Practitioners are turning off the outside world and connecting with themselves in Restorative Yoga.

The class is taught by Jacie Cook and offered at Inola Fitness Center.

Cook found balance and passion in yoga and knew she wanted to share it with others.

"I began practicing yoga about 12 years ago while living in Kansas City and quickly grew to love yoga for much more than the strengthening and stretching of powerful yoga classes; but more so the body/mind connection and relaxation aspect of slower yoga classes and restorative postures. Living in such a fast-paced time with a never ending to do list, Restorative Yoga quickly became my 'go to' to de-stress, slow down and make myself a priority," she said.

Cook, and husband Dr. Jason Cook, operate a chiropractic clinic, Spine & Sports Rehab in Broken Arrow and Inola, but felt the Fitness Center and studio made a great addition to the community.

"I attended the Yoga Academy in Tulsa Oklahoma to obtain my 200 hour yoga certification under Janet & Victor Parachin. We currently teach Restorative, Slow Flow and Yoga Mix Classes at the studio in Inola," she said.

Restorative Yoga Classes are usually made up of about 10 postures held for 5-7 minutes and supported by bolsters, blocks, straps and blankets.

"These deep stretches allow for the release of tense muscles, enhances flexibility and aides in balancing the nervous system by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, which ultimately lowers blood pressure," she said. "We dim the lights and start our practice with a few minutes of breathing exercises which allow us the time to calm the mind and connect with our breath. We work our way through various postures in which props are provided and blankets and eye covers are used to assist the student in relaxation during their practice. We end our practice with our final resting posture Savasana with guided relaxation cues and end with a temple massage with oils."

Cook said many students find Savasana to be the hardest practice of yoga— "One which seems so easy can actually be quite difficult in that quieting our mind and turning off the outside world to allow ourselves this time of self-connection is the most important and beneficial, but not easily achieved."

Cook said she is grateful for the community and for her students and that she is always excited to hear the positive effects they are achieving through their practices.

"Yoga has continued to grow in our society under the recommendation of doctors, counselors, fitness educators and just the growth in general of our desire for ultimate health and wellness. I encourage everyone to try a yoga class as there are so many different varieties and styles of classes to fit any desired outcome. Powerful Yoga classes for strength, Slow Flow classes for calm strengthening and stretching and Restorative which I consider my “reset” for the week ahead," she said. "We are blessed with many wonderful yoga studios throughout our surrounding area. Check out a class. We offer several different styles throughout the week and our class schedule can be found by “following” us on Facebook at Inola Fitness Center or contacting me at 918-260-3399."

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