When it comes to taking care of yourself, one might think of the direct role diet and exercise play in ensuring future health and longevity.
But untreated stress is often the cause of many illnesses, as well as depression and anxiety.
While stress is a natural part of the human experience, making sure it’s under control is an important part of taking care of yourself.
For many people, the word “yoga” will inevitably bring a different image to each person, depending on their experience with the practice. While there are many ways to practice, local instructor Misty Caples works to make sure everyone gets the right benefits from the right program.
Caples has been busy teaching a variety of exercises to a variety of groups from children to seniors. She can be found at Piedmont Fitness, Blue Lotus, Summit YMCA, and Carnegie, where she recently conducted mindfulness and meditation classes.
The class focuses on meditation and breathing, “which is very good for our mental health,” says Capps.
However, yoga practice is not just a side hustle for instructors. She has seen first-hand the healing power of yoga and wants to share her success with everyone interested in changing their lives.
Caples began her yoga journey eight years ago while still living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Due to the stress of work, she started noticing the effect it had on her physical and mental health.
“I have a family history of mental illness and depression, and I found myself stuck in the same pattern as my family,” she said. “I was invited to a yoga class and something really resonated and I moved on.” Had a huge impact on my life. I decided I wanted to do the same for everyone else. ”
Her husband soon found a new job in Georgia, and the family moved to Peachtree City. Undaunted, Caples began returning to Charlotte every three weekends to train as a yoga instructor until graduation in October 2018.
She began teaching at the Sharpsburg studio until the pandemic shut down everything.
Caples said the pandemic was a major catalyst for witnessing the importance of self-care during a very uncertain time.
“I can’t even imagine what 2020 would be like without my training,” she said. “I’m seeing the impact this has on a lot of people.”
During that time, she taught live on Facebook, which not only helped her students, but Caples as well.
“During the pandemic, I exposed private sessions to those I’ve been teaching. From there, it just grew,” she said.
After the studio reopened, she was hired by Blue Lotus, where she currently teaches two 6:30am classes.
However, new ways of helping others are constantly opening up for Caples.
(Photo by Susan Crutchfield)
Exercises for everyone
Caples currently teaches Chair Yoga and Gentle Yoga at Piedmont Fitness and the Carnegie Library.
Typically, most chair yoga students are older adults. Seniors who often struggle with pain, joint stress, imbalance, osteoarthritis, and other physical limitations can benefit from incorporating yoga practice into their daily routines.
Older adults are also at higher risk for depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Memory is impaired, balance is impaired, and, as a result, self-awareness is affected.
Yoga, especially restorative yoga, can also provide a wide range of health benefits—both physical and mental miracles.
Linda Arnall is a regular at Caples chair yoga classes, starting after undergoing knee replacement surgery.
“I also have arthritis and need to exercise, but not too hard, that’s all,” she said. “We stretched and really focused on our breathing, which was good. It was a very calming class and we were always in a good state of mind and felt stress-free.”
While the use of chairs is the primary tool in the curriculum, Arnall says Caples is “very innovative” in her teaching methods. A recent class combined dance and a parachute game.
“We do all kinds of other exercises, but it’s always a fun lesson anyway,” she said. “We all do what we can, and she encourages it. Everyone there becomes a little family, and a great teacher always cares about her students, and she does.”
A recent study suggests that yoga can help manage osteoarthritis in older women. Not only do these low-impact moves relax your muscles, they also work your supporting muscles and help prevent injury.
But usually, taking the first step into something as daunting as yoga is understandable for some people. However, Caples encourages those who are curious to take the plunge.
“I find that yoga classes and instructors tend to be very enthusiastic and want to help those who are just starting out,” she says. In my experience, if they can overcome their fears and take the class, they feel welcome. They can contact the coach in advance with any questions. ”
Caples has also added intermediate yoga classes at Piedmont Fitness in the evenings and teaches at the YMCA. With multiple styles, there’s a way for everyone, and Caples urges those interested to lend a hand.
“It’s very important not to make comparisons,” she said. “Everyone’s practice will be different because our bodies are different and we all go through different things. But that’s what I love about yoga — it’s a very personal thing. There’s no comparison, no judgment.”
In successful practice, there is no final destination or destination. This approach is a step-by-step process that allows students to enjoy the benefits while continuing to improve.
“Maybe you start with a few minutes of meditation, and that’s all you can do now. Eventually, you’ll get more used to it and you’ll start to see the benefits, so you’ll stick with it longer,” she says. “The same goes for physical activity and breathing.
Caples said she’s grateful to be able to do something she loves but has a positive impact on people’s lives.
“I’ve met some amazing, extraordinary people, and I’m grateful that this amazing yoga community has given me the opportunity to do what I love and love,” she said. It may be a cliché, but it’s really about the journey. There is always more to learn and to keep growing. ”