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Yoga options expand
With a new teacher in town, a Vinyasa flow yoga class is now available

Elaine Anselmi
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, January 22, 2015

The variety of yoga classes offered at the Midnight Sun Complex has now broadened, with a new Vinyasa Flow Yoga class that is already seeing a great reception.

NNSL photo/graphic

Yoga instructor Kathleen Scarf is now offering Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes every Thursday at the Midnight Sun Complex. - photo courtesy of Des Iles

"I'm so happy to be back on the teacher's mat," instructor Kathleen Scarf told a full room of students at her inaugural class.

Moving to Inuvik from Whitecourt, Alta., in October, Scarf said she has been anxious to teach again and approached the town about offering a new class. She has been teaching for about a year, after completing a month-long intensive yoga instructor course through Yandara Yoga Schools in Mexico.

"My best friend was teaching in Whitecourt and I was her student for about 10 years," said Scarf. "I wanted to advance my own practice, that's why I really did the training, not so much to teach. Then I fell into teaching and just fell in love with it."

Although she is certified to teach several different practice styles, Scarf said she chose Vinyasa because it offers benefits for a wide range of people.

"I like the strengthening in it and find it a really nice balance for athletes because of the strengthening," said Scarf. "It's a well-balanced practice."

After her first class, students worked up a sweat and were reaching for their water bottles after moving through the fast-changing poses of Vinyasa practice.

This style of yoga combines aspects of fitness and breathing into the class.

"I think it's more of a workout than they anticipated," said Scarf. "It's a lot more than just stretching."

Students of all levels are urged to come out to the class, with easier and more difficult options available for poses, and Scarf emphasized the importance of listening to your own body and taking a break when needed. Her goal is to make the class accessible to all people.

"With yoga, there is generally this preconceived idea that you have to be super skinny and super flexible to enjoy it," said Scarf.

"I try to break those barriers down and create a safe space for my students."

Scarf said the inflexible, who may be intimidated by the idea of a yoga practice, are the exact people who should be coming to class.

"Yoga isn't just about your body, either," said Scarf.

"It's about connecting your breath and your mind."

The Vinyasa class is the third option for yoga practice in Inuvik, in addition to Kundilini yoga on Mondays and Ashtanga practice on Wednesdays.

"I would love to help build the yoga community here," said Scarf. "It's great there are already two classes and teachers here. It's awesome we can offer three classes in a community of 3,000 people."

The Vinyasa Flow Yoga class is held every Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Midnight Sun Complex.

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