Griswold emphasizes health benefits of yoga

The+health+benefits+of+reverse+warrior+pose+include+strengthening+and+stretching+your+shoulders%2C+arms%2C+legs%2C+ankles+and+back%2C+while+improving+focus%2C+stability+and+circulation.+DRAWING%2F+Eliza+Jiang+GRAPHIC%2F+Ellie+Rosenfeld+

The health benefits of reverse warrior pose include strengthening and stretching your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back, while improving focus, stability and circulation. DRAWING/ Eliza Jiang GRAPHIC/ Ellie Rosenfeld

The health benefits of reverse warrior pose include strengthening and stretching your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles, and back while improving focus, stability and circulation. DRAWING/ Eliza Jiang GRAPHIC/ Ellie Rosenfeld

By Grace Wang

Inhale, and exhale. While in warrior pose, math teacher Natalie Griswold leads her yoga class in deep breathing. Though it is a physical activity, Griswold has found yoga to be helpful in many aspects of her life.

  For Griswold, yoga is a way of life that has allowed her to maintain a calm mindset.

    Many people start sports at a young age and do not realize the benefits until much later. Such was the case for Griswold with yoga. Her mother taught Griswold the practice of yoga and inspired her to dive deeper into this exercise.

   “When I was younger, I was a ballet dancer who practiced yoga with my mother. During college, I saw a definite connection between ballet and yoga, but I didn’t get into [yoga] until about 15 years ago,” Griswold said.

    When Griswold joined the WHS math department faculty in 2002, she also began practicing yoga more seriously and eventually decided she was ready to teach classes.

    Just like becoming a teacher in any field, Griswold needed to go through training to become certified as a yoga instructor. She completed her training eight years ago over the course of 10 weekends. Some of the training she underwent involved reading about the history of yoga and breaking down poses to figure out their benefits.

  Griswold currently teaches yoga classes at OnePowered Yoga in Reading. Through both practicing and teaching, she has experienced many benefits from this form of meditation.

  “I love the way it makes me feel after a class because I feel more relaxed. A lot of yoga is breath work,” Griswold said. “After I come out of a class, my stress is gone and I feel centered.”

  The practice of yoga has not only impacted Griswold’s life for the better but has also given her a sense of tranquility.  

  “Yoga has helped me in my teaching career, and has made things that used to bother me not bother me so much,” Griswold said.

  At the end of each class, Griswold’s goal is to have participants get the same level of enjoyment she does and leave the class with a calmer state of mind. She encourages people to try yoga, as it has been a life-changing experience in regards to both her physical and mental health.

  “Yoga is good for strength, flexibility, and peace of mind,” Griswold said.