Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Thrive offering special yoga classes for women

Thrive, The Healing Center, a local nonprofit devoted to helping women navigate challenges, traumas and transitions, will offer prenatal yoga classes and yoga classes for larger women starting later this month.

Yoga for Larger Women will start Jan. 16 and be held each Tuesday for six weeks, at 10:30 a.m. Prenatal Yoga, for pregnant women, will start Jan. 18 and be held each Friday for six weeks, at 9:30 a.m.

Students in both classes also are invited to attend four weekend workshops, held consecutive Saturday mornings starting Jan. 26, on topics including stress, nutrition and healing touch. The cost of each class series is $80; there’s no extra fee for students to attend the workshops.

Yoga teacher Holley Ryan, who will lead the classes, said she’s hopeful the classes will fill a niche and provide women in different stages of life and fitness with the chance to become more comfortable with their bodies and build endurance and a sense of empowerment as they enhance their well-being.

The prenatal yoga class will focus on helping women ease physical discomfort and stiffness, especially in the neck and back, and build strength and stamina in anticipation of delivery day. The class also will emphasize relaxation, both through breathing techniques and through the creation of a yoga community where women can share the joys and challenges of being pregnant.

Prenatal yoga is “a class in which mothers can  consciously connect to the amazing new life growing inside them,” Ryan said. “It is a time to stop the busyness of our days, and appreciate the miracle of pregnancy. It is a time to be nurtured as well as a time to take special care of our bodies, putting our health and wellness first.”

Yoga for Larger Women will focus on easing tension and enjoying other benefits of yoga “in a nurturing, safe and accepting atmosphere, no matter what size or shape that you are in,” Ryan said.

Ryan will provide support and props, such as chairs and straps, to help make each pose comfortable for students.

To learn more about either class or to sign up, contact Ryan at 540/899-8979. Classes will be held at Thrive: 10700 Ballantraye Dr., Suite 104, off of Courthouse Rd behind the Breezewood Shopping Center.