Yoga is increasing in popularity, nearing doubling among American adults in the past decade. Now, 10% of us have tried it. There are all types of yoga practices, even for children and seniors and there is also something else. Something cutting edge that is a real ground breaker here in Austin. Heavyweight Yoga, created eleven years ago by Abby Lentz specifically for overweight students.
The 67 year old instructor chuckles, “I’ve been practicing yoga since my son was born and he is now 43. So I’ve been doing yoga longer than lots of my students have even been alive!” Abby’s Heavyweight Yoga is a way for overweight folks who may have lost touch with physical activities to find their bodies again, get limber and agile and perhaps move on to other exercises from there.
Her students who have been regulars for years, coming for the program tailored especially for them, like Leslie Boerger, “My flexibility has greatly improved and as we grow older that’s one of the things that need to be worked on. Because of that improvement I feel more capable of my everyday movement that I will be able to take care of myself and not injure myself.”
Now with her own videos out and national magazine coverage, Heavyweight Yoga has arrived. Yoga may seem a difficult stretch at first glance but Abby’s class is designed specifically for people packing extra pounds, and no student is left behind. A student for six years, Sharon Krueger points out, “I would say don’t let appearances put you off. You can get the benefit out of it, you do not have to become a pretzel. It is far more comforting than it might look and you’d be amazed how quickly you are doing those pretzel like poses. You can do it.”
Along with the physical tangibles, yoga can also produce an inner peace, a centering, a growth of spirit and self-esteem. Abby’s goal is simple, “You come inward and find your own best self on the yoga mat and it’s my hope that same best self will appear for you out of the mat as well.”
One of the Heavyweight Yoga weekly workouts is held downtown at the recently opened Women’s Community Center for Central Texas, located on San Antonio Street, where are there are also a variety of other activities for younger and older women, including job and computer skills, events and workshops. For more information about Abby Lentz’ program you can visit her site,http://www.HeavyWeightYoga.com.