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‘De-mystifying’ yoga goal of free classes

Karl Horeis

In recognition of International Yoga Day five teachers offered free classes at the Sun Mountain Yoga studio in Carson City on Saturday. Classes at the 2-year old studio ranged from intro to yoga with a focus on breathing to the vigorous workout of “power vinyasa.”

“Being able to attend these classes is such a treat,” said Elizabeth Shorrock of Carson City, a regular at Sun Mountain. “I always leave here in a very peaceful state of mind.”

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, yoga is “a system of exercises for attaining bodily or mental control and well-being.” A Sun Mountain flier describes it as the practice of physical postures, called “asanas,” and breathing techniques, called “pranayama,” as well as meditation.

“What we’re trying to do today is open up the studio to the community and de-mystify the practice,” said Angela Wright-Sullivan, co-founder of the studio. While yoga trends in the media or at gyms can be short-lived, the 22-year Nevada resident said she prefers to stick with the basics.

“I’m a purist,” she said. “The hot yoga gets all the press, but yoga is about cultivating awareness – not a buff body.”

Wright-Sullivan spoke in the entryway Saturday next to a table of grapes, apples and bottled water. Students removed their shoes before proceeding into the main room.

Inside meditation instructor Andrew Pullos was preparing for a half-hour class.

“Meditation is a way to discover who we truly are,” he said. “To get rid of all the ego that stands in our way.”

Side benefits include relaxation and learning to control thinking.

The practice is a whole package, said Shorrock. On top of flexibility and calm, students learn about community and safety.

Wright-Sullivan, who has studied for 15 years in Seattle, California, Greece and Canada, added discipline, non-violence and cleanliness to the list.

“Yoga really is a whole way of being,” she said. “You live it.”

A new teacher who has chosen the yoga way of life is Sonja Walton. She was certified after four years of study at the American Viniyoga Institute on the island of Maui in Hawaii. She’s offering a free workshop on Dec. 6.

The Sun Mountain Yoga studio is at 308 N. Plaza St. in the alley between Garibaldi’s and Thai Spice Kitchen.