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Woman's Club Yoga
Yoga instructor Lauren Layton leads the Woman's Club of Holtville through an exercise regimen on Jan. 8. | William Roller photo

Twist Again: Woman’s Club of Holtville Stretches Out to Limber Up

HOLTVILLE — Often known for many civic engagements and providing recreation and scholarships for youth, the Woman’s Club of Holtville also seeks to take care of its own with programs of uplift and vitality.

As such, it saw no better way to start the new year than to commit to get fit. The focus at the club’s 2020 kickoff meeting Jan. 8 was a presentation of yoga postures from instructor Lauren Layton.

Also a legal assistant and elementary school teacher, Layton is celebrating the first anniversary of her Yoga with Lola classes.

Yoga is for any age, size, gender and, if done diligently, can be fun and offer many healthful benefits, explained Layton. It can build flexibility, balance and help with breathing and cardiac issues.

“I encourage this to be fun and you can do it from your chair, so we’ll use the chair and the floor since the older we get, getting on the floor and getting back up gets more difficult,” said Layton. “The more you do yoga, the easier it gets. It’s amazing what consistency over time does. You can increase your flexibility by 35 percent over eight weeks.”

Layton began with simple yoga poses and implored members of the packed Woman’s Club hall to breath in and out through their nose to stay hydrated. Breathing through the mouth dries a person out and is not good for the lungs.

Health Benefits

“Yoga releases negative toxins in our body. One thing in yoga, whatever you do to one side of the body, you must do to the other side to stay in balance,” she said. “Do yoga four or five times a week and we start to build muscle memory and balance.”

During a break, Pam Edwards, Woman’s Club member, noted she loved the presentation because she explained that any activity that gets women of a certain age up, they will feel better whether they intended to or not.

“We should do something like yoga every meeting, have some physical activity,” said Edwards. “It should be short and simple so everybody can participate because the age of some of our women limits their mobility. If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.”

Yoga increases a person’s metabolism and twisting into yoga poses releases tension between organs, gets the blood pumping faster. That creates body heat and helps digest food faster, as well as decreasing cravings for between-meal snacks, Layton explained.

“Fast or slow, yoga practice creates a heat and gets our heart pumping and since it’s a muscle we build up strength and keeping it active helps battle any cardiac issues,” she said. “Yoga can decrease lactic acid in muscles. If you sit a long time, you’ll build up lactic acid that feels like knots. But yoga breaks up lactic acid and decreases joint pain.”

Easy Access and Appeal

Ruth Chambers, another Woman’s Club member, said she gets some of her routine exercise helping with the clubs’ garden.

“I think it’s always good to do stretching and today was a good reminder,” said Chambers. “I walk around Holtville but I need to remind myself to stretch first. We (girlfriends) like to walk with a grabber and we help clean up Holtville sidewalks.”

Yoga is also an aid to digestion and helps move food through the gastrointestinal system and avoid stomach disorders, explained Layton.

“Again, it’s consistency because you can’t do it once and expect miracles,” she said. “By making yoga a way of life, you make it a part of a daily routine.”

Cindy Yaryan, another club gardener, said she gets some of her exercise by growing tomatoes and carrots, which she uses as part of her Netherland dwarf rabbit’s diet.

“The yoga was wonderful and I need more exercise,” said Yaryan. “I usually walk an hour on my treadmill in my garage but it’s been too cold to spend an hour in the garage.”

Layton said she started yoga seven years ago after a stressful time of caring for her mother, who was fighting cancer. Consulting her doctor, she was prescribed anti-depressants or told she might try yoga. Not only did yoga relieve stress but it helped with weight loss and minimized anger issues, she recalled.

“A year ago I decided to start teaching yoga to help other people,” Layton said. “It’s just awesome to see other people improve.”

This story is featured in the Jan 16, 2020 e-Edition.