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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Yoga Oasis offers accessible zen

    So often, yoga is put in a category with pedicures rather than workouts, spas rather than strength. But Yoga Oasis is dispelling these misconceptions by making yoga more accessible.  

    When Darren Rhodes, a lifelong yoga enthusiast, took over Yoga Oasis in February of 1999, it was a much smaller operation than it is now. Since then, Yoga Oasis has expanded its central studio to three times its original size and added two other locations — in downtown and on the east side — to better serve the Tucson community.

    “”The fact that we have three studios, that we have over 100 classes a week, allows us to serve a wide variety of people in different demographics,”” Rhodes said.

    “”We offer the full gamut, from inexpensive classes to year-long workshops.””

    The 38 teachers make these frequent and varied classes possible.

    Jeniffer Zimmerman recently became certified and now teaches as a substitute.

    “”Yoga Oasis is a gem,”” Zimmerman said. “”It’s super cool because you can come and get a wide variety — like you can be someone who’s really into yoga and just come bask in it, or you can be someone who wants to just try it for the first time.””

    For first-timers, Yoga Oasis offers $6 “”intro 2 yoga”” classes, which guide participants through the basics. But for those who have practiced before or beginners who want a more intermediate experience, there is “”yogahour.””

    “”Yogahour is something we created at Yoga Oasis for Yoga Oasis,”” Rhodes said. “”The yogahour itself has a unique quality to it — you know, one hour, we play music, and it’s a good workout.””

    And at just $4 a class, there’s no reason not to try it.

    Attend a yogahour and you’ll find yourself flowing through pose after quiet pose in a sunny studio in the heart of Tucson — or so was my experience. Faster and more dance-like than other classes I’ve attended, the yogahour seemed a perfect way to engage occasional yoga-doers and keep the practice exciting.

    Because of the structure of the uniquely abbreviated class, Rhodes says the fast pace is necessary.

    “”If we didn’t have the flow, the student just wouldn’t have a balanced experience,”” Rhodes said.

    The anusara style in which Rhodes is certified influences many of the classes, including yogahour. The word itself means “”flowing with grace,”” and according to Rhodes, “”the concept is all the movements are graceful, and when there’s really good alignment, then you really flow.””

    Strictly physical benefits aside, Yoga Oasis strives to help people live better overall. With “”mindlab”” meditation sessions, kirtan chanting and workshops with teachers from around the world, Yoga Oasis’ diverse offerings certainly extend beyond the workout.

    “”The aim of what we offer is to really empower and enhance people’s lives,”” Rhodes said. “”We really believe that when people come in for a class, if they can reduce the amount of stress they store in their bodies … it can bring about an overall better life experience.””

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