Google ‘how to relieve stress’ and millions of results suggest exercise and deep breathing as the most popular top two options. Virtually any form of physical activity can act as a stress reliever, but few activities provide more overall health benefits than the practice of yoga. The physical benefits of yoga are real, and the approach to wellness focuses on the body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing. Such is the focus of Sweet Tea Yoga’s owner, Sarah Ruiz. “There was no dedicated yoga studio space here, and I needed a place to practice yoga to deal with all the curve balls life throws at you. We opened our doors January 1, 2018.”
At Sweet Tea Yoga in Peachtree City, space is available to slow down, stretch, balance and experience peace of mind... a space for the community to foster a sense of mindfulness and well-being, as well as connect and meet people. “Our goal,” says Sarah, “is to create a space of health and happiness for the community; to collaborate and find healing of the mind, body and spirit through the practice of yoga.”
Sweet Tea Yoga — South Atlanta's premier yoga studio — offers a wide range of yoga classes from Gentle, Vinyasa, Yin, Ashtanga, Power Flow, Pilates/Yoga Fusion, and Prenatal Yoga to Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra classes. In addition, Thai massage services, as well as private yoga instruction for individuals or small groups, are available. In 2019, Sweet Tea Yoga added a second studio space which opens the door for classes to be conducted simultaneously and serves as a dedicated heated studio. A shower room in the second space makes for a nice addition as well.
In the wake of COVID, we see startling numbers of people dealing with depression, anxiety, stress and related issues. More so now than at any other time in history, people are looking for ways to heal, connect, strengthen and feel peace. The American Osteopathic Association lists a variety of ways regular yoga practice can provide physical and mental health benefits.
Sarah emphasizes the importance of slowing down. “We are a go, go, go society. We’re not designed to be on the go 24-7. Every time you focus on the breath and breathing, you are slowing down.” Sarah continues, “As we become more tech-advanced and busier in our day-to-day, it’s really important that we take some time out and take a breath from our day. If people can do that, they’re going to take that feeling out into their day and out into the world.”
There are so many different kinds of yoga practices that make it possible for anyone to start. Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style. Sweet Tea Yoga makes it easy to get started or to continue your practice. “We’re here to help you. We have everything for you, so you don’t need to bring anything; just dress comfortably.”
Safety is a priority for Sarah and Sweet Tea Yoga. “You want to know that when you are doing yoga, you are doing it safely and guided by someone who understands the body.” Sweet Tea Yoga instructors are certified through Yoga Alliance, have a minimum 200-hour training, and more than half have advanced training; an additional 300-500 hours or certified to teach other instructors. All are CPR/First Aid certified, and Sarah is trained in prenatal and postnatal yoga. Visit sweetteayoga.com to register for classes and to learn more. Namaste.
John Hopkins Medicine lists 9 benefits of yoga:
- Improves strength, balance and flexibility
- Helps with back pain relief
- Shown to ease arthritis symptoms
- Contributes to heart health by reducing levels of stress and body-wide inflammation
- Consistent bedtime yoga promotes quality sleep
- Increases mental and physical energy
- Supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness and healthy eating
- Eases loneliness and provides an environment for group healing and support
- Promotes better self-care
Sarah Ruiz and her family moved to Peachtree City in 2014. As former middle school music teacher, Sarah started practicing yoga in New York City when she became pregnant with her first child. She took prenatal classes in the city and loved it. Sarah found it to be calming and a way to connect with her baby. She has been practicing and loving yoga for 18 years.