Bloomingdale Resident Pays It Forward; Offers Free “Yoga in the Park”
By Joy Boisselle
Certified yoga instructor and Bloomingdale resident Dina White believes in “paying it forward.” For some an overused cliché, but in White’s case, she backs up that belief by offering free yoga to the community at the private park located at the end of Culbreath Road every Saturday morning, weather permitting.
A yoga devotee since a military tour in Afghanistan, White credits yoga and her past instructors with shaping her attitudes and goals. Coping with life in a war zone wasn’t easy, she explains. “There was a teacher on my base who offered free yoga, and I found sanity and clarity on my mat. I became a different and better person; in many ways, it [yoga] saved and changed my life.”
White’s experiences have so influenced her that she, too, wanted to offer the same sort of respite to others from today’s high-stress lifestyles. “We all struggle in some capacity and teaching my students for one hour a week can go a long way in their lives, both mentally and physically,” she said, adding, “They [students] become more aware of their bodies and thoughts and as a result become stronger individuals and more capable of dealing with life’s curve balls.” Ultimately, White feels the practice of yoga helps her students to become better neighbors and people.
The class is available to anyone with or without experience. White’s students or yogis, as they are properly referred to, have been between 15 and 60-plus years of age and their skill sets include first-time beginners to more advanced practitioners. Training includes body and mind focus where students learn to concentrate on themselves in a non-competitive and non-judgmental format. Throughout the hour-long class, White offers variations and modifications for all levels ensuring benefits are achieved for each student individually.
Yoga’s benefits are many and include both mental and physical strengthening. Yogi Kara Atchison has practiced yoga for many years. “I started yoga when I was pregnant with my first child who is now 11. Not only did it help with relaxation, I found it helped me to sleep, it was good for my back, and it helped with my delivery.”
Husband and wife yogis, Mike and Irene Kilcomons, are new to the discipline. “For us, this [free yoga] was a great way to start learning, and as I get older, I want to have better balance, flexibility and core strength”, Mike said.
Classes are held every Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Somerset/Bloomingdale Cove private park. Students need only bring their desire and an open-mind as White has mats available for student use. In addition, she recommends students bring sunscreen, bug spray (just in case), and water.
Certified through Yoga Loft, a Yoga Alliance-credited school, White’s goals for the program are simple. “My mission here is complete if I change only 5 lives for the better each week. Right now, we are all just having fun and supporting each other- just being good neighbors.”
For information, contact White at call 813-509-7780, email email@example.com, or visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bloomingdaleyoga.
Music plays a large role in providing a relaxing a yoga class environment. A recent class featured live music performed by Holly and Heidi Earl, Bloomingdale High School Graduates and community residents.
Students, under the watchful eye of instructor Dina White, properly transition from one pose to the next. Free yoga classes are available every Saturday from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the private park located at the end of Culbreath Rd.