Deep breath in, deep breath out. Feels good, right?
The chaos of your work day, children's non-stop activities, household chores or the combination of the three can certainly leave your body and mind sore. Mental and physical exercise, such as yoga, not only relieves this stress, but gets your winter body back in shape.
Throughout Fairfield County you will find a variety of yoga studios, all aiming to acheive peace of mind through physical activity and meditation.
Following their success in Norwalk, Tracey Bleier and Donna Jackson a second Saraswati's Yoga Joint in New Canaan in December 2010. Ashtanga and power yoga combined with Anusara yoga, forms the basis of the Saraswati philosophy. Classes and workshops are available for practitioners at all levels.
The on Forest St. has been offering yoga workshops and retreats in addition to its regularly scheduled classes, since 2005.
Elizabeth Crisci of East Norwalk not only practices yoga, but has been teaching it for nearly five years.
After teaching in New York City in 2006, Crisci came back to Connecticut where she grew up to spread the yoga love near her hometown.
Kaia Yoga has three locations in Fairfield County. Greenwich locations include 328 Pemberwick Road and 49 River Road in Cos Cob. The largest studio location at 1200 Post Road East in Westport is where Crisci teaches most of the time.
"The Westport space is huge," she said. "There are four different rooms where classes are held, there is also a cafe which makes fresh organic juice and even cleanses; spaces where different treatments are done, everything from acupuncture to massage and private yoga."
She teaches many different forms of yoga, from Vinyasa, which focuses on moving with your breathing, to Restorative and Yin, which use props like bolsters and blankets.
"It's all about creating stability and space in your body and if you can find this in your own body you can probably find it anywhere," she said.
Signup is available online and walk-ins are welcome. Pricing varies as there are several different package options such as monthly unlimited membership, class cards and student memeberships.
"Yoga is a wonderful practice, physically you are challenged and find new heights all the time, like going deeper into a backbend or finally balancing in a headstand," Crisci said. "Even more than that is this relationship you start with yourself, a relationship between body and mind, you start to notice your habits and your patterns. Then you're making better choices and just happier in your life even off the mat."
Kaia Yoga welcomes all ages and even mom-baby duos. The studio has special classes called "Baby and Me."
"I think that's what Kaia is really about, offering space for students to treat their whole bodies and minds in a really compassionate way," she said.
For more information on Kaia Yoga rates, Crisci's class schedules or more information on the studio go to Kaiayoga.com.
For a warmer yoga experience, Trumbull resident Diana Tucci practices yoga at Bikram Yoga of Norwalk. Located at 467 West Ave., Bikram Yoga is suitable for all ages.
"Bikram Yoga is perfect for your entire well-being because it combines stretching, tonicity of all muscles and also teaches you how to be mindful of your breathing," Tucci said.
Bikram Yoga is also known as Hot Yoga, a specialty of this Norwalk. Included in the class is a challenging 26-posture series in a heated room.
The heated room helps circulation, deeper stretching, removes toxins from the body and is also known to prevent and even treat many chronic diseases.
"The more classes I do, the better I feel!" Tucci said.
The benefits of yoga are endless, as it has been proven to prevent stress and posture problems, bad eating habits while toning the body, burning calories and building stamina.
Directors Andrew Lane and Dan Markowitz can be reached at email@example.com. For more information on hot yoga, class schedules and rates visit their website at Bikramyoga-ct.com.
(Sheryl Shaker contributed to this article.)