By Karen Foley
What mind/body programs does Windy Hill Athletic Club offer?
We offer Power Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Inversion/Handstand Class, Ashtanga Yoga, Beginner Yoga, Restorative classes, Yin Yoga and 15-minute guided meditation classes currently. One-on-one yoga sessions are also available for those who want to learn more.
Many of the teachers that work here have been recognized by the yoga community. Jason Anderson, a public figure who has been featured in Yoga Journal and holds retreats all over the world, teaches three classes here a week. Lilian Denise Cox, one of our amazing restorative yoga teachers, has published articles pertaining to yoga and back health. Alyssa Owen, our Power Yoga teacher, was asked to teach in the famous and well- respected, Dirty South Yoga Fest this year.
We also have a beautiful Pilates studio. We offer small group classes and one-on-one sessions. This is a favored department! We have four amazing teachers that have done extensive research and training to give our members the very best experience. We offer mat classes along with Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, and MOTR® classes and one-on-one sessions.
Look out for the Ladder Barrel apparatus coming soon! Also be on the lookout for trigger point therapy class and, starting in September, our advanced Reformer Class on Thursdays. We have many fun events for mind/body throughout the year. Our next event will be Oktober-Pilates-Fest on Oct. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Come join us! (Attendees must sign up online ahead of time. Space is limited!)
What benefits can be gained through mind/body fitness?
A healthy body needs both strength and flexibility. Just as bones crave space, muscle craves contraction. Working Pilates and yoga into your weekly routine can give you strength and also allow your bones and joints to thrive. With strength and flexibility comes protection against the breakdown of cartilage and bones, increased blood flow, immunity, lung health, and more. Plus, the release of dopamine, endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin in the brain, cause you to leave the experience happy and relaxed. This helps to reduce stress, which also benefits overall health and keeps disease down.
Susan Walker, Mind/Body Program Director at Windy Hill Athletic Club
Susan has worked in the fitness industry since 2006 and has certifications and continuing education in personal coaching, group exercise, cycling, strength training, water aerobics, Pilates, and yoga. She is certified with Yoga Alliance RYT-200 under Tim Miller of the Ashtanga Yoga Center and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology. She was a teacher at Kennesaw State University in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education for six years. Her coursework covered wellness and health, functional movement, yoga, and Pilates.
Susan found yoga and Pilates around 11 years ago. She noticed what a profound feeling and sense of calm she received after class. Susan eventually went through yoga and Pilates training and went deeper into her yoga practice. After dealing with a chronic back injury, she went on a quest for answers on anatomy and how to not only do yoga safely but to also make it accessible for everyone. During this time, she worked with some of the most knowledgeable teachers of our time and her back began to heal. This process changed her life. It also changed her approach to teaching. Susan believes that yoga is accessible to all of us and can be a healing modality if we use it in that capacity.