Yoga has changed Rena Norman’s life and now she is offering outdoor impromptu yoga classes that are popping up all over Sedalia this summer.
Norman, of Otterville, a personal trainer and yoga instructor for Total Fitness Gym, took her first yoga class in 1998.
“Yoga made me feel good on the inside and on the outside,” she said. “That was when Dr. Perusich had a yoga studio. Really nobody had heard much about yoga at that time, it was like this new kind of exercise.”
She added that she was hooked. Then, when she began going to the gym she started getting into shape.
“The yoga instructor had left Total Fitness Gym, and I remembered I loved it so I said ‘I can do that,’” she noted.
She became a certified yoga instructor and has taught for eight years.
Norman said pop-up yoga isn’t new, but it is a new concept for the Sedalia area. A friend, Sonia Ebrahimi, told Norman about the idea, which is popular in large cities.
“She lived in the city for many years and she said ‘this is something cool that Sedalia needs, I think it would go over very well here,’” Norman said. “That was April of this year.”
Norman agreed. She began giving pop-up yoga classes this spring at different locations throughout the area.
“The first one we did as at Liberty Park,” she said.
Many of the clients she works with at Total Fitness and yoga students from Otterville Community Center attended her first class. She then created a Facebook page to announce the event and it began to grow. Early last Saturday morning Norman and a group of students were at Katy Park.
“This past Saturday was our biggest class, we had 19 people there,” she added. “Pop-up yoga is an all-levels yoga class, where we are just popping-up in random outdoor locations.”
Pop-up classes take in youth through senior citizens at 9 a.m. each Saturday, weather permitting. So far, Norman has taught pop-up classes at the Liberty Park rose garden, the Katy Depot, Gazebo Park, the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and Katy Park.
Norman said the some of benefits of yoga are strength, flexibility and restful sleep.
“It makes your body feel good, and it makes your mind feel good,” she added. “It makes you feel good because your body is all stretched out.”
She also noted that when one is able to open up the chest area through yoga, they are able to breathe better.
“When you can breathe better, you get more oxygen to the brain, and when the brain gets more oxygen, you are thinking more clearly, so therefore you feel better,” Norman added. “So, it’s all connected. It’s really a lifetime fitness. The older we get the more our bodies start to fall apart and yoga builds it back up and keeps us limber.”
Norman added that people shouldn’t be intimidated by yoga.
“Yoga is for anyone, it really is,” she said. “It’s for any fitness level. The good thing about yoga is it’s all about you and your body. So, there’s no reason to have to do it a certain way. There’s a right way and a wrong way, yes, but that’s why I’m there to show you.
“There’s all kinds of yoga,” she added. “There’s yoga for the elderly, there’s chair yoga. It doesn’t matter what your afflictions are, you can benefit from yoga.”
She said people are her reason for teaching the pop-up classes.
“It’s about bringing the community together, doing something fun and getting to know people,” she noted. “I’ve met so many very interesting and amazing people, just from Sedalia, and I’ve lived here my whole life. It’s a community thing, but we get to feel good.”
Norman will host a pop-up yoga class at 9 a.m. Saturday on the Liberty Park Lagoon island. For more information and a schedule of classes, visit the Facebook page at Pop Up Yoga Sedalia w/Rena Norman. The cost is a suggested donation of $5.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.