As gentle, meditative music plays in the background, a group of students is gently encouraged by Lauren Booker, instructor and co-owner of One Love Yoga, along with her husband, Jim Booker. One Love is a new yoga studio on the scene in Texarkana, emphasizing a space open to all and a gentle, no-pressure approach. The gathered students focus on their breathing, continue the movements and follow guidance from the instructor.
"It is about letting the outside world slip away for a time," Lauren Booker said. "A key element of yoga practice is the moment, focusing on that."
And that is what she and the other instructors do. In fact, ability, comfort and listening to one's body as the movements are executed are key in One Love's approach.
"We are a studio open to all, regardless of age, physical ability or anything else. Anyone can benefit from this," Lauren Booker said. "Your age, physical challenges or other things like that won't be an obstacle here."
As the students continue through the routine, Lauren Booker emphasizes slow, relaxed breathing and focusing on that.
"Concentrating on breathing is a key element," Jim Booker said. "Developing focus and discipline in that is one of the key benefits of this practice."
To the uninitiated, yoga can seem physically focused. And though Lauren Booker agreed it has a physical element and that physical health is also a key benefit, she said this is not the sole focus, or even the most important one.
"Not just physicality, that is just one of the eight limbs," she said. "We strive to bring into play the other elements, such as non-possessiveness, and for that, we support local charities. This month is Randy Sams. Next month will be the Domestic Violence Prevention Center. There are others as well. And in doing this, we strive for a familial and inclusive feel in our studio."
"The real teacher is actually not the instructor," Jim Booker said. "It is your body. As you follow the instructor, you also pay attention to your body. Listen to it, give it what it needs in that moment and nothing it doesn't."
"Healing, prolonging, rejuvenating, that all comes from practicing yoga," Lauren Booker said.
"It gets us into our body," said Dorenda Mills, an instructor and student at One Love. "When I guide the class, I'm trying to guide students into this present moment. Let all the stuff in your lives take a comfortable residence, but not control of the moment."
"There are differences in philosophy in the approaches to this practice," Jim Booker said. "But the common purpose, the destination, is the same."
One Love Yoga is located at 3004 Richmond Road; call 903-559-5992. Online, go to oneloveyogatxk.com or visit One Love Yoga on Facebook.