Local family finds balance with Bikram Yoga

A local Peninsula family — including the kids — are getting fit and cantered together by becoming yogis

From left

A local Peninsula family — including the kids — are getting fit and cantered together by becoming yogis.

The Pendray family (of Pendray Farms), consisting of Jennifer Pendray-Toporowski and husband Shawn Toporowski and their two boys Owen and Trevor, as well as Sarah Pendray and her husband Mike Holtz, Alicia Pearce and her daughter Ashley Pearce, and the family matriarch Linda Pendray have been practicing Bikram in Sidney for the last year. Jennifer was the first to start at Bikram Yoga Sidney about two years ago.

“As soon as I started going to Bikram Yoga the boys showed an interest in what I was doing,” Jennifer said, adding that she waited a while to introduce them to it.

The boys, she said, enjoy participating in hot yoga and are now mostly able to join in with the regular adult classes.

“We see it often where parents will start hot yoga and the children will show an interest,” said Wendy Crowther, owner of Bikram Yoga Sidney.

Although she said it’s unusual to see such an extended family like the Pendrays participating regularly in the classes, she said she has many members who bring their loved ones, including children, to the studio.

“It’s great to see kids expressing interest in the classes,” Crowther said.

“We have kids as young as eight participating in our adult classes.”

Crowther doesn’t offer specific classes for children but does teach some private lessons for children who are keen on yoga, stressing that the aspect of the hot room doesn’t come into play until children are of an age or ability to handle being in there.

“We definitely try to accommodate the interest in yoga when it presents itself,” she said.

Crowther added that Bikram, a type of yoga that is based on Bikram Choudhury’s signature series of 26 postures executed in a heated room for 90 minutes, allows people of all ages to move at their own pace and do a little bit of each pose as they are able.

Practicing in the heat, she said, is also one of the safest ways to move and stretch.

“We teach people to learn for themselves the balance between strength and flexibility. The balance between the two is a foundation of good health,” she said, adding Bikram Yoga is an accessible way for people of all abilities to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

“Many people wait until they have a health problem to get active and start leading a healthy lifestyle, but if you start before a problem exists you really decrease your chances of injury, disease, aches and pains and immobility,” she said.

To that end, Bikram Yoga Sidney is gearing up to host a series of open houses this month to allow people to try hot yoga for themselves.

“The idea is to hold our open house for four consecutive days which gives people a chance to come out more than once. The key is getting to that second class because often times the first can be overwhelming. Once you have the second class under your belt, it’s easier from there,” Crowther explained.

For more information on the open house, which runs Jan. 11 to 14, visit hotyogasidney.com or call 250-655-9642.