Ryan Barrett in a yoga pose

Summer 2016 — As part of his recovery from an accident that injured his knee, Ryan Barrett engaged in physical therapy and incorporated yoga into his daily routine. His dedication and practice created a newfound love for yoga and led him to become a yoga instructor for Recreational Sports.

“Yoga is something everyone should do. Exercise is not only about lifting weights and running on the field. Opening up different muscle groups of the body, keeping the spine neutral — these are all very important aspects of exercise,” Barrett said in a Recreational Sports Member Story. “Meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises) and asana (poses) are the three aspects of yoga. Each of these aspects has a distinct role to play in a person’s spiritual, mental and physical wellness.”

Anyone who has attended Ryan’s Fit Pass class at Dixon Recreational Center would know that he starts by asking what level of practice the participants are in the mood for and then proceeds accordingly.

“I never really plan routines or stick to a defined set of poses. Yoga is all about following your breath,” Barrett says. “Your breath leads the tempo and allows you to stretch your muscles. For each session of practice, the body needs to warm up and prepare to reach that pose.”

In addition to playing the role of an instructor, Barrett works out at Dixon Recreational Center. He believes in a well-rounded and balanced exercise routine.

Barrett believes the biggest problem to maintaining good health is a sedentary lifestyle. “Students, especially, have to sit long durations in classes and while doing homework,” he says. “It then becomes imperative to consciously keep oneself active. Instead of playing video games for two hours, go to the gym. Make it your priority to be active!”