Grissom Vinyasa flow: For mind, body

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Katrina Heikkinen
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
In a room typically filled with the sounds of grunts, the smell of sweat and an atmosphere of adrenaline, now the smoothing sounds of a piano and strings permeate throughout.

“For the next 55 minutes, there’s nothing else that needs your attention,” she whispers. “Bring awareness to your back, place your hand there if you’d like.”

Participants focus on connecting their breathing with their bodies as they gracefully progress from one movement to the next.

Instructed by Katy Homes, lunchtime yoga is offered from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the fitness center.

While there are various forms of yoga practices, Holmes class is a Vinyasa practice.

“With Vinyasa, we match breath to movement, so every inhale and exhale has a movement,” she said.

Because Vinyasa is a fluid, flowing type of yoga, Holmes said it offers both strengthening and cardiovascular benefits.

“Everything is integrated from the core, so there’s core strengthening and weight-bearing on your arms,” she added. “These movements definitely help with sit-ups and pushups.”

Holmes first discovered yoga while living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2013. Initially she was drawn to yoga due to her background in gymnastics.

“Honestly, I thought I would be good at it [given my gymnastics background],” she admitted. “I think that’s the reason why many people start yoga – for the physical aspect. But then, I noticed as I started doing it, it became less about the physical workout and more about the stuff that happens on the inside.”

Holmes said that stuff – is both emotional and mental wellness.

“Yoga has taught me many lessons about accepting myself and my body,” she said. “I’m learning to lean into my breath, steady it and how that can then transpose into helping contain emotions and my overall wellbeing.”

Holmes believes exploring a yoga practice could be particularly beneficial for military members.

“I love teaching at Grissom because there are so many mental and emotional benefits of yoga,” she said. “I think it’s not only valuable but it’s needed, especially for military members I see it being a huge value and asset to the mission.”

Holmes said that the most common response she hears from people who’ve never tried yoga is that they can’t even touch their toes.

“Touching your toes isn’t a prerequisite,” she said. “If you can breathe, you can do yoga. Even just tuning into your breath, bringing awareness to your body can be yoga.”

Holmes hopes to expand her yoga classes at Grissom in the future.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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