Thursday September 24, 2009

Oswego Community Yoga Open To The Public

Free Yoga Classes Offered
By Nate McDonald

    Citizens of the city of Oswego can take advantage of a low cost health care opportunity. Oswego Community Yoga offered two classes a week in picturesque Breitbeck Park for anyone interested over the summer.

    Oswego Community Yoga began three years ago as a program offered through the Oswego YMCA. This year marks the first year it is open to the public. Instructor Morney Peddle holds the classes in the McCrobie building next to Breitbeck park for the Fall and Winter. All classes are free of charge, although donations, typically $5, are accepted to help defray the cost of insurance.

    The program is billed as an “introductory yoga experience” and offers something for all skill levels.

    “It's really a nice program because people are coming that have never practiced yoga before,” Peddle said. “It's very introductory. People who thought they could never do it are coming here regularly.”

    Peddle explained that it is a safe environment for beginners to get acquainted with yoga. She emphasized the importance of creating a comfortable environment.

    “I don't expect people the put their foot behind their head. I can't even do that,” she joked. “Yoga teaches you to listen to the innate wisdom of your body. If your body tells you to take a break, you do. Just sitting peacefully on your mat can be really relaxing.”

    Peddle also explained that Yoga is not a competitive sport. She offers multiple modifications of the yoga positions she is teaching, so people can find one that is most comfortable for them. She also tailors each class to to suit those attending.

    “With such great age diversity that I get, I have to read the people that are showing up and conduct each class based on what I know or don't know about them,” she said.

    Peddle is a certified Kripalu Yoga Instructor. She received her certification through the Kripalu Center for Yoga in Lenox, Massachusetts, one of the largest Yoga facilities in North America. Kripalu is a well respected school and is affiliated with The Yoga Alliance, a national certifying body. She is planning to return to Kripalu in November to become certified in pre-natal yoga.

    As word gets out, class sizes are growing. Peddle said she hopes it continues to grow over the next few years, and making it another service the Oswego community has to offer and its citizens and visitors can benefit from.

    “I want everyone to feel comfortable and feel like they are achieving. It's about finding community – a place where people fit in no matter what,” she said. “It's so much bigger than exercise.

    The sessions in Breitbeck Park are scheduled to conclude Tuesday, September 15, but Oswego Community Yoga will continue. Peddle reported that she is in the process of reserving an indoor location to continue the program.

    Classes are currently held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.