There was a time in this country when Yoga was associated with guru-following, commune-living, tree-hugging vegetarian hippies. Today yoga is embraced by everyone from CEOs to housewives and has become a way of life for those who wish to achieve their highest potential and well being through balancing mind, body and spirit. Originating more that 4000 years ago in India, Yoga is the oldest physical discipline known to humankind. If you desire enduring health, happiness, and improvement in the quality of your life, Yoga is an astonishing tool to achieve balance, acceptance of being and to transcend the physical boundaries, to reach into the spiritual realm and to find one’s true self.
While strolling Passyunk Avenue the other day, I did a double-take when I looked into the window of what used to be a men’s clothing store and saw Corina Benner, director of Wake Up Yoga. I’ve always wanted to take classes with her but her Fairmount studio was a little too far for me. Benner has been teaching since 1999, having trained at the famed OM Institute in New York. “We have looked forward to serving this community for a long time and I’m excited that we finally expanded to South Philly” she informs me. “I want people to know that Wake Up is a metaphor for waking yourself up from the dream state that we walk around in and discern reality.”
Although there are many different styles of Yoga, Benner brings two to the public, Vinyasa, whose postures are in a flowing motion and linked together with movement and intelligent sequences to help the body open up. The other is Yin, a passive more challenging style, with floor work, whose postures are held for 5 minutes or more to give core flexibility.
A former disciple of the hectic pace of Wall Street, a calm and relaxed Benner would like us to let our guard down during the 90 minute sessions that are offered. ” Although there is hostility in the world along with aggression and greed, here we dare to peek inside ourselves and how our own actions contribute to our personal world. Yoga helps you befriend yourself and how you affect the greater whole. It’s a willingness to be in shape, rather than accomplishment of anything. “
If you want to lose weight, Yoga has several benefits in that it helps to maintain focus, improve breathing and helps you to maintain a beneficial posture. The breathing exercises detoxify the body and help you feel fresh and energized. It’s also an immense boost to confidence, self-esteem and creativity. In addition, practitioners benefit from increasing physical fitness, strength, flexibility and muscle control. Benner will also be offering pre-natal classes.
There are classes available 7 days a week. The morning classes are only $7.00, much less than a latte and muffin. The warm, nurturing studio has beautiful dark hardwood floors and saffron colored walls. “It’s a perfect environment to make friends with yourself and enjoy life.”
Wake Up Yoga
1839 E. Passyunk Avenue Philadelphia PA 19148 215-235-1228 www.wakeupyoga.com