BYRON -- In a quiet room at the Byron Public Library, a half dozen women, ranging in age from mid-30s to upper-70s, stretch into cat and cow poses.
With soft music playing in the background of the darkened room, Helen Talentis soft English-accented voice describes the next position for the ladies.
Talenti is certified in the beginning levels of yoga and helps her students to learn the easier, more basic movements of the craft.
The goal of yoga is to quiet the mind, she said after the class.
Talenti has been practicing yoga for nearly 15 years. She is offering classes for free to gain experience teaching yoga to others.
As a new teacher, I wanted to get more experience, she said.
Classes are usually every other Friday at 10 a.m. Talenti likes for new students to call her first to get an idea of what to expect from the class.
Although there are a few places around the Middle Georgia area that offer yoga classes, Byron wasnt one of those, Talenti said. She thought offering yoga was the perfect opportunity to introduce it to the community.
People are really keen to do yoga, she said.
The movements are designed to stretch as well as strengthen but in a gentle way.
Mother and daughter Nadiya Antonenko and Kateryna Klein attended their first class Nov. 4.
Klein said she came to de-stress and find quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Others came to try to ward off broken bones and to get a bit healthier.
Karen Lanier has osteoporosis. Her main goal is to improve her flexibility.
I dont want to get a broken hip, the 68-year old Byron resident said.
Many of the movements Talenti had her class doing were isolating body parts such as the hips, legs and jaw.
Some of the moves sound strange, such as rock the baby, where one holds the leg and makes circles with the hip joint. Other names include the half locust and the basic cobra.
Participants lie in a corpse pose for the last segment of the class, which includes meditation through controlled breathing.
As Talenti sits with her eyes closed and crossed-legged in front of the class, a bell chimes in her lap to bring the class out of the meditative state and she tells them, feel the peace within you.
To contact writer Angela Woolen, call 923-5650.