- Associated Press - Friday, July 14, 2017

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Saturday mornings in Jeffersonville offer a chance to relax and reconnect body and mind with free yoga classes at the RiverStage downtown.

The classes, hosted by Inner Spring Yoga in partnership with the City of Jeffersonville, are aimed at giving locals an opportunity to learn more about yoga and take advantage of the outdoors to find a place of peace.

“It’s a really good opportunity … for folks who wan to try it but are kind of on the fence and don’t really know what it’s all about,” Jennifer Evans, one of the instructors at Inner Spring, said. She was leading class this Saturday with a few dozen participants.

The Saturday sessions run from the beginning of June to the end of August and are appropriate for people of all ages and skill levels.

“It’s not really about whether you’re flexible enough,” Evans said. “It’s just about coming and moving your body and being patient with wherever you are - knowing that if you consistently keep that practice up, you’ll get better and better.”

Meredith Clipp-Rodriquez, Jeffersonville, was there with her two children, Isabella, 11 and Lola, 9. They come to the sessions periodically and always take a lot from them.

“I think it’s cool here,” Clipp-Rodriquez said. “It’s outside and it’s just a great way to start your Saturday. (The river) is just a relaxing place in general to come.”

She said she’s grateful for both Inner Spring and the partnerships the city forms to bring quality events to its residents and visitors.

“I think it’s very important,” she said. “It just makes you want to live here, to come here, visit downtown.”

Louisville resident Mary Layman was at the session with friends. She said she’d done yoga a couple of years ago, and wasn’t impressed. Saturday’s experience was much different though, one that will likely bring her back.

“I don’t know a thing and I’m not all that flexible yet it was relaxing to me,” she said. “I could see myself getting better at it and being able to do more with each time, get deeper into the exercises and really have some results from them.”

Missy Hall, Jeffersonville, is a regular student at Inner Spring and also goes to the Saturday sessions on the river when she can.

She appreciates the philosophy Inner Spring carries to look deep within yourself - it’s not only about the physical, she said.

“It’s like a mind-body exercise,” she said. “So you don’t just get strong and get balance, but you get inside your own head.”

Hall goes to sessions several times a week. She said over the past two years, this regular practice has brought her strength and calm.

“I can stop and breathe before I react to something,” she said. Hall works in human resources and talks to people all day, so being able to keep a calm face both for the people she talks to and for herself is important.

And it does have its physical effects. Hall said she first noticed a few years ago how yoga had quietly changed her when she was planning to do a rope course with her brother and sister at the Mega caverns.

“You balance on these beams that are hung by ropes. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it,” she said. “But I was like a monkey on those things … all these muscle adjustments I was doing to keep balanced, I never would have been able to do if it wasn’t for yoga.”

Evans said she benefits greatly from her own regular yoga practices, whether teaching or on her own. Sometimes that means a full session, or sometimes a few minutes of meditation - and she’s happy to be able to work with others at Inner Spring to bring this out into the community.

“I think it makes a big difference in how the rest of your day plays out,” she said. “There’s a lot going on - famine, war, refugee situations. I think that given the state of the world right now, I think (meditation) is really important … a way for us to kind of step back, calm down and move forward.”

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Source: News and Tribune, https://bit.ly/2tQzf5B

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Information from: News and Tribune, Jeffersonville, Ind., https://www.newsandtribune.com

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