We’re expanding! When classes resume in January, there will be a fourth room and the Green Room will be larger. For the men, we are adding a second dressing room. There will be some changes to the schedule as well. The evening prenatal class is moving from Friday at 5:45 p.m. to Thursday at 5:45 p.m. and the Gentle Yoga 2 is moving from Tuesday at noon to Thursday at 10:00 a.m. To accommodate school schedules, the Friday Kids Yoga class will begin at 4:30 p.m. An early morning Yoga 2, an evening Yoga 2-3 and an evening Yoga 3 have been added. There are also two new classes on the schedule, Yin Yang Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga.

Yin Yang Yoga combines a quiet Yin practice where poses are held passively for a relatively long period of time with a more active Yang practice. Vinyasa Yoga is a moving style of yoga where the poses are connected in a continuous flow.

It’s funny, but if you had asked me 12 years ago where I would be right now, I never would have guessed that I would be working with architects and contractors to add another room to my yoga center. I probably would have answered without hesitation that I would be working as a computer programmer somewhere, hopefully on an interesting project.

I had focused since my late teens on becoming a programmer and had never thought about doing anything else. When I burned out and realized I needed to find a new profession, I felt rather lost. At first I had trouble even contemplating anything outside of a computer field. Then one day it dawned on me how many possibilities were available. I could move to a different area of the country, I could go back to school in the evenings, I could do something entirely different with my life; there was a whole world out there I had never considered. It was as if blinders had come away from my eyes and I was completely stunned and unbalanced by this new view of the world and my place in it. I decided to become a computer consultant for a few years so I would have the freedom to explore other interests and still be grounded in the profession I knew. Over the course of several years, I transitioned into yoga.

Many view yoga as twisting into extreme pretzel shapes. Frequently when I tell people I teach yoga, I get the comment that the person would like to do yoga, but cannot due to a lack of flexibility. For some this is a polite way of changing the subject, which is fine, but others are completely serious. They are convinced it is not possible for them, so they refuse to even try, completely missing the point that yoga could increase their flexibility.

The Health Advantage Yoga Center now has two classes a week at Sunrise Assisted Living in Reston. I suspect that the majority of the people in these classes never expected to do yoga, especially not at this time in their lives. It has been fun to hear about the new things the groups have achieved. One class is now able to do yoga poses sitting in a chair, move to the floor and do poses there, then return to sitting and standing without outside assistance. Getting up and down from the floor is quite an accomplishment and one that many never thought would be possible when they began the classes.

Our views of what we are and what we are capable of can limit us. We tend to see ourselves, our bodies and our lives in set terms and often do not consider what actually might be possible. The world continues to evolve and change and there are always new areas to explore. Wouldn’t it be nice if our views of ourselves continued to expand as well?