Family First: Neighborhood Yoga


During these challenging times, there’s been so much stress and worry about staying safe. One healthy exercise for both the mind and body that many parents and children have been enjoying is yoga, especially with a few neighborhood friends taking part.

The Ladies of Magnolia Woods yoga group meets three days a week.

“We just started with three of us, and it just involved, and now we have a group of 25 women that are in Ladies of Magnolia Woods, and it’s just been a really positive, great thing,” Lauren Luke said.

Three days a week, the serene sounds and powerful poses of yoga flow through the Magnolia Woods neighborhood.

Lauren Luke, a women’s health physical therapist wanted to take another professional step during the COVID pandemic and become a yoga instructor as well.

Luke added, “While I was doing my coursework, I asked a couple friends: Do you mind coming and watching me teach yoga because it was part of the certification. And they said yeah, actually I’ve been wanting to do that, and we’ve been stressed and have anxiety, and I said perfect.”

From March through September, this socially distant yoga family has enjoyed a variety of experiences.

Moms and daughters participate in the Ladies of Magnolia Woods yoga group.

Yoga enthusiast Kristi Hammat added, “I’ve loved doing it outside. It’s really dark right now, but when we first started in the spring and the days were longer, we would watch the sunset and we would watch monarch butterflies fly over us. And birds were coming out. It was just a very natural experience and watching the seasons change over the past six months of being outside in the yard multiple nights, doing yoga.”

And neighborhood yoga has also been a positive outlet for the youth.

“I really like it because I get to do yoga, and that’s one of my favorite things to do,” 7-year old Molly Luke said.

Lauren Luke added, “I started to realize that my daughter was becoming quite anxious after school was let out because of COVID, and just knowing that it helps reduce stress and anxiety I said let’s let the children come too and practice with us. As long as they’re not disruptive, and do it’s been really positive and the kids are loving it.”

Hammat added, “My daughter is with me, and she takes ballet. And we stopped taking ballet because of COVID, and this was an opportunity for her to keep her own practice with ballet because it uses all the same core strength and muscles. And it was outside, and it was safe for her because she has a lung disease, and so we’re not really comfortable being outdoors, we don’t need to be in public spaces if we don’t need to be in. The grass is our designated area, and so we feel safe, and we’re participating in a group experience that we wouldn’t have otherwise.”

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