New studio offers yoga, Pilates, boxing fusion

It’s that time of year when many people are looking for a way to get in better shape and wondering what is the best way to go. Three popular and interesting choices are yoga, Pilates and boxing. Thanks to Jessica Fairburn, all three disciplines are now available at one place: Yoga& in Denham Springs.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and millions Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Yoga aims to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit, and can help the practitioner become more aware of their body’s posture, alignment and patterns of movement. It can help improve balance, flexibility and strength as well as relieve stress and detox the body. People who practice yoga often feel fitter, more energetic, happier and peaceful.

Jessica Fairburn, front right, leads a yoga class at her new studio, Yoga&, in Denham Springs.

Pilates uses the mind to control the muscles. It was created to help align the spine and pelvis. Centered on strengthening the core, it uses controlled movements along with specific breathing patterns to help improve coordination and oxygen flow to muscles. The Pilates’ system allows for different exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced, and intensity can be increased over time as the body conditions and adapts to the exercises.

At Yoga&, a  person can choose a yoga class or a Pilates class or they can participate in boxing fusion. Boxing fusion is a high energy cardio class performed with hand weights, with participants shadow boxing and throwing punches. It combines the high caloric burn of boxing, the lengthening of muscles from yoga, and the tightening and toning of Pilates for an all-around workout. This combination class features boxing fusion in the first half of the class, and Pilates and yoga in the second half.

Open since October, Fairburn commented, “There is no other place in Denham Springs that I’m aware of where you can take yoga classes. I first went to a yoga class with a friend and fell in love with it. After several years of taking classes in Baton Rouge, I decided to become an instructor and open a place in here in my hometown.”

Fairburn agreed that a lot of people don’t know that much about yoga.

“But I hope they don’t let the unknown keep them from trying it,” she said. “Contrary to what some may think, everyone can do yoga. Although some of the advanced poses are difficult, there are many modifications of the poses that can be used by people of any capability, including persons with disabilities and women who are pregnant. It is low impact and can even be done using a chair. There are no machines; your body does all the work.”

Yoga is a very inexpensive fitness option; classes start at $12, and all you need in the way of equipment is a towel and a mat – and even those can be rented.

“Everyone is welcome to come in and try one yoga session,” Fairburn invited. “Those who try yoga often feel lighter and more serene – yet also more awake – after just their first time.”

Classes are open to males and females ages 15 and older. Student rates are as low as $10 per class. Sign up for a month of unlimited classes and pay only $3 day – a savings of 80%.

For Valentine’s Day, birthday, anniversary or any occasion, gift certificates are offered in any dollar amount starting at $12 (the cost of one class) and are active for immediate redemption.

Fairburn is also certified in personal training and offers private fitness classes.

Details: Yoga&, owner/instructor Jessica Fairburn, 2317 S. Range Ave., Denham Springs; 225-369-2425.; www.yogaand.net.