In July, we’re slowing things down and centering our chi with Megan Donley of Lotus Moon Yoga. Join us 6 p.m. July 16, July 23 and July 30 outside the York Daily Record, 1891 Loucks Road in West Manchester Township. We’re taking off the first two Tuesdays of this month.
Donley, 28, of York said she started working with meditation and the chakra system when she was a teenager. In her early 20s, she started doing yoga and later developed a more dedicated practice.
She said she fell in love with the physical practice and the meditative, calming, deeper parts of yoga, as well. After teaching classes for a couple of years, she opened her own studio, Lotus Moon, in 2011. Lotus Moon offers classes for all levels and focuses on hatha yoga, a traditional form of practice.
Donley said the goal of yoga is to connect the body and the mind to foster an integrated awareness of one’s self. Poses and breathing stretch and strengthen all the muscles, help calm the nervous system and release toxins, among other benefits.
For people who have injuries or chronic pain, a commitment to yoga might mitigate some symptoms.
When practicing yoga, she said, people become more in tune with their bodies in their natural state. This helps them feel good and calm, and could lead them to make healthier choices.
Donley said yoga is simple, and you don’t need to be in tip-top shape to get started.
“It’s really one of the most gentle and accessible ways that you can begin to restore your health,” she said.
To feel the full benefits, Donley said, you have to continue the practice — especially because our culture isn’t used to slowing down.
“Most people sense a feeling of peace, and their bodies feel better,” she said. “They feel more connected to their selves and life.”
For Donley, yoga has been a life-changer. She has struggled with anxiety, stress and depression. And yoga helps her move through those challenges.
“It’s kind of this foundation that I have to go back to,” she said. “I know that I have the tools to work through my own stress. To me, that’s priceless.”
*Apologies if you saw an outdated advertisement that ran in the York Daily Record featuring June’s boot camp. The next outdoor fitness class at the YDR will be yoga at 6 p.m. July 16. No classes July 2 or July 9.