ELKHART — Rosaline Ledezma of Elkhart had never done yoga before Friday, June 21.
That didn’t stop her from packing up a mat and her two young daughters Friday and heading out to Yoga in the City, a free outdoor yoga session in downtown Elkhart sponsored by The Elkhart Truth.
“I just wanted to do something different,” Ledezma said after the session ended, squinting in the bright sunlight. “I like it.”
Local yoga instructors led the hour-long session that attracted about 100 people to Central Park on Friday morning. Elkhart’s Yoga in the City was modeled after New York City’s Times Square summer solstice yoga session.
Teri Dobson, a yoga instructor at Ray of Light Holistic Health The Studio in downtown Elkhart, said that she’s read about the Times Square yoga event and was excited when she heard a similar event was coming to Elkhart.
“There’s a lot of yoga around here,” Dobson said. “It’s great to see people getting together.”
Stephanie Krol of Bristol said that she does yoga at many studios in the area. She thinks yoga is an important investment for health.
“I wanted to encourage the yoga movement in Elkhart County,” Krol said. “I started doing yoga about a year and a half ago and I think it’s important for everyone.”
Krol added that she was encouraged to see people of all ages practicing yoga Friday, including a few men.
One male participant, Doug Nisley of Elkhart, said he thinks an outdoor yoga session for all is a great idea.
“Doing yoga outside is a really nice feel,” Nisley said. “You’ve got the bright sun, the breeze, soft grass. I bet this time next year there will be triple this many people here.”
Nisley’s wife, Angie Nisley, owns Spacious Heart Yoga in Goshen and she said she’s been letting her customers know about Yoga in the City.
Beth North, another participant, said she grew up in Elkhart. Now a resident of Mishawaka, she still spends time in Elkhart and said yoga is perfect for helping her train for marathons.
“Yoga strengthens everything and it increases flexibility and reach,” North said. “It’s like getting a massage. It’s the perfect thing to do in association with training for marathons.”
Yoga instructors helping at Friday’s session were from Ray of Light Holistic Health, The Studio and Tree of Life Yoga Center. Misty Love of Yamafit led a majority of the hour-long session. ASA Electronics in Elkhart donated time and expertise to run a sound system for the session.