Every Wednesday participants of all ages come together at the Vietnam Veterans Park in Concord for Yoga in the Park.
The weekly exercise class meets 6-7 p.m. on the shuffleboard courts to stretch and twist into poses designed to loosen muscles and relax the body.
On Aug. 26, with soft music playing in the background, instructor Dawn Grant was taking her class through a series of poses with animal names like cat, dog and cow. Beginning with easier poses for getting limber, the group of 20 moved on to the harder poses and ended with relaxation techniques that almost lulled the class to sleep.
Concord resident Breann Causey, 19, experiencing yoga for the first time, said she wasn’t sure of what to expect, but she enjoyed the class: “It was really relaxing. You could really feel the energies, very calming. It’s definitely something I would come back and do.”
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Kannapolis resident Misha Miller, 45, said there are other benefits from taking the class. Seeing the signs for the class as she took her morning walks there, she decided to ask her friend, Ivey Gayden, to join her.
“I had always wanted to try yoga, but never had, so I called my friend Ivey and said, ‘Let’s try this.’”
The pair started in July and have been coming each Wednesday since. “I had some back issues going on and this has helped my back tremendously,” Miller said.
Laurie Carpenter, 60, is a regular attendee and said she enjoys the serenity of the park, but also enjoys exercising with others: “It was really nice to see all these people at the park. It’s so good for your body. It’s probably the best thing you can do, as you age, to keep your body moving.”
Makenzie Mullinax, wellness coordinator with Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks Department, said the Yoga in the Park program usually draws as many as 30 participants at one time.
The free classes continue through September with the last class being Sept. 30. The only requirements: Bring your own yoga mat – the concrete surface of the shuffleboard court is hard – wear comfortable clothes and have an hour to relax both your body and your mind.
Marty Price is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vietnam Veterans Park is located at 760 Orphanage Road in Concord. For information: www.cabarruscounty.us/government/departments/active-living-parks/vietnam-veterans/Pages/default.aspx.
For a calendar of events that are offered by the Cabarrus County Active Living and Parks Department go to: www.cabarruscounty.us/Events/Pages/default.aspx.