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As of January, Yoga Club DFW became the first donation-based yoga studio in southern Dallas.

Donation-based yoga is designed to make the benefits of this mind-body fitness system available to everyone. The standard yoga business model has students paying $12, $20, or more per class in their search for stronger, more flexible bodies and inner-peace. In contrast, the donation-based system makes yoga available to everyone, no matter their financial situation.

More than 20 million people nationwide practice yoga, receiving health benefits that range from alleviation of lower back pain and improved sleep to help coping with the symptoms of PTSD. Yoga is a fitness and wellness system more and more are looking toward for help, and yet, the high prices associated with yoga make it a luxury.

"I was told donation-based yoga did better in higher income areas like North Dallas," says Alex Hamby, owner and lead instructor at the power and yin yoga studio in Cedar Hill. "But I couldn't make sense of this idea that you had to have money, and lots of it, to practice yoga."

Through a donation-based system, individuals seeking to practice will pay what they can. Yoga Club DFW recommends a $15.00 contribution per each class. Those who participate are further invited to donate according to the number of classes they take per week.

1x per week … $12.00 – $15.00 per class
2x per week … $8.00 – $13.00 per class
3x per week … $5.00 – $10.00 per class
4 or more … around $5 per class

Those needing a little more help can pay in the range of $3.00 – $5.00 per class. Or, you can join monthly for just $59. 
 
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Yoga Club DFW is a power and yin yoga studio founded in 2013 by Alex Hamby, RYT, who has taught thousands of hours of yoga since graduating his teacher training in 2012. Located in Cedar Hill, Texas, Yoga Club DFW prides itself on presenting classes accessible to all fitness and yoga experience levels. Visit the website,www.YogaClubDFW.com for more information and a daily class schedule.
 
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Yoga Club DFW, 1431 N. Hwy 67, Suite 200, Cedar Hill, Texas 75104 | 972-679-1726
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Come see why over 20 million Americans are practicing yoga! Yoga Club DFW offers daily Power and Yin Yoga classes at their Cedar Hill, Texas studio. All classes are vigorous and challenging but suitable for all levels of fitness and experience.

Try out a class at the first studio in South Dallas to offer donation-based yoga.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
6:00 AM   POWER YOGA   POWER YOGA      
8:45 AM POWER YOGA POWER YOGA POWER YOGA POWER YOGA POWER YOGA POWER 75  
10:00 AM POWER YOGA   YIN YOGA       POWER YOGA
10:15 AM           FOUNDATIONS  
5:00 PM POWER YOGA POWER YOGA POWER YOGA POWER YOGA      
5:30 PM         POWER YOGA    
6:15 PM YIN YOGA POWER YOGA POWER YOGA YIN YOGA      

Want to learn more about yoga and starting your own personal practice? Visit www.YogaClubDFW.com for more info today!

1431 N. Highway 67, Suite 200 (located two doors down from A Simple Touch Day Spa), Cedar Hill, TX 75104 | 972-679-1726

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“I lost eight pounds,” a student who has been practicing yoga for a month said. “And this is the only thing in my life that I’m doing differently.”

Another student recently wrote say, “This has been a challenging year for me. It's kinda fascinating to see how my reactions to rolling with the punches have been so different than they might have been in the past. Yoga has played a big part in helping me breathe and accept what comes.”

Yet another mentioned dropping her anxiety medications since taking up yoga. 

Yoga Can Help

People who are persistent and consistent with their yoga practice mention sleeping better, clothing fitting better, and feelings of improved strength and flexibility. More than a few remark with a smile on their face that they can now put shoes on with more ease, which seems a simple thing unless you find yourself needing to sit down and even then struggling to put on a pair. 

From teens working to improve spinal health in the aftermath of discovering scoliosis to adults entering into their 60’s wanting to remain mobile and vibrant, yoga does offer something for every body. People recount their life before yoga, body aches and pains, which have lessened or vanished with their new and ongoing yoga practice. They feel changes in their bodies and in their minds, coming to understand how an awareness of breath can be a tool for working with stress, anxiety and depression.

From my perspective at the front of the class I am witness to these changes occurring in people’s bodies. I am on this journey with them, instructing the safe entry into a yoga posture, guiding their alignment and actions, assisting them to realize these strange and strengthening shapes. In the beginning they do struggle with much of what we do. They are weak in some areas, lack body awareness, or struggle to endure a whole class. But over time things happen … amazing things.

There is a cliche in the yoga world that goes a little like this: “But I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.” We laugh and roll our eyes a little at this reasoning for not doing yoga. It would be just as easy to say “I’m too dirty to take a shower.” But the sentiment is less about one’s physical preparedness for the practice and more a revelation of self-confidence. As if one must be proficient in the physical postures and feats perceived to be yoga before taking on the practice.

