any other great free, low cost or by donation yoga in the area? Let us know. I am always interested in trying new guided classes.