Y is for Yogini: Yoga brings balance to instructor

Chandi Tanner teaches yoga during her noon class at the Preston Center on Thursday afternoon. Tanner teaches yoga at Preston five days a week and has been practicing yoga since she found an instructional video tape in high school.

Lauren Arnold

Chandi Tanner doesn’t do gentle yoga.

Tanner teaches yoga classes five times a week at the Preston Center.

“It’s not the easy stretching like some people think,” she said. “It’s not a gentle yoga. The classes that I teach are about muscular endurance.”

She said she enjoys yoga because it helps her find relief.

“I’ve had two kids, and to me it’s kind of just like a stress reliever and a time for myself to get out of the house,” she said.

She’s motivated to continue doing yoga because she finds it calming.

Tanner enjoys the deep breaths, the awareness of her body and the rest that she gets from it.

“It’s not a workout that stresses and strains you and makes your muscles fatigue,” she said. “It’s a balance. That’s what yoga is about. It’s about balancing.”

Tanner said that while yoga is stress-relieving and helpful in finding calm, it isn’t what helps her through difficult times.

“I wouldn’t give the glory to yoga,” she said. “Personally, I know the Lord.”

She often prays when doing yoga, and there are certain poses she prefers to practice when she is praying.

Tanner said she does a pose with her feet and back against the wall.

“That kind of gets my blood circulating in different areas. It releases stress, and I go into that deep breathing and do a little bit of yoga, but I pray to my Lord,” Tanner said. “He helps me bring calmness into anything that I’m going through.”

Tanner said that her favorite pose is also a very difficult one called the Cobra Pose, which involves a headstand.

“It’s very challenging,” she said. “I don’t teach it. It’s just something I do on my own. I still use the wall.”

Tanner said she started doing yoga regularly about five years ago, when she became certified to teach it and has taught off and on since.

She says it’s a great workout.

Tanner does yoga on her own twice a week, she said.

“I teach five classes, so that’s enough,” she said. “I don’t really have to do it on my own.”

She said she prefers to lead her classes by example, standing in front of the class and demonstrating.

Heather Stubblefield and Kelly Poyner both work in Information Technology and attend Tanner’s class together.

Stubblefield said Tanner is one of the best yoga instructors she has had.

“She’s challenging, and she gives us a good workout,” Stubblefield said. “Chandi is wonderful.”

Poyner said that Tanner’s class is more challenging than some of the other yoga classes she has taken.

“I feel like she pushes us more than what we would want to push ourselves,” she said. “But she’s very encouraging.”

Elizabethtown sophomore Ben Nelson said he goes to Tanner’s yoga class as often as he can.

Nelson has taken yoga classes with other instructors, but he said Tanner’s class is his favorite.

“This one is the better one, in my opinion,” he said. “It’s more active. I guess it’s more focused on doing yoga rather than teaching it.”

Yoga newcomers shouldn’t be intimidated, Tanner said.

“Everybody is on their own level,” she said. “There is no judging or expectations. Come and try it out.