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Yoga options abound as Community Education responds to interest

CES yoga instructor James Ford leads a class. Just as yoga and other mindfulness practices teach how to be present in the here and now, Edina residents need look no further than the here and now to learn more about them.

Goat Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Office Yoga, Chair Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Meditation Techniques, and Yoga for Men were some of the specialty classes offered by Edina Community Education Services (CES) this spring. In addition, the more traditional Hatha Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Viniyoga, Pilates/Yoga Fusion, Yoga Core Strength and Tai Chi are regulars on the fitness schedule.

“I don’t know of any other program that offers as much variety as we do,” said Donna Comer, adult programs supervisor. “We’ve really established ourselves as a community hub for yoga, meditation and mindfulness.”

Comer said CES programming in this area has grown as a direct result of community interest. “The community wants to grow,” she said. “They are curious about how yoga or meditation can improve their lives. So we’ve worked hard to recruit thoughtful and highly-qualified teachers with a wide variety of approaches, so everyone can find an instructor and a practice that clicks for them.”

James Ford (pictured right) is one of the teachers new to Edina Community Education. Ford has been practicing yoga for six years, and has completed his 200 hour RYT yoga teacher training at the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. “When I started practicing yoga, the way I responded mentally, emotionally, and physically was life changing,” he said. “I really enjoy sharing what I have learned. Beyond increased strength and flexibility, yoga offers a deeper connection to your true and highest self, and an opportunity for feeling grounded and centered.”

A new studio for yoga classes and a welcoming environment are two reasons CES participants often cite when asked why they choose to take classes at the Edina Community Center. “It’s definitely non-judgemental here. I don’t feel like I need to wear the latest spandex trend to come and practice,” said one participant.

For Ford, a focus on making connections and strengthening community is what he enjoys most about teaching in Edina. “When I am able to articulate the wisdom yoga possesses, and a student is able to take what they’ve learned from yoga off the mat and into the world, it gives me great joy,” he said. “Yoga is about building community, so where better to offer a class than Community Education?”

Go to http://bit.ly/EdinaCESMindful to explore upcoming Edina Community Education classes related to yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

This story was originally published in the spring issue of Experience EPS during the 2017-18 school year, which was mailed to the community in May 2018.