Yoga: An hour vacation

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Colin Cates
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
It's five minutes until 5 p.m. as I run to the front door of the gym. I turn right and open the glass door into the darkened, quiet, crowded room -- my mind still full of all the day's stresses. Immediately, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace as I take my place and await the start of the class. When my feet connect to my rubber mat, I plug into the energy of all the others in the room and begin the practice of yoga.

As the minutes on the clock pass by, my mind and body work through each pose to arrive at a place of simultaneous discomfort and relaxation. It feels as if every drop of sweat that falls from my brow symbolizes a portion of the stress of the day leaving my body.

According to, the word yoga means "to join or yoke together," and the practice of yoga dates back more than 5,000 years, predating written history. It's a trinity of exercise, breathing, and meditation, and physicians often recommend yoga practice for treatment and prevention of heart disease, back pain, arthritis, depression, and other chronic conditions.

As the ancient chimes ring out, I know my vacation from the real world is over. After just one session of yoga, my body feels refreshed and rejuvenated. As I leave class, I have a commitment to be healthy- both mentally and physically.

Yoga is held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon at the Domenici Fitness and Sports Center. For more information about yoga or other classes offered at the fitness center call, 575-572-3223.