Photo Information

Carlie Salisbury, of Bloomington, Ind., demonstrates a king pigeon pose that focuses on stretching the quadriceps. Salisbury will teach a free yoga class Sept. 14, 2013 at Semper Fit Center in honor of National Yoga Month. The class is normally free to active duty service members and otherwise available by group exercise class ticket. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Christine Cabalo)

Photo by Christine Cabalo

Strike a free pose during National Yoga Month

6 Sep 2013 | Christine Cabalo Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Stretch the limits of fitness by slipping into a free yoga class Sept. 14, 2013 at Semper Fit Center.

The center is offering a free yoga session in honor of National Yoga Month. Carlie Salisbury, who teaches yoga twice a week at Semper Fit, will lead the free class.

“My classes are always open for everyone to come in,” said Salisbury, of Bloomington, Ind. “Anyone can benefit from doing the stretching in yoga to (trying) other physical activities like running or weight training.”

Salisbury began learning yoga in high school, discovering vinyasa flow yoga in college as a method to help her warm up and cool down after running. Now she teaches this style and encourages her class to try different modifications for their own physical needs. Salisbury doesn’t correct people individually, but offers suggestions to the class as a group for how to vary the difficulty of any particular yoga pose.

“I always tell the people in my class they don’t have to pay attention to the person next to them,” Salisbury said. “They can focus on their own poses because we all meet back in downward dog pose.”

Salisbury demonstrates how each position is designed to help people do everything from improving sitting posture to pumping out more pull-ups needed for military fitness tests.

Salisbury said she loves how there is enough variety in yoga to challenge people in every fitness level. She allows her class to spend the shavasana, or traditional resting final stretch, to individually work on poses of their own choice. Striking a balance between soothing and challenging her class keeps many gym users returning to her yoga sessions.

“(Salisbury) will suggest a simple change, like a different position in the legs and it makes a big difference,” said Amanda McArthur, a Marine spouse who took yoga lessons at the center before Salisbury began teaching them. “We were doing the Warrior I pose differently, and changing it opened up my hip (joints).”

With Salisbury’s instruction, Alissa Pabon said she’s improved her weight training. Pabon said the yoga instructor has helped her tone her quadriceps, which makes weight training easier. In addition to the physical benefits of yoga, Pabon said she gets a big mental uplift after one of Salisbury’s sessions.

“I feel excited and rejuvenated,” Pabon said. “I feel great afterward. It’s helped that I’ve done two hours doing weight training and another hour of yoga.”

Salisbury said she’s personally relied on yoga even more now in her life for its mental and physical benefits while she is pregnant.

“Instead of lying on your back, which isn’t recommended in later pregnancy, you can do pigeon pose,” she said. “This can help with sciatica, which can often happen during pregnancy. There are also poses to help with heartburn relief and to encourage good digestive health.”

Although she doesn’t recommend doing flow yoga alone for fitness, Salisbury said this style of yoga is a great fitness tool. She said flow yoga gives her a fun, energizing way to evaluate her physical state.

Since taking yoga from Salisbury, Arlene Ward said she is more in tune with her body while she works out. Ward, a Marine spouse and frequent Semper Fit Center patron, said Salisbury’s yoga instruction has improved her breathing so she feels less tired whenever working out.

“She tells you to listen to your body and not to do certain poses if you feel strained or hurt,” Ward said. “I’ve been learning to listen to my body, feeling what my limits are.”

Salisbury said her goal with any class is to get them listening to their body for at least the 60 minutes of the week, tuning out everything else, but perfecting their poses during a yoga session.

She hasn’t decided yet what exercises her class will do for the upcoming free session, but they can expect the same thing from her normal classes – a flexible workout.

Marine Corps Base Hawaii