The purple cylinder glared at me every time I opened my closet. Purchased months ago with good intentions, it is a constant reminder I didn’t follow through on a fitness goal. That rolled up purple cylinder is my yoga mat.

This month, I decided to dust it off and find out what yoga is all about. There are lots of places to practice yoga in the Outer Banks at various times and budgets.

Originating in India, the practice of focusing on mind, breathing, alignment and balance came to the Western more than 200 years ago. Yoga is beneficial for men and women. Children over eight years old are welcome in some studios, so families can practice together.

Yoga can help relieve stress, anxiety, improve circulation, flexibility, vitality, and energy. Who doesn’t want those life improvements? I’m in; first class is in Nag’s Head at OBX Hot Yoga.

Instructor Sarah Letchford showed me around the OBX Hot Yoga Studio in Nags Head and explained the added benefit of the “hot” in hot yoga — a cleansing accomplished by sweating profusely in an infrared radiant heated class room.

My Gentle Yoga Flow class was just over an hour of reaching, stretching, continuous movement, and calming quiet. There is no competition, you move to the ability of your body. I felt comfortable and inconspicuous, even though I was twice the age of everyone in the room. The heat produced expected results, and after I cooled down (which took a while), I felt terrific.

Next stop, Village Yoga at the Waterfront Shops in Duck. This studio is beautiful and a variety of classes and times are offered. The instructors also teach ‘Yoga on the Green” for the Town of Duck. This is a free Tuesday morning class June through August. Check the Town of Duck website for exact dates.

My first week of yoga ended with a restorative yoga class at Outer Banks Yoga in Kitty Hawk. The goal with restorative yoga is to calm your nerves reducing stress and anxiety. It worked for me!

I have decided to keep my purple mat in the trunk of my car and will continue practicing yoga in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina. Maybe I’ll see you in class some day…..

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