WESTOVER — A new program at Harmony Area Junior-Senior High School may help to boost staff’s relaxation levels after a stressful school day.

Spanish and English Instructor Elizabeth Cook was recently given permission by the Harmony Area School Board to conduct beginner’s yoga classes for fellow instructors and staff after school.

Cook, who is working toward an instructor’s certification in Hatha Yoga, said she took up yoga after battling some health issues and wanted to share the changes the practice made in her life.

“I decided I had to be proactive in my own health,” Cook said. “Yoga has been a blessing in my life. I am happy to have found yoga.”

“Yoga is a practice that is thousands of years old. Anyone can do it. People often think I’m not flexible. I can’t touch my toes. I can’t do yoga. You have to start where your body is and as you do yoga you will become more limber and the poses will become easier for you.”

Cook said Hatha Yoga is “a union of the mind, body and spirit.” It teaches participants to control their breathing and their poses and remain focused on their intentions.

“It also helps to reduce stress and calms nerves. It creates balance in your life,” Cook said.

Classes met once a week and Cook said additional times could be added depending on how the class is received.

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She also plans to evaluate opening the classes to students or the community in the future provided the school board gives permission for that to happen.

“I am very happy to continue with things as they are and want see how things go before making any changes,” Cook said.