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MAYS LANDING - Enjoying the benefits of yoga — and from a certified teacher for that matter — has never been easier than with Yoga For Life at the Mays Landing Branch of the Atlantic County Library System.

The classes, which are typically held on every other Saturday morning, are led by Janet Hahn. She has been practicing yoga for decades and teaching the ancient practice for about 12 years.

“I had this dream to do it, a calling really, not a dream,” said Hahn about why she decided to become a certified yoga instructor.

As all good teachers do, Hahn adjusts the class to fit the needs of those in attendance. Classes at the library often include both beginners and more advanced practitioners, so Hahn makes it clear to everyone in the class that they should honor and listen to their own bodies. “It’s nice to have all levels and new people,” she said.

Hahn begins the class by having the participants find their breath and focus their minds for the practice ahead. Once everyone’s mind is focused, Hahn then leads the class through a series of standing and sitting poses. While Hahn makes sure that each class allows a certain amount of flexibility in order to accommodate the different levels of experience, she does plan each class in order to have a general framework.

Hahn is adamant that yoga provides numerous benefits, almost too many to count. However, she did mention three benefits in particular.

“Yoga helps with stress, your body really needs to stretch, and it is centering – it helps you focus,” Hahn said.

As a yoga instructor, Hahn said she finds deep fulfillment when she is able to watch one of her students grow in the ancient practice.

“I am happy when they continue,” she said. “It means the world to me when someone comes up to me and tells me how much I impacted their life because I don’t always get to see that.”

The next Yoga for Life class will be held on Sept. 15 at 9:30 a.m. Each class is $5 and registration is strongly requested, though walk-ins are welcome if there is room. Please bring a mat or a towel. For more information, please visit www.atlanticlibrary.org

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