Despite the cold winds and threatening clouds, yoga dedicates showed up at Willows Beach on a Saturday to improve their practice and to support the ALS Cycle of Hope. Oak Bay Recreation
partnered with Kool FM to host a by-donation hour long class with three of Oak Bay’s yoga instructors.
Melissa Krieger, who’s taught yoga for nine years, started off the hour with some gentle stretching before moving into well-known favourites such as cat’s pose and downward dog. With a background in fitness, she said yoga was a much needed change to a slower pace.
Limbered up, Jayne Jonas took over. An instructor in the Iyengar tradition for the last 15 years, Jonas has personally experienced the benefits of yoga, coming to the practice after a neck injury, and she’s seen the mental and physical good it does her students.
“People gain very deep profound personal time with themselves, that they need,” she said.
Finishing up the beachside session was Tommi Boulter, who came to yoga through meditation, something she said normally happens the other way round. She’s been teaching gentle yoga for three years, and said that she tries to show people yoga can be for everybody, no matter their age or body type.
The yoga class was one of a series of 12 by-donation inter-municipal fitness classes sponsored by Kool FM throughout the year, with donations going to various charities.
The ALS Cycle of Hope aims to spread awareness about the disease and raise funds for both ALS BC/Yukon and ALS Canada, said Cindy Lister of the Cycle of Hope Society. Their goal this year is $50,000, with half earmarked to fund an ALS-specific wheelchair for BC patients. Donations are still being accepted.
And for those who missed it and would like to try out a yoga class, free sessions are offered every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Willows beach park until Aug. 26.