Experts: yoga helps physical and mental health

Student Kasey Sherman practicing in her yoga class. Tiffany Thompson/ WGXA News

MACON, Ga.-- Aerial yoga is catching on in Middle Georgia.

One woman says for her yoga is much more than a pastime.

Amber Pierce said she remembers the day she decided to make a change back in 2014 as if it was yesterday.

She'd heard about the mental health benefits of yoga, so she decided to give it a try.

Pierce said at first she was skeptical, but soon found relief both physically and mentally.

"It replaced all my negative habits, well most of them. It just completely changed my life and continues to change my life," Pierce said.

The American Osteopathic Association says yoga helps increase your flexibility, muscle strength, metabolism, cardio and circulatory health.

They said it also reduces stress and improves coping skills.

Pierce now helps others walk in her footsteps.

"Most people go to yoga because they are looking to heal something," Pierce said. But her class offers a twist: aerial yoga.

This class uses a hammock on a single point to deepen your stretch.

Class member Kasey Sherman says she started her journey just a couple months ago, while she was looking for a stress outlet from work.

"I really just, completely fell in love with it every time I would go I just felt like such a relaxing experience. It wasn't stressed and I had time to work on my mental state and make sure I was slowing down and appreciating just everything I had," Piece said.

Sherman says with the help of Pierce she's now addicted.

"I set a high goal for myself at 45 classes and I started going 4 to 5 times a week and I think I hit 55 classes over the summer," Sherman said.

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