Mobility, balance, stress relief, strength, flexibility and increased energy are just some of the benefits that two Gothenburg YMCA members have gained from attending yoga.
Co-workers Ashleigh Brown of Gothenburg and Rachel Gentzler of Eustis encourage each other in their fitness journeys and have found the noon yoga class at the YMCA to be great for their mental and physical health.
Ashleigh has been a nurse for 19 years and is the manager of the cardio/pulmonary department at Gothenburg Health. She and her husband, TJ, have three children ages 3-14.
Ashleigh said she was first introduced to yoga when she and her co-workers did yoga as part of the fall 2022 YMCA Challenge. They were challenged to try a new class, so she chose yoga.
She found she enjoys yoga because it is for everyone.
“Everyone has something that they need to let go of and a time out from life to self-reflect,” she said.
Ashleigh was already physically active before starting yoga. She had completed a program called 75 HARD in which she exercised at the YMCA almost daily to meet her goal. She has used cardio modalities, weight machines, the walking track and the swimming pool.
The yoga has improved her strength, flexibility, balance, and energy. And, she said, it helps with stress management.
“Strength, stability, flexibility, and endurance are critical as we live longer,” she said. “These are all elements in your durability. Durability is my ultimate health goal to help enjoy life to its fullest.”
Yoga is helping her reach those goals.
Rachel Gentzler is a registered respiratory therapist at Gothenburg Health. She and her husband, Ross, live in Eustis and have three children ranging from a third-grader to a senior in high school.
Rachel started attending the YMCA noon yoga class after Ashleigh encouraged her to do so.
She typically exercises every morning before work.
“However, I’m not as limber as I used to be and have been trying to gain mobility so yoga was a good fit,” she said.
The class challenges her to slow down her brain and focus on balance. And, she has noticed a difference in her endurance because of yoga, too.
“We went skiing over Christmas, and I was able to handle multiple days of skiing better than I did two years ago,” Rachel said. “The only thing that I have changed was adding yoga 1-2 times per week.”
Rachel said the key to her staying motivated on her fitness journey is making exercise a habit.
“I try to be consistent and don’t let excuses creep in,” she said.
Her health goal is to be able to keep up with her kids.
Ashleigh said she tries to set realistic goals and makes physical activity a priority.
She said it’s important to “have fun and find something or somebody to help hold you accountable.”
“Lastly, don’t give up,” Ashleigh said. “If you find yourself out of routine, give yourself grace and reset!
Hatha Yoga is offered from Noon-1 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays at the YMCA at Gothenburg Health. Kim Stratton is the instructor. He also teaches yoga at the YMCA at 5:15 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9 a.m. on Saturdays.