GET ACTIVE: Celebrating the International Day of Yoga - and women’s empowerment

Adding yoga to your fitness routine can benefit the body and mind.

From increased strength and flexibility to decreased stress and pain, the ancient practice of yoga offers a wide range of benefits for modern day yogis.

“Yoga can help with every area of your life physically and mentally,” said Devon Schmidt of Day Yoga. “Some of the main benefits include increasing flexibility and strength, helping manage pain, stress management, improving breathing, increasing energy, boosting mood and so much more.”

To increase awareness of the many benefits of this holistic approach to health and well-being, the United Nations established June 21 as the International Day of Yoga in 2014. This year’s theme is “Yoga for Women’s Empowerment” with a goal of transforming “yoga into a widespread movement that emphasizes women’s well-being and promotes global health and peace.”

According to recent survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in six Americans practices yoga with women being twice as likely to practice as men. But local instructors are quick to stress the fact that yoga is for all ages, ability levels and genders.

“Yoga is for everyone, and everyone can do it,” said Amy Fecher of Indigo Yoga.

From young children to senior citizens, Fecher has seen the benefits of the mindfulness practice.

“Your body is a vehicle and caring for yourself will enable it to keep moving,” she said. “You’re only as old as your spine is supple.”

Schmidt agrees.

“Everyone can get something beneficial from a yoga practice,” she said.

Getting started can be as easy as a trip to a local park or even shopping center as there are free yoga classes throughout the area from RiverScape MetroPark to the Greene throughout the summer. And if you’d prefer a furry friend by your side, there are kitten, puppy and even goat yoga classes available.

“For someone looking to start I would recommend either checking out beginner’s classes or taking classes with different teachers and styles to find what you like,” Schmidt said. “Don’t be afraid to jump in. There truly is a yoga class out there for everyone.”

Off the beaten path yoga practice

Morning Yoga

What: Enjoy a 45-minute gentle outdoor yoga practice at the lavender farm and after yoga, wander the fields to pick a bundle of lavender.

When: June 22, 29; July 6, 13, 20 and Aug. 3, 8:30-10 a.m.

Where: Cedar Ridge Trails, 5388 Medlar Road, Miamisburg

Info: Visit

Yoga at The Greene

What: Free outdoor beginner-friendly class with Indigo Yoga. All ages are welcome, but participants must register in advance.

When: June 22, July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 7 and Oct. 5, noon-1 p.m.

Where: The Greene center court

Info: Visit for info and registration.

Kitten Yoga

What: Join some of SICSA’s adorable, adoptable kittens for a yoga class open to all ages and abilities.

When: June 23, 10-11 a.m.

Where: SICSA, 8172 Washington Church Road

Info: Visit SICSA Pet Adoption and Wellness Center on Facebook.

Beginner Paddleboard Yoga Adventure with Float Paddleboard Yoga

What: A 90-minute beginner paddleboard yoga adventure. All equipment provided, just bring a water bottle and a towel.

When: June 23, 2-3:30 p.m.

Where: Blue Lake, Eastwood MetroPark

Info: Visit Kai Yoga Studio on Facebook.

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