Yoga is a great way to relax, and for the past few years, it’s seen a rise in popularity among people of all kinds. Despite this, there aren’t many yoga studios in southern West Virginia-- a problem that Molly Born is solving with Yoga in the Park. It’s a series of beginner yoga classes hosted across four locations in the region this summer.
Molly decided to create the Yoga in the Park series to connect the community to yoga, and to raise awareness about its many benefits. “Yoga isn’t just something to keep your body well but something that promotes mental balance and peace,” says Katherine Ward, who helps Molly organize the Yoga in the Park events.
Who is Yoga For? Everyone!
The Yoga in the Park website describes yoga as being for folks from all walks of life. “Yoga is for spiritual people, for flexible people, for those recovering from injuries… the list goes on.” Katherine agrees. “Anyone can do it, it’s a judgment-free practice, and it brings people together for something outside the chaos of daily life.”
Katherine believes that yoga can be especially helpful for people in the area. “ Southern WV has been through so much, and with the battle, we’re currently fighting against the opioid crisis I think offering yoga in our communities could help us heal and grow.”
Having a Blast
Yoga in the Park takes place in Williamson, Logan, Oceana, and Welch every Saturday during June, July, and August, and on Saturday, July 13, the fifth class will be hosted in Williamson. The series is driven entirely by volunteers, and Molly, Katherine, and the instructors are dedicated to making each class a “worthwhile experience” for everyone who joins in.
Though every class is “low-key” and beginner-friendly, they differ with each instructor. Sara, who instructed the class in Welch, has an “energetic and fast-paced” approach, while Brenda, who hosts classes in Williamson, often incorporates mindfulness activities. At the beginning of each class, folks in attendance are reminded to take things at their own pace and to sit out and relax during any poses they feel might be too difficult.
In addition to being a learning experience, Yoga in the Park can be a place to make great memories with loved ones. Katherine attended the first Williamson class with her mom, aunt, and grandmother, and “had a blast.”