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Yoga shares space with MMA gym

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Tamara Moore, a certified yoga instructor, demonstrates some poses on the mat.

Yoga by certified instructor Tamara Moore is being offered at Jefferson Square in the same location as the S.T.O.M.P. MMA gym.

"Yoga in general is going to be living your spiritual practices in life," Moore said.

What is usually called yoga is a specific branch called asana, meaning "postures."

"What the postures have to do with is practicing your principles that you want to live in life -- it's practicing them physically on the mat," she said.

Moore said asana yoga poses look uncomfortable for a reason -- they are supposed to be. She said it is about finding strength in discomfort, and going out in the world and being outside of one's comfort zone.

Beginners aren't expected to nail complex poses right away. Props are used, and different ages, abilities and body types are taken into consideration.

The pose where you have your back to the floor and arched all the way up? Moore said she finally mastered it just six months ago.

"Yoga on the mat, or asana, postures, is about practicing the things that we want to practice out in the world," she said.

Yoga is also about relaxing and releasing tension.

"We use the breath in yoga to release that tension in the body," she said.

Moore said a lot of people are afraid of yoga and afraid of being judged or compared, but since yoga is inward-focused, comparing and judging others or looking at others during practice is discouraged.

"We focus so much attention and energy in yoga class on your own body, your own practice," she said.

Moore said others hesitate because of conflict with their Christian beliefs, but she herself is a Christian practicing in the Catholic church, and that the Hindu philosophy and religious principles in yoga are general moral principles and the belief that there is something sacred and holy in every human being.

"I would never compromise people's spiritual or religious beliefs during a class, or take people into a place spiritually where they would be uncomfortable," she said.

Moore, a stay-at-home mom who also teaches a world religions class at M State, has practiced for about seven years and taught for about a year. Her own instructor at the Yoga Loft in Willmar, Mary Beth Nehl, was born and raised in Wadena.

Moore said there are other yoga instructors in Wadena, too.

Moore currently runs a Wednesday 8:30-9:30 a.m. class for parents and kids and a Saturday 8-9:30 a.m. class for athletic beginners.

Classes are $12 per class, and there are package deals for $10 per class.

Moore will also hold a New To Yoga intro session on Saturday, April 9 from 8-10 a.m. for $15 per person.

Moore had previously offered classes a the Harvest Thyme Bistro very early in the morning, and she heard from them that Joe Jasicki of S.T.O.M.P. MMA was interested in renting out space for yoga classes in the downstairs gym at 209 Jefferson Street. Moore's yoga classes are not otherwise affiliated with S.T.O.M.P. MMA.

Moore's interest in yoga began when she took a class at Flagler College in Florida, where she was a religion and philosophy major. She has been involved in yoga ever since.

To contact Moore, call (320) 266-0911.