One thing that is remarkable about yoga is the permission to proceed through the practice at your own pace. Unlike most forms of fitness the class does not pause from beginning to end. They flow — we call it flow due to the fact that we transition from posture to posture, matching breath to movement — from beginning to the final resting posture. There are no official breaks in a class for walking around and taking a drink, not like in your gym’s group fitness classes. But you are given permission to take Child’s Pose (an active resting yoga pose) whenever you need. Even if you spend most of the class in that pose you will have had a successful yoga practice so long as you breathe with awareness and remain present.

Students who do work toward commitment and consistency see changes. Over time their modified planks (with knees down) evolve into strong, straight lines of power. Downward Facing Dog (that upside down “V” pose) finds and energy and alignment, the struggle to maintain it vanishing. Not only does balance improve but so too does the ability to balance on just one’s arms appear. So long as the student is willing to fall and willing to laugh at their renewed sense of fun and adventure anything becomes possible.

But, as I pointed out earlier, their is but one hurdle to cross first and that is the one of self-confidence. Unfortunately, yoga has been marketed as a luxury pastime reserved for the young and fit. Magazine covers depict youth, grace and power on their covers with their yoga models in beautiful if intimidating contortions. Yet, while these postures are possibilities they are far from the purpose of yoga. 

Yoga is a method for achieving physical and mental wellbeing, a tool for improving mobility and developing inner-calm. In a culture that celebrates Netflix binges, where stress is permeating all walks of life, and health is on a national decline, we need something like yoga in our lives. Yoga perhaps as much as, if not more so than many forms of fitness due to its overall ability to address the many dysfunctions we face in modern life.  

To summarize: No, yoga isn’t easy. Yes, yoga’s a little weird. No, you don’t need to be flexible to do it. Yes, you will sweat (possibly a lot). No, you don’t need to know how to dot yoga before you start. Yes, anyone can do it!

Curious about trying yoga? Yoga Club DFW, your local Cedar Hill/Duncanville Yoga Studio, has teamed with Groupon to bring you an offer that we hope is too good to resist. Pick up your first 30 Days of Unlimited Yoga for just $19! If in those first 30 days you see changes that you like then you’re invited to keep coming back for more at some of the lowest studio rates in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.

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Let’s start with the cold hard facts about America’s health: According to National Academy of Sports Medicine, approximately 33% of the adult population is obese and 16% of teenagers are overweight. Our country too is filled with people who suffer from more chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and cancer. We have knee issues, back issues, tight hips, and tight hamstrings. To top it all off we’re stressed, depressed and struggling with anxiety. In short: we’re a mess.

How did this happen? Well, perhaps we should look to the shoes that support the arches of our feet when we walk, the carseats that support our spine during our long commutes, those ergonomic desk chairs we sit in for eight or more hours a day, and the drive-thru pharmacies we visit to alleviate our chronic conditions. Our world has advanced to the point where the luxuries of high speed internet, mobile devices, and convenience meals are doing tons more harm than good. Sure, we have more time and will live longer but will do so with aches, pains and chronic diseases. Good thing we’ve got those drive-thru pharmacies, right?

In 2007 I was fast approaching 300 pounds. I recall the day that I picked up a pair of 40×32 pants at the department store. Khakis to boot! Even more clearly I can recall the that the day my wife called me at work to update me on her doctor’s visit and the thyroid cancer diagnosis she had received. Her words brought with them a stinging clarity. She and I, a couple who had fallen in love as teenagers and became parents at a young age, had been living our lives and influencing the lives of our children completely wrong. We were slowly killing ourselves and each other with junk food and a sedentary lifestyle.

I was overweight, suffering from low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and had bad knees to boot. My wife had to go through surgery and radiation treatment. All of this might’ve been preventable had we made better choices earlier. Her cancer became the catalyst for change in our lives.

Now I am a yoga instructor, 90+ pounds lighter, and wanting nothing more than to help people better their lives through a practice that has changed my life for the better. Yet there is a mountain of misconceptions about yoga that people have, not the least of which are what it is and what it is not.

In my time as a yoga instructor and studio owner I have encountered people who are reluctant to try it out either because they believe flexibility is a prerequisite, that it isn’t really a workout, or that it will somehow be used as a means to convert someone’s religious beliefs. I can assure you, here and now, that none of these are true.

Flexibility is not required! So many feel that they must be flexible, be fit, or have a certain type of body to practice yoga. For that I blame the saturation of magazine covers featuring dancers-turned-yoga-models who are contorted — even if beautifully so — into advanced poses that are intimidating even to myself. Nonetheless, those images, though sometimes setting unreasonable expectations, should serve as motivation rather than discouragement. Know, however, that most yoga classes, including those that I present to people, are designed to move you through challenging but completely accessible movements and postures. A typical practice can also be adapted to suit your needs on any given day.

