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Jul 16, 2015

Healthy Living Does Yoga!

Over the past few years since they opened their doors, we’ve visited the Om Shanti Center for Yoga and Healing arts to share with you the latest addition to its services. Tonight, in Healthy Living, we return to learn more about a new yoga class they’ve added to their menu, one that we think may appeal to many especially on these hot summer days.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

One these hot summer days, if you see a group of people in a pool, you’d figure they’re just looking for a way to beat the heat. But here at Om Shanti Center in Belize City; it’s no pool party. It’s a workout class except the yogis are four feet deep in salt water.


Florence Goldson, Lead, Aqua Yoga
“We have a lot of fun we do Freestyle Fridays, Mellow Mondays and Work Out Wednesdays, we play music, and we have a good time when trying to get in a workout.”


Florence Goldson

Florence Goldson leads the aqua yoga class at the Om Shanti.


Florence Goldson

“For the first time getting into the water, it really helps support your weight and there’s not that pressure on your joints as compared to land. And also of course it’s really hot so it’s really nice to get in the pool and cool down.”


Michelle Ashanti Williams, Owner/Operator, Om Shanti Center

“When I opened Om Shanti, my primary intention was to have the greatest accessibility to as many people as possible to yoga. And so a natural transition would be aqua yoga and for the very reason that it really is beneficial to all types—all ages, all body types. We started about a month and a half ago and the response has been very good. We off three classes at week; Monday and Friday at seven a.m. and then we have an evening class for people that can’t necessarily make those times at six p.m. on Wednesday. And so we’ve found that we’ve had response from all walks of life which has been really, really nice.”


Michelle Ashanti Williams

Marleni Cuellar

“So what are some of the things that your clients have said?”


Michelle Ashanti Williams
“Well they like that they get into poses easier; they feel as though they get a good stretch; they feel their bodies lighter when they get into the stretch and mentally that gives them more confidence and they like the way that they feel afterwards. Usually, you get quite a good workout. So in the mornings, especially when you first start, you might feel that throughout the day you are a little bit tired, but then your body gets used to it.”


One dedicated aqua yoga student is Arlette Theus; the class has been her introduction to the practice of yoga.


Arlette Theus, Aqua Yoga Student

“The experience is good; the stretching, the water, the pool and my colleagues.”


Arlette Theus

Marleni Cuellar

“You find it easier to do the poses in the water?

Arlette Theus

“Some of the poses are easy and some of it is hard.”


Marleni Cuellar

“So you feel like you’re getting a good work out?”


Arlette Theus



Not because you’re submerged chest deep in water means it’s any less of a workout though.


Michelle Ashanti Williams

“The weightless it helps with garnering a little bit more confidence, the aqua yoga helps with balance. Because of the weightlessness, you are actually grounding yourself a little bit more so you are using your core, but you’re not necessarily feeling as you do in the studio. Because of the weightlessness, you kinda feel as though this is a little bit more easier or maybe far more easier than in the studio.”


Florence Goldson

“I think people like it because the water allows them to do poses that they would not be able t do on land. Also the water provides twelve times more pressure than just air so while you don’t feel it while you’re in the pool. When you’re out you feel like you’ve gotten a really good workout.”


Owner, Michelle says anyone can practice aqua yoga from the first timers to the more advanced student.


Michelle Ashanti Williams

“Who’s it best suited for? Everyone and that comes again from my intention to have yoga accessible to everyone. We found that it is perfect for people who have experienced stroke, for cancer survivors, for people that have body image issues, for young, for people that have arthritis. Our pool is actually salt water so it helps as well. And for anybody; you know we have people from all ages, teenagers right up to people in their seventies are enjoying and are doing the same sets of asanas and sequences and are reaping the benefits.”


You can find Om Shanti on Facebook for more information about their class schedules.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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