Quiet the Stress and Find Your Center at Austin’s Eastside Yoga
Finding time to unwind is vital to one’s health- both mentally and physically. Studies upon studies show that taking time out of one’s day to meditate, exercise, or practice one of the many forms of yoga can help alleviate tensions and prevent illness. So how does one relax in the bustling cultural center that is Austin, Texas?
Enter Eastside Yoga.
Started in 2009 by husband and wife team Steven and Elsa Ross, Eastside Yoga came to life over a simple conversation outside of the Central Market. Before long, Ross had scribble out a logo and vision statement and allowed the practice to take flight. Before long, Ross had left his corporate job to teach yoga full time, putting all of his time and faith into the business. The couple even sold their house, uprooting and moving into an apartment closer to the neighborhood that Eastside called home.
“Yoga is an integral practice aimed at finding health and harmony in all aspects of life ultimately leading us to our inner self, a greater unity with life, with nature, other people and to the Divine,” explains Steven Ross, co-founder of Eastside Yoga. Ross refers to the art of yoga as a work-in, not a work-out. “The movements release tension/stress, make the body fit without creating more strain,” he details. “More importantly, our self-awareness turns inwards.”He goes on, telling us how physical health impacts the mind and the emotions, leaving you feeling energized and calm after a session.
According to Steven, meditation is the most important part of practicing yoga. “These days, science is studying meditation and the neurological results are literally electrifying for the brain,” he exclaims. “We now know that 20 minutes of meditation daily will rewire the neural pathways of our brain, awaking centers of peace, happiness and feeling connected to others in just a month.” One of the greatest side effects of practicing yoga, he tells us, is that it helps the participant to cope with stress in a new and enlightening way.
“We estimate 75% of people coming to Eastside are here primarily to cope with stress,” Ross states. Considering how stressful our modern society has become, I don’t feel surprised by this statistic at all. “Our reactive behaviors such as anger, frustration, fear, et cetera literally quiet and the brain changes structurally.” He chuckles, adding, “It’s truly amazing and so easy to learn! You just have to make the effort.”
Eastside offers many classes that cover a variety of yoga forms, including Hatha, Gayatri Chanting, Gentle Hatha, Gentle Yin, Mantra Chanting, and more. There is literally something for everyone. The center even caters to mothers- offering everything from Prenatal and Postnatal (Mom & Baby) yoga and Crawlers and Toddlers. Sunrise classes are available and cover both Flow and Raja forms.
“Yoga is all about awareness and the healthy feeling cultivated in class,” says Ross. “Eastside is one of the few yoga centers that offers classes that can support students in all aspects for their lives. Our center is truly a sanctuary for our community.”