To realize how seriously Lisa Behrendt takes her yoga, you just need to know one thing – she saved up for two years to accumulate enough vacation time to attend a 200-hour intensive yoga training program at Yoga Works in Costa Mesa this past July.
“I basically banked my vacation time for two years so I could do this,” said Behrendt, who has been at the university for 18 years and is currently the English Department office manager. “I enjoy teaching yoga and I want to be the best yoga teacher I can be.”
The yoga classes taught by Behrendt are just part of the numerous on-campus activity opportunities available to employees, many during the lunchtime hour (see list of fitness activities below).
“I gear my class toward people like myself, who sit at a desk all day,” said Behrendt. “I know it’s difficult for people to set aside some time to do an activity during the noon hour or after work. We’re all so busy, however those who take the time to slip into some comfortable clothes and make their way to the P.E. building really enjoy the classes.”
Behrendt is a 1984 CSULB graduate who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance, something she actively participated in until injuries made it impossible to continue.
She began taking yoga classes in 2000, believing it would supplement her ballet classes. She soon discovered that, for her, once a week was not enough.
“I realized there was more to yoga than just doing the poses and eventually I was taking class four times a week,” she said. “Yoga practice accelerated as my dancing decelerated and then I just wanted to refine my skills.”
Behrendt, who earlier had taken a 50-hour yoga training course with Saul David Raye, a highly respected and influential teacher in the yoga world today, feels that the transition from dancer to yoga instructor was a natural one.
“Many dancers segue into yoga as their career winds down," she said. "As the body alignment in dance is very similar to that of yoga, the knowledge and application can be made fairly easily.”
This fall, on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 12:10-12:50 p.m., Behrendt will teach a stretch and relax class, which she likens to pre-yoga.
“It’s not meant to mess up anybody’s hair or makeup,” she said. “It’s just a little relaxation and gentle stretching. I think many people have a misperception about what yoga is all about. Yes, it’s physical movement but it shouldn’t be intimidating. As you practice, you learn more about yourself and can use what you learn to live life more fully. Anyone can do it and it’s good for your health, particularly with stress management. I think those who try it with an open mind will find it enjoyable.”
In addition to her noontime classes, Behrendt also teaches a Hatha Yoga class on Thursday nights from 5:30-6:45 p.m. which is an “open” class, meaning some people may have taken some yoga classes before while others have not.
“For me, yoga has been the closest thing to dance in terms of physicality and experiencing what athletes call 'being in the zone.' That place where you aren’t re-thinking the past or the contemplating the future, just about right now, this very breath, this very moment. In yoga we call it, 'Being Present.' By staying present, whether just in yoga class or carrying it over into everyday life, you learn to calm your mind from all the unnecessary chatter, worry and stress which accompanies the hectic world in which we live. With a calm mind, you can experience everything more clearly, manage stress more effectively, and enjoy the physical suppleness created by practicing the poses. Yoga can benefit everyone.”
Fitness Classes @ The Beach
The first six-week session begins the week of Sept. 15
When: Tuesday/Thursday, noon–1 p.m. and 5:15–6:15 p.m.
Cost: $40 per six-week session
- A circuit training workout/cardio and weights
- Quickly melt fat, increase aerobic capacity and strength.
- No experience necessary. Designed to be scaled to an individual’s physical needs and abilities.
Deep Water Aerobics
When: Monday-Thursday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturday 8-9 a.m.; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, noon–1 p.m.
Cost: faculty and staff, $45 per month or $10 per class; community members, $50 per month or $10 per class
Can begin any time. Located at the campus pool.
Shallow Water Aerobics
When: Tuesday/Thursday, noon-1 p.m. Cost: $20 per month or $4 per class Can begin anytime. Located at the campus pool.
When: Monday/Wednesday, noon-1 p.m.
Cost: faculty and staff, $20 per month or $4 per class
Can begin anytime. Located in P.E. 64.
Stretch and Relax
When: Monday/Wednesday, noon-12:50 p.m.
Cost: $20 for six-week session (one class per week) or $40 for six-week session (two classes per week) P.E. 107
Fitness class that increases flexibility, creates balance and relaxation, and alleviates stress and tension.
When: Thursday, 5:30–6:45 p.m.
Cost: $40 per six-week session P.E. 107
Hatha yoga attempts to balance the mind and body via physical excercise, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation.
When: Friday, 4–5 p.m. and 5:15-6:15 p.m.
Cost: $20 per six-week session
Through exercise and choreographed dance moves, participants will be taught basic technique and posture that will improve muscle tone and endurance.
Rowbics…New!When: Monday/Wednesday, noon-1 p.m. and 5:15-6:15 p.m.; Tuesday/Thursday, 12-1 p.m.
Cost: $60 per six-week session
Cardio and strength exercise using Concept 2 rowing machines. Increases endurance and builds muscle.
Cost: $10 one-time fee
New walking program with pedometers.
Meet and walk on campus courses.
When: Friday, 4-5:30 p.m.; Saturday, TBA
Taught by a PGA professional
Meet at El Dorado Park Golf Course
Cost: $100/10 lessons; enrollment limited to 10 golfers
When: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings
Dance based fitness class featuring infectious latin music and easy-to-follow dance moves.
When: Thursday, 7-8 p.m., P.E. 107
For more information or to register, call 562/985-2570, visit office P.E. 20A or go online at www.csulb.edu/clubsports.