CASPER, Wyo –Seasoned yogis and first-timers gathered at the newly-branded Ford Wyoming Center (formerly the Casper Events Center) Saturday to deploy their practice in a novel environment.
Alaina Binfet said she was pleased with the lighting and ambience they were able to create at the Center. Binfet is the owner of WyOMing Yoga and Massage, which sponsored Saturday’s event. Instructor Mallor Pollock led a “gentle, accessible” class for all levels.
Usually deployed in darkened fitness studios, Saturday’s event allowed up to 80 people to safely share a group class with room to spare for adequate social distancing.
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Binfet said she would like to see the yoga scene establish itself at larger venues on a more regular basis. “If there’s a good response, we’d definitely like to do it again, even once a month,” she said.
Branded “Get Centered at the Center,” Saturday’s event also featured vendors from Casper and surrounding areas in the health and wellness fields, including practitioners of resonant sound healing, acupuncture, and massage.
Yoga seems to be catching in Casper, Binfet said. She said she particularly likes to see the revelatory effect on first-timers in her beginners’ series classes.
“It’s really cool to see people experience how moving their bodies through space affects them mentally and thier attitudes– there’s a shift in people.”
She said yoga is a key part of an overall approach to preventative medicine meant to complement ( not replace) traditional Western medicine).
“When you start to feel better mentally and physically, you start to make better choices,” she said.
She added that even experienced yogis learn something new “every single time” they practice, and that yoga is instrumental in mental and physical fortification.
“If there was such a thing a ‘magic pill,’ yoga would be that magic pill,” she said.
She added that it’s never too late to start, and that some older students only regret that they hadn’t started learning simple breathing and posture practices earlier in life.
Elliot Rammage, a Casper based instructor, said yoga is just one aspect of the emerging movement. His workshops includes ventures onto Casper Mountain, on the trails system that follows the river, and to destinations around the world
Rammage said some of the people he’s taught were unaware of just how many recreational opportunities, such as the Bridle Trail or Nordic Ski Trails, are available to them in Casper.
There were some indications from vendors that alternative therapies are catching on as a viable industry in Wyoming.
One business at the event Saturday was Balanced Healing Salt and Sauna, which offers respiratory salt therapy and infrasauna sauna. It opened in Casper in August, and co-owner Cassandra Bush is expanding the business to Sheridan.
Binfet said WyOMing Yoga and Massage had had plans to expand before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Rammage and Binfet also co-sponsor the Casper Karma Yoga Festival in the summer.
Binfet added that yoga was especially important now, as January cold and historic winds rock Wyoming.
“With our winters, we all need some serious TLC,” she said.