A Balance Between The Physical and Spiritual ( sponsored )
For millennia practitioners of yoga have extolled its virtue as means of improving physical and mental health, and as science has caught up with the discipline, evidence for its many benefits has grown. Yoga students experience increased mobility and strength and decreased levels of stress and fatigue. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word for “union,” and it is a technique to connect mind with body. The results can be profound. At Windsoul Studio in Tyngsborough, Mass., Gail Lachs and her team of certified instructors strive to create an environment in which yogis of all ages and skill levels can experience the results.
The studio offers a wide variety of yoga and meditation classes, suited for both beginners and experienced students. Some classes are focused on relaxation and stress relief, such as candlelit gentle yoga classes that feature guided meditation. Vinyasa sessions provide a more intense workout and are recommended for those with yoga experience. Says owner Gail Lachs, MLS, “It’s not a competitive environment, it’s very accepting of all levels and abilities.” The studio even forgoes the use of mirrors so that students can be focused on their breathing and movements instead of worrying about how they look while they practice.
As a former medical professional, Lachs makes good use of her medical knowledge in her teachings. In addition to her experience in the biotech industry, she has worked in the laboratories at Lahey Clinic, Lowell General Hospital and taught Anatomy and Physiology in the labs at UMass Lowell. Her anatomy background helps her to safely instruct her yoga students, especially those with injuries or physical disabilities. “It allows me to explain postures so that students understand what they should be feeling and how that relates to their everyday movement and strengthening their body,” says Lachs.
Those who practice yoga on a regular basis often experience increased flexibility and muscle tone, but Lachs, who has been teaching yoga for the past ten years, encourages her clients to be aware of the many other physiological benefits of a regular practice, especially those associated with the meditative aspect of yoga. “Mindful breathing, combined with yogic postures, whether gentle or faster-paced, can help to soothe our sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our body’s fight-or-flight stress response,” says Lachs. She added that “for many of us, our hectic lifestyles today, which include traffic-filled commutes, electronics, busy schedules and so much more, cause a steady stimulation of that stress-related response in the body. The body then responds by increasing the heart rate, raising blood pressure and slowing digestion, among other changes. In our studio, we’re looking to offer our clients an opportunity to leave their stresses at the door and restore balance to both their energy and their body, strengthening their ability to respond to future stresses.”
Before opening the studio, Lachs taught a weekly community yoga class and realized that it drastically reduced her own stress levels. “I would come home from the class so much less anxious and less stressed than when I had left work to go to class. I simply wanted to share that with more people, and it’s been rewarding to have so many of our clients come to us to say that yoga has changed their lives for the better,” says Lachs.
When she and her husband, Steve, set out to open Windsoul Studio, it was with the intention to create a relaxing environment where yoga and energy healing services, such as Reiki, could be affordable and accessible. At Windsoul, says Lachs, “What we’re really striving for here is what I call a place of healing.” She hopes that her classes will help others improve their physical health and overcome stress the way yoga has helped her, and welcomes people who are healing from illness as well as emotional trauma to find solace.
In addition to its wide range of classes, services and clientele, Windsoul is unusual for the area in its number of visiting guest instructors. “We have a large practice space that can comfortably fit up to 65-70 mats, so we can bring in somebody who will provide a really unique workshop that you would get in New York City or in California here in Tyngsborough,” says Lachs.
Gail Lachs and the rest of the Windsoul community are dedicated to serving all types of yogis and to striking a balance between the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga. Whether you’re seeking a new kind of workout with knowledgeable instructors or a peaceful way to spend your evenings after work, you can be sure that Windsoul Studio will welcome you.
440 Middlesex Road
Tyngsborough, Mass. 01879