One of the many fitness classes LiveWell members are offered is Yoga. April Maddux-Stanbery has been teaching and offering yoga at LiveWell for a year and a half. April’s passion for yoga, as well as her desire to become a certified instructor, came from a family tradition. Of all the U.S., Mexico, and Caribbean classes she has attended, her most cherished memories are the ones she’s had the privilege of taking under her parents, Jackson and Judy Wagnon. When Dr. Wagnon retired from his local orthopedic practice, both he and Judy decided to take time away from teaching yoga classes. April wanted to continue her yoga practice and eventually acted on the desire to offer yoga to her own students. She became certified and trained through the Yoga Institute in Houston, Texas (another honor in learning from one of the oldest yoga legends around).
As a local dental hygienist for the past 14 years and mother to an 18 year old son and 3 year old daughter, April is aware of stresses on the body and has personally gained the benefits of yoga. Many of people have asked the questions “Is yoga a religion?” and “What do you do in yoga?” Here’s what April has to say about yoga ” I suppose, as with anything, a person can make their time on the mat be about whatever they choose for it to be. With that said, all questions and concerns are very respected. I come from a very solid Christian background, my teaching and passion for yoga is strictly about the physical exercise, as well as, gaining an amazing mental and emotional peace afterwards. It is nice to allow time for myself, with no distractions or worries. The one hour I give myself during each class is just about me – not thinking about what I need to be doing, the day’s earlier events, or even what the family is needing from me. It is strictly “me” time! There are no judgements or comparisons in yoga class. I always remind my students to never worry about their “mat” neighbor, but to always remember that a yoga practice is very individualized and unique. Just like each person’s body, in that we are all special and have different needs, a yoga practice can be as gentle, or as intense, as a person desires it to be. There are options available for most postures, making a regular yoga practice an opportunity for anyone, no matter age, gender, or flexibility. In addition to the strength attained through a yoga practice, there are numerous health benefits associated with yoga. Some of these include: lowered blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, increased respiratory and circulatory benefits, improvement in overall mental health, balance, and flexibility. I especially love the lessons of patience, persistence, and concentration that yoga gives. Yoga teaches that even if you don’t believe, when you keep trying, it will eventually all come together. As yoga becomes more and more popular, the benefits are being received by a variety of people across the world, including many celebrities and athletes.” April says, with a smile “Yoga is not for whimps, it can be as easy or hard as a person is wanting for themselves.” She offers classes at the gym geared toward every fitness level. A person coming for the first time will fit right into her class, among a more advanced student. April personally demonstrates each posture and gives a very direct articulation of the correct bodily alignment. “The main goal of yoga, and my class, is to stay safe, while being respectful of our own selves. My favorite quote of all time is… ‘Peace, Love and Happiness’… which, (aside from church), I never experience anywhere more, than on my blue yoga mat.”
**All fitness classes at LiveWell are for members, as well as any non-member guests, who wish to pay per class. Please call today (936) 639-5483 for information on class times… (Currently, April’s yoga classes are held Thursday’s @ 5:30pm and Friday mornings @ 10:00am).