Yoga health benefits for all ages

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By Triniti Faulks

People often find it amazing that at 45 years old, Robin Crociata, a mother
of five, is as fit as a 20-year-old. Several times a week she leads students who
are spread out on purple, blue, and grey mats as they reach for their toes and lift
their chins up to the sky.

“I feel that the one thing yoga does do is it gives somebody that inner
strength,” said Crociata, a yoga instructor and owner of Aloha Yoga and
Wellness Studio on the far west side of El Paso.

She came to El Paso nine years ago from Hawaii, after graduating with a
psychology degree from Chaminade University in Honolulu, and has been
teaching yoga for five years.

”Make sure you’re going to a teacher that actually is certified,” Crociata
said. She explains that when practicing yoga with someone who is uncertified
you might get hurt.

She started yoga while she was pregnant with her second child 21 years
ago. “I was very athletic and I was looking for something that’s still engaging with
the body.” she said.

She thought it wouldn’t be as hard as working out in the gym. “But I
learned otherwise.”

Robin Crociata, yoga instructor and owner of Aloha Yoga and Wellness, helps her younger class of yoga students plant flower seeds on July 24, 2019,

Yoga is a great way to improve endurance, it isn’t just sitting on a mat, her
website explains. Yoga will help your body relax while stretching, strengthening,
and lengthening the muscles you were just working on.

Yoga is a process of moving the body, finding the proper breathing
exercise, and meditation. “I want people to enjoy this moment and then feel good
about it when they leave the mat.” Crociata said. “It really doesn’t matter what
age you are.”

Crociata has worked with all age groups, from toddlers to senior citizens.
“It doesn’t matter if you can take your foot and touch your head or you just move
your arms slightly,” she said.

Her five kids from ages eight to 24 all do yoga, not as frequently as
Crociata but yoga is an impact in her family’s life. “They’re all very independent
and very kind,” Crociata said.

She believes, yoga helps the soul in a way that eases tension, and
promotes the health and well being. Practicing yoga often will help improve and
perfect posture and outlook on life, she said.

Yoga students stretch into child’s pose as instructed by Robin Crociata at Aloha Yoga and Wellness July, 24, 2019 during an afternoon class.

Yoga not only helps improve the body and its condition, but also helps with
mindfulness and meditation, her website explains. It is important to take a break
from daily life and technology in order to focus on yourself.

Focusing on your breath during practice is key to staying in tune with mind
and body, she said.

Crociata teaches a form of yoga called Hatha, which means sun and
moon. When practicing Hatha it’s a full rounded practice which focuses on
breathing, meditation, and engaging the body.

“It’s one of the most traditional practices we have in yoga,” Crociata said.
As the yoga class comes to an end, everyone rolls up their mats, stands
up gently, and leaves with a smile on their face.

This story was produced as part of the Journalism in July 2019 workshop for high school students at UT El Paso.

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