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Yoga practice offers many benefits

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Jodi Perry/HERALD

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Yoga has been around for roughly 5,000 years and shows no signs of fading away anytime soon. The list of health and fitness benefits of yoga is long, which could account for its longevity.

One of the most important benefits is stress-relief, according to Lisa Kelly, owner of Live and Let Liv Yoga in Killeen.

  • Increases flexibility
  • and range of motion
  • Improves sleep
  • Decreases stress
  • Helps with weight loss
  • and muscle tone
  • Boosts the
  • immune system
  • Can ease or even
  • cure back pain
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves posture

“Yoga gives you that time to truly turn inward and look at yourself,” she said.

Kelly herself is a beginning yoga student. She started practicing when her studio opened in January. She laughs when telling the story of how her studio came about, explaining that she opened it at the request of her friend, who did many cross-fit classes but wanted to incorporate yoga into her workout regimen.

“Those who cannot do, teach, those who cannot do, open a yoga studio,” Kelly quipped.

“Yoga is one of the few things that truly anyone can do … you don’t even have to wear shoes,” she said. “There’s very few things that are like that.”

Kelly was a long-distance runner for 15 years before she gave yoga a try.

“What people don’t understand is that yoga heals and protects your joints, and that’s huge because we have a big community of people who are worn out before their time,” she said. “All the things that are ailments in regular exercise get healed with yoga.”

Yoga can more than hold its own when compared to more vigorous cardiovascular exercises such as running.

“It helps lower heart rate, lower blood pressure,” Kelly said. “It helps lower stress levels so overall it makes you healthier, plus it makes you happier.”

Kelly advises potential new yoga students to just show up.

There is a style and teacher for everyone, no matter the age, fitness-level or gender.

“I tell everyone, come to one class. If you hate it, come to one more,” she said.

“We don’t all learn from the same teacher,” she said. “There are so many different teacher personalities and styles of yoga.”

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Students practice yoga at Liv and Let Live Yoga in Killeen.

Yoga students relieve stress at Liv and Let Live Yoga in Killeen.

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Jodi Perry/HERALD

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