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Yoga in the Forest

Yoga is well-known for its health benefits ñ physical and mental. Besides stretching and strength training, yoga teaches relaxation and meditation. With Yoga in the Forest, Black Forest residents donít have to go far to enjoy the benefits. Jennifer De Groot started Yoga in the Forest in 2012, after she became certified through Cambio Yoga Studio in Colorado Springs. ìI knew there was nothing like it here in Black Forest, and many Black Forest residents donít like going into town for things,î De Groot said. She tries to tailor the program to the older residents of Black Forest. ìI try to keep it slow, gentle; I want everyone to feel accepted,î she said.As a member of the Canadian military, De Groot ended up in the Springs because of NORAD. After leaving the military, she finished the 200-hour yoga instructor certification and is currently working on her nursing degree. ìGoing to school, having two kids and being a volunteer firefighter with Black Forest keeps me busy,î De Groot said.Yoga in the Forest usually has about five to seven participants ñ about half are men. De Groot said she does not advertise, except for one banner on her fence along Black Forest Road and a few cards in R&R Coffee CafÈ. She attracts participants mainly through word-of-mouth.Yoga in the Forest hosts classes at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Friday, and at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Black Forest Community Center. There is no set charge; the cost is donation based, De Groot said: ìwhatever you want to give.îShe supplies yoga mats and yoga blocks.After this writer took an hour session that included warrior and chair and down dog poses, the essential oils and relaxation portion that De Groot offers at the end of each class helped soothe the aches and calm the mind.Namaste!

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