Kate Robertson of Marshall is standing taller these days.
"I've grown an inch," she said. "I used to be 5-feet-4-inches and now I'm 5-feet-5."
Students at yoga class at the Adult Community Center form a “plank” position. The plank pose is good for strong arms, wrists, spine, quads, abdominals and a toned core.
She ascribes her gravity-reversing feat to her regular practice of yoga, a series of poses that stretch the body.
"I'm now in proper alignment. I used to stand with my hip out to the side, but yoga helps you 'stack your bones,'" she said.
Robertson is an RYT 200. "RYT" means "registered yoga teacher." RYT 200 means a person has successfully completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training program that is registered with Yoga Alliance.
She took the course over a nine-month period at Devanadi Yoga in Minneapolis, driving to the Twin Cities and back.
"It was difficult driving there and back during the winter, but I did it," she said.
As of Dec. 1, Robertson has been teaching classes and Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Adult Community Center, 107 S. 4th St. in Marshall. She also leads yoga classes at the Marshall Area YMCA.
Robertson demonstrates the poses, but people can modify the positions according to what they are able to do.
"People say, 'I'd love to come, but I'm not flexible' - that's how you get flexible!" Robertson said. "You don't know how flexible you can get until you try. Your body is capable. Beginners go a little slower. They need to learn how to do the poses properly."
Robertson said it's the mind that gets in the way.
"You have to get rid of the 'I can't,'" she said.
Along with increased flexibility, Robertson said yoga helps people lose weight, helps with depression, helps the organs including digestion and circulation. Improves memory. It helps with balance.
"I really feel a sense of accomplishment as a teacher when someone tells me 'it helped me so much with my physical therapy for my shoulder pain or low back pain,'" she said.
The classes are noncompetitive.
"You're in your own zone, you are competing with yourself, to go deeper into the pose," she said.
Yoga is for all ages and for females and males.
"I have hockey friends who do yoga to prevent injuries," she said. "I've seen people in their 50s do stuff people in their 20s can't do. It's just where you're at."
Robertson said along with directing the poses, she offers affirmations during the class such as "Let go of what no longer serves you" and "Make room for the positive."
For more information, check out Kate Robertson yoga on Facebook or her website at katerobertsonyoga.com.