Why is yoga beneficial for fitness? 
There are five components of fitness, which are muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiorespiratory (aerobic) and body composition (lean:fat ratio).  Cyclists, runners, and other endurance athletes may lack upper body muscular strength and endurance and flexibility.  Yoga, especially power or ashtanga-style yoga, fills that gap and also keeps the body from becoming tight and imbalanced.  Additionally, yoga helps reduce stress, deepens self-awareness and makes us happier. 

Which style of yoga is right for me? 
Many yoga classes are gentle (often called Hatha yoga) or restorative (for individuals with limitations); some styles use the breath to keep the class moving in and out of poses and while holding poses.  Ashtanga (power) yoga repeats a series of sun salutations, standing, seated, and inverted poses to build stamina, while sculpting arm and leg muscles and keeping the mind “tuned in” during the practice.  Almost all yoga classes end with a final period of relaxation, called Savasana, which is the “icing on the cake.”

How will my body change? 
Rather than shortening and tightening hamstrings, calves, back and neck muscles, yoga will lengthen muscles, allow joints to move more fully through their full range of motion, improve posture and will help us feel more comfortable in our bodies.  The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to unite.  In yoga we are uniting the mind and body, listening to our bodies, feeling and breathing.  By doing this, pain and the risk of injury is avoided.

What do I need to get started? 
Three things:  an open mind, an empty stomach and bare feet!  A yoga mat is vital, too.  It’s advisable to start in a guided class with a knowledgeable teacher (an RYT is a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance).  To complement regular classes, you can practice at home with a DVD, too.  Clothing for yoga should be non-restrictive but not baggy (ie shorts, t-shirt, yoga capris, tank top).

Where can I find a class? 
Many gyms and studios offer a variety of styles of yoga.  Ask around, check the phone directory, or consider coming to one of my yoga classes on Thursday evenings at Lititz Moravian Church in Lititz, from 7-8 p.m. and Wednesday mornings at Lititz Moravian Church from 8:30-9:30 a.m.  These two yoga “clubs” offer a lighter, flowing style of yoga and have been in existence since 2006.  Cost is by donation ($8 or more is recommended).  If you need a yoga mat, I have them for $10.  I am also available to schedule private yoga sessions for one or two people at your home or in my studio for $50/hour.

Still need more info? 
Contact Eileen Wieder Crone, R.D., ERYT-500, Raw Foods Teacher and wellness educator at or (717) 627-4258.