Canadian Gymnast and Olympic Gold Medalist Kyle Shewfelt recognizes the advantages of yoga, stating, "not only is yoga excellent for flexibility, but it is also a great tool for longevity and injury prevention, as it allows for internal body awareness." This is fantastic because yoga is now a regular part of programming at Hi-Hope. Since February of 2018, Hi-Hope has been participating in weekly yoga classes. The instructor, Patricia, is a photographer and friend of Hi-Hope CEO, Susan Boland Butts, and has taken photographs of our individuals in the past. The yoga studio is in Pat's garage, which she converted to a photography/yoga studio and is big enough to accommodate 5 students, a Hi-Hope staff member and Patricia.
Patricia creates a calming ambiance with music, dimmed lights and candles to encourage relaxation and mindfulness. She also ends each class by giving her students a special beverage that changes from week to week. She has also had participants stay after for lunch following the class.
Stacy Badjan is the staff member currently assigned to this project and she reports that the class is going great and that "the individuals love it." Participant Carl approached CAG Coordinator Valorie Williams after his first time and said that he loved yoga and wanted to continue taking the class. While there are regulars, if people are absent, Patricia is flexible and will work with substitutes. She wants to open the class to anyone who is interested so new participants will rotate in over time.
We hope to continue offering unique and interesting activities to the individuals we support at Hi-Hope. Yoga class joins the diverse list of volunteer driven offerings like hula dance class, cooking class, music appreciation, Name-That-Tune, aerobics, sign language and many more. A big thank you to Patricia and all our volunteers for making the days and weeks at Hi-Hope that much more interesting.