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By Renee Sloan
When one thinks of yoga, he or she often pictures a room full of young, limber people twisting their bodies into positions called “cat pose” and “downward dog.”
But Beverly Weinstein’s classes are different. Because her focus is on relaxation and stretching, she calls her practice “Ageless Yoga.”
Weinstein’s parents built a house on Oak Island in the ’60s. She grew up in Brunswick County and attended Southport High School.
After graduation, she moved to Wilmington and attended Cape Fear Technical Institute and Wilmington College. She had relocated to Vienna, Va., and lived there until she moved back to Oak Island earlier this year.
While living in Virginia, Weinstein began taking yoga classes.
“Little did I know, it was the passion I had been searching for my entire life,” she said. “I just felt like I was ready to do something different. I have always been active with exercise, and I had never made a New Year’s resolution until that year. I said, ‘I am going to start exercising again, and I am going to find something new to do.’”
After she made that resolution, she received a Groupon for yoga and decided to try it. She enjoyed it so much she kept attending the classes and purchased a membership.
After her parents passed away, Weinstein and her husband, Ronnie, began remodeling their house, which is located just five minutes from Island Healing Chiropractic Center on Oak Island.
Because she knew her husband and she would soon be moving to the area, Weinstein began her yoga teacher training at Wilmington Yoga Center. She completed the school’s 220-hour yoga teacher certification program and is currently working on her 500-hour certification.
Weinstein said in her study of yoga, she noticed most classes offered little for senior citizens and class offerings in the area were limited.
“That’s what sparked me to start Ageless Yoga,” she said. “Being a senior myself, I felt classes tended to be geared more toward the 70 percent of the yoga student population, ages 54 and younger—not seniors,” she said.
She sought to address this need by earning certifications in yoga for seniors and restorative yoga. She sought to teach classes that would embrace “the mind, body and spirit for all ages.”
One of Weinstein’s areas of concentration, restorative yoga, is a therapeutic approach that uses props to attain a supportive environment for total “active relaxation.” According to Weinstein, the extra support allows for a deeper sense of relaxation. She defines relaxation as “a state where there is no movement, no effort, and the brain is quiet.”
Restorative yoga moves at a slower pace than traditional yoga, and the poses are maintained for a longer period of time, allowing the nervous system to enter into a relaxed state.
“The practice of restorative is meditative—not meditation—because a person can do what he or she chooses to do during that time,” she said. “It’s about opening your body and relaxing your mind, and hopefully, turn off the chatter in your mind.
“Relaxing is like peeling an onion—you have to peel away one layer at a time in order to achieve that point of total relaxation.”
In an effort to give back to the community, Weinstein is offering free restorative yoga classes every Sunday in June. Those who wish to attend must pre-register by calling Island Healing Chiropractic at 278-5877.
Weinstein and her “yoga buddy,” instructor Mandi Betz, will lead the restorative workshops and be on hand to assist participants. All props are provided, and all levels are welcome.
In the future, Weinstein plans to offer other workshops and classes with an occasional free community class. Those interested may check the schedule on the Island Healing website at www.islandhealingchiropractic.com
Renee Sloan is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.