Yoga is a workout! Men will avoid yoga because “it’s not a real workout.” Yoga combines body weight training, mobility training, cardio and flexibility training to give you a complete, full body/full mind workout. In my classes I teach everyone from grandmothers to NFL players and each is challenged, sweaty and made the better for the yoga practice. Few leave my classes ever feeling that they didn’t get a good workout or feel that they didn’t accomplish something.

Yoga is not a religion! True, there are yoga classes that infuse a dose of spirituality into the practice. To become certified to teach yoga we are educated in ancient Indian texts, the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. But these are taught so we might respect a lineage not so that we can convert people to a certain set of beliefs. Most yoga classes encourage little more than a belief in your own better self and work to connect you to yourself, often times helping you work through your limiting beliefs (like the belief that you’re not flexible or fit enough to do yoga). Beyond that you bring your own set of beliefs (or lack thereof) and work to develop a deeper understanding of yourself, your body and your mind. You leave each class with your faith intact but your mind made easier and body made healthier.

Yoga has been shown to do some amazing things for both body and mind as well. During a typical yoga class students are moved through a series of physical postures that increase physical strength, joint mobility, muscle and tissue flexibility, increase heart strength, lung capacity, bone density and much more. We focus on breath, which works to calm the nervous system and bring our mind to a place of presence, decreasing stress, anxiety and depression, some of our worst afflictions. Unlike most exercise programs we warm up at the beginning and then cool down before moving to a final resting posture and brief meditation, sometimes guided, sometimes not, but always intended to relax.

This combination of movements, body weight exercises, and held postures take our body and mind on a journey that improves overall fitness and mental wellbeing makes for yoga’s enduring presence in the world and increasing popularity in the West with over 20 million already practicing and an estimated 40 million curious. That this ancient practice can undo the damage being done by our modern sedentary lifestyle should be enough to interest everyone. So, let me invite you to investigate yoga further.

We have a health epidemic in this country. There is a cure. It requires nothing more than to step out of your comfort zone, find a yoga class, and make a commitment to yourself. Immediately, you’ll notice you’re sleeping better, your stress is decreasing and your strength will increase. Incrementally, in the days, weeks, months and years of a regular yoga practice the benefits will increase. All it takes to improve your mental and physical wellbeing can be found on a mat, spending less than 5% of your day practicing yoga.

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Alex Hamby is the owner and an instructor at Yoga Club DFW, located at 1431 N. Highway 67, Suite 200, Cedar Hill, Texas 75104. He became a yoga instructor after it changed his life and is now seeking to help others in making positive changes through this beneficial and empowering practice. 

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YOGA CLUB DFW GRAND OPENING
TO TAKE PLACE ON FEBRUARY 1ST
AT 3:30pm AT THE RANCH AT CEDAR HILL

(Cedar Hill, TX) – On February 1, Yoga Club DFW will begin offering classes at its newest location at the Ranch in Cedar Hill with a 75 minute yoga practice followed by an open house.

Yoga Club DFW has built a powerful community around fitness and healthy living since August 2013, and the new location will carry this mission forward. Daily classes taught by local yoga instructors with more than a decade of experience guiding new and experienced yoga students will provide a much-needed opportunity for individuals in Cedar Hill and surrounding areas. Students will be able to experience a timeless form of fitness and become part of a supportive community of like-minded individuals.

Of the many yoga studios in the Dallas area, Yoga Club DFW is the only studio of its kind in Cedar Hill. “Yoga Club DFW aims to bring yoga to real people with real lives,” said Alex Hamby, lead guide and owner of Yoga Club DFW. “It’s not intimidating pretzel yoga, just yoga for individuals who want strong, happy, healthy bodies and minds.”

Yoga Club’s 1,290 square foot facility will offer daily classes suitable for all levels, body types, and backgrounds. Experienced teachers such as local favorite, Alma Garcia, will guide non-judgmental, non-competitive classes. Yoga Club DFW will also offer Yin Yoga, a unique form of practice that brings flexibility to the body through deep, opening postures requiring little effort. Look for beginner's workshops, meditation classes, and many more opportunities in the coming months to help move your body and mind into a healthier and happier place.

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About Yoga Club DFW

Yoga Club DFW is here to guide real people like you to move your body so that you can become stronger, more mobile, and healthier. With some of the best instructors in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, this is your place to begin a yoga practice or refine and enhance your existing practice. We teach to all levels, from beginners to more experienced students, from athletes to couch potatoes, a challenging flow that is fun and accessible to everyone. Visit us today – flexibility not required! www.YogaClubDFW.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/yogaclubdfw

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Sep 18 2014

The benefits of a yoga practice are numerous and touted numerously (often repeatedly). There is flexibility, strength, balance, regulation of the nervous system, relief from stress and anxiety and the list goes on. Yoga helps us with a great many things both physically and mentally (and some even suggest spiritually).

