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Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015

CommUNITY Ed yoga instructor celebrates 10 years of teaching

Monday, January 7, 2013

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Kathryn McKinley loves yoga and loves sharing what she knows about it.

This month marks her 10th year anniversary as a yoga Instructor for Storm Lake CommUNITY Education.

She is vague on how she even became involved with CommUNITY Ed but is glad she did.

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An Assistant Professor of Social Work at Buena Vista University, she began offering classes at the university also about a decade ago for students and staff members. She was asked to offer a class through CommUNITY Education so more people could participate. She agreed, not realizing the interest would continue for this many years.

"I really enjoy it," she said of teaching the class. "It is a delightful class."

Her interest in yoga began long before - 38 years to be exact, something she decided to try after she had completed her Master's Degree and had time to finally relax. She actually began taking classes through a community education program in Chicago and now ironically, she is an instructor for a community education program.

She has taken a number of classes over the years with many different teachers; all believe, she said, that yoga belongs in a community education setting "so it is available to anyone."

McKinley teaches two classes - a regular yoga class in the evenings and about three years ago added a no-floor yoga class which is held in the mornings and offers standing and sitting poses. She has seen a number of the same "students" in her classes though also continues to see new faces.

She stressed that the yoga moves can be done anywhere once learned. Some people have the wrong idea of yoga but she is here to defend the activity. Many people think yoga is all about "very demanding poses that make us look like contortionists."

She shares that the different poses help in providing flexibility, balance and keeping participants limber. Yoga is for all ages: the oldest member of her classes is 89.

In recognition of this milestone, there is a special rate available for those already taking part in her classes and for those people interested in trying yoga out. CommUNITY Ed is offering a 10-session yoga punch card for $40, $10 off the regular price, for this month of purchase only.

Check out the two classes--the yoga class is held Tuesdays from 5:45-7 p.m. at SL Middle School; the no-floor yoga class is held on Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. also at South School.

Contact CommUNITY Ed at 732-5711 for information on how to purchase your punch card.

"I have benefitted from yoga personally," said McKinley, "and I am so pleased to share it with others."

Why yoga?

One of McKinley's students, Pegg Havens, who has been participating in the CommUNITY yoga classes for all 10 years, shares the top 10 reasons to take yoga.

10. Great for stress and pain relief

9. Non-competitive activity with group laughter and funny body sounds

8. You don't have to be skinny or young

7. Kindness and understanding is always shown to those suffering from "my-arms-are-too-short" syndrome

6. Great for animal lovers. What other activity can you pose as a fish, a frog, a dolphin, a pigeon, a cat, a downward dog, a fly on the wall, or a cow face?

5. You can salute the sun and the moon in one session

4. A Spinal Twist feels good and is not a form of punishment

3. You learn cool words like Tadasana, Savasana, and Namaste

2. Every yoga practice ends with a wonderful relaxation segment which must be experienced to be believed

1. You find inner peace lying on your back with your toes lowered to the floor above and beyond your head and your torso is perpendicular to the floor with your legs fully extended. (Officially called the Plow. This is one of Kathryn's favorites!)