City College Times

The Guru of yoga

Instructor of her own yoga vinyasa

Julia+Alster+featuring+some+of+her+favorite+poses+such+as+Dog-Down+Split%2C+Balance-Ball+Push-Up+and+Crescent+Moon.
Julia Alster featuring some of her favorite poses such as Dog-Down Split, Balance-Ball Push-Up and Crescent Moon.

Julia Alster featuring some of her favorite poses such as Dog-Down Split, Balance-Ball Push-Up and Crescent Moon.

Julia Alster featuring some of her favorite poses such as Dog-Down Split, Balance-Ball Push-Up and Crescent Moon.

John M. Lopez, Times Staff

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Julia Alster featuring some of her favorite poses such as Dog-Down Split, Balance-Ball Push-Up and Crescent Moon.

Kathy Bruga is the instructor of her own yoga stress management vinyasa (routine) which she is presently teaching here at SJCC.

“I leave feeling relaxed and with less stress,” Kimberly Benavides, a student from Bruga’s hatha yoga class said.

Bruga teaches two yoga classes at SJCC; hatha yoga and yoga for stress management both of which will be offered in the fall.

But what makes Bruga’s advanced yoga class exciting is her style of incorporating a balance ball into some of her asanas (poses).

Each class starts with a short 3-minute period of dhyai (meditation), which then segues into a warm-up period of 12 asanas. Music is softly played in the background during the entire class from start to finish.

The warm-up period incorporates different poses with names such as the cobra or butterfly, all of which may or may not require alternate nostril breathing techniques; as well as timed breathing during the movements of any one of the various poses practiced during a routine.

A vinyasa in Bruga’s class consists of four asanas per segment. Once a student has become proficient enough in meditation and breathing techniques, they are required to lead the class in their own vinyasa.

“I feel more relaxed and more in the present after a class,” Celine Pena a student from Bruga’s hatha yoga/stress management class said.

In Bruga’s advanced hatha yoga class more emphasis is placed on stress relief; accomplished through both prama (controlled breathing) exercises and dhyai.

Bruga started her career as a yoga instructor in 1966 at Aragon Middle School in San Mateo, and taught at a number of local schools and colleges before coming to SJCC in 2004.

Bruga contributes to the Namaste (spiritual progress) of her students.

“Namaste, the spirit of me I see in you” Bruga said.

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The Guru of yoga