There is evidence that this practice can assist in weight loss too … but I steer clear of suggesting that the physical practice alone can do that. Though, I do know how it can do that very thing for anyone looking to create change in their body.

Unlike almost any other form of fitness yoga offers an opportunity for anyone willing to take the long (lifelong) journey. It can strengthen your body (bones to tissues), reduce emotional wear and tear, and give you the body you want all through the very simple acts of moving your body and paying attention.

WE DON’T KNOW OURSELVES

…at least not as well as we could or should.

We are a like quilts, a patchwork of the people we have known, the events we have lived through, the things we’ve felt, and the various ways we have been conditioned to think and behave. In some cases this has caused us to disconnect from our self … our True Self … and so we’ve adjusted many of our defaults, both physical and mental, in an effort to live up to expectations (theirs rather than ours).

Posture EvolutionWe are supposed to feel good. Our bodies should be strong and flexible, mobile and balanced, energized and rested. But how many people complain of sore backs, bad knees, a stomach too full of a greasy lunch and then drowsiness? Yet we continually alter the factory default settings with our mind/body to ever lower and lower expectations for what GOOD feels like. We often seldom notice the ache in our low back unless our attention is brought to it. So GOOD is slowly moved further and further away from its fullest potential to something more resembling bearable suffering.

This is all because we no longer know ourselves. We don’t understand and, in some cases, even like the person we have to spend every waking moment with: Our Self. We are strangers to that person in the mirror, unaware of all that might make that person named “I” and “Me” feel amazing, smile more, shine brightly.

YOU NEED YOGA

You roll out your mat and you set an intention to move. The instructor guiding the class invites you to engage your Ujjayi (Victorious) breath and connect. Your toes tuck under and you use your abdominals to draw your hips toward the sky. It’s then that you notice your hamstrings are extra tight today, which then causes you to recall something that happened a couple years ago that might be upsetting, might be humorous, but definitely arose out of nowhere. Your mind is now more like a cage filled with monkeys bouncing off of each wall and your body struggles to look like that belonging to the person next to you. But where in all of this is that Zen feeling?
It’s there! The thing yoga can give you is just beneath the chatter of the ego and the relentless pushing to do more and more and more.

warrior2Over time an opportunity will become apparent. As you fine-tune your asana (yoga posture) you come to know your body a better. When asked to lift the arch of your back foot in Warrior I, let’s say, you come to understand what muscle activation is required. This familiarity continues to evolve over the days, weeks, months and years of your practice allowing you to refine, adjust, and grow in your yoga practice.

The invitation to become aware of the present moment through a focus on breath reveals something of how the (mischievous) mind actually works. We become better able to recognize how thoughts simply *POP* into existence and sometimes we even become aware of things that trigger them. Again, over time, you are able to adjust the thoughts you pursue and when best to pursue them through simply recognizing the nature of how our minds work.

With patience — and it does requires plenty — you realize that the point of the practice isn’t the tens of thousands or chauturangas but, instead, the training of the mind and the body to become something … more. You realize that you can get stronger, fitter, balanced and a great many other things by not striving to work so damn hard but by letting go and just being. This leads to a deeper understanding of the Self.

Then the Zen comes.

GET TO THE POINT

You’ve got to know yourself to control yourself.

Look, we all want to feel better, look better, move better, and to be better versions of ourselves. To accomplish this we need to know ourselves a whole lot better than perhaps we currently do. We need to meet ourselves in a neutral place (our yoga mat), without judgement, and simply learn how to recognize what our bodies and minds need, how they feel, how they work, and how to nurture and empower them.

Bow PoseYoga offers this opportunity each time you roll out your mat and take that first deep breath in. As you learn to observe and listen new possibilities arise. You go from sitting, moving, eating and sleeping automatically, without much awareness, to becoming more attuned to how each activity, each meal and even each thought affects you. Then you drop the things that no longer feel good.

A tight and closed-off body lends itself to a tight and closed-off Self. By releasing the tensions of the form we become open and able to release those things that caused us to contract in the first place. How interesting that this can effect us on many levels other than just the physical.

Through the practice of yoga you can move your wellbeing and happiness back to its original intended default. To get there, to nurture, pleasure and empower the Self, all you need do is move, breathe, and connect to the sensations you feel while learning to avoid identifying with them. Eventually, the things you do automatically — those things that don’t nurture or empower you — such as eating that take-out lunch or sitting with your shoulders hunched over a keyboard — will be more and more noticeable and once noticed able to be changed.

Through yoga and its inherent ability to connect you to yourself, you’ll find new power to create something better. This has been the experience of so many who have taken the time to add a yoga practice to their daily lives. This can be your experience too.

Yoga Club DFW | 1700 S. Main Street | Duncanville, Texas 75137 (second floor)