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    Deer Park Baptist Church presents a weekly yoga program that will take place every Thursday beginning April 29. “This is brand new,” says yoga newcomer and co-coordinator Becky Houston. “I already got my sticky mat and I’m excited about doing it.” The classes will be led by Jodie Tingle-Willis, who also teaches at the House of Ruth (a center for those affected by HIV/AIDS) and the Yoshin Dojo in the South End. 


    Tingle-Willis advocates the myriad benefits of yoga beyond simple stress reduction—although that’s a big draw too. “The most basic thing is the stretching and strengthening of the muscles,” she says. “Yoga has been shown to help with high blood pressure and weight loss; it’s probably not going to give you that real hard aerobic workout, but [by practicing yoga] we’re more effective at losing weight and achieving any of our goals because it helps us manage our stress more effectively.” Other benefits include aid in sleeping and recovery after pregnancy, injury or illness. Although Tingle-Willis plans to offer gentle hatha yoga, “we may sprinkle something else in if people are comfortable with it…I really try to tailor the class to the needs of the people.”


    Registration is not required for the classes, which are open to all ages, levels and abilities. A single class will cost $7, with a 10-class pass available for $50—that’s 10 classes “over the next year or 10 over the next 10 weeks,” says Tingle-Willis. “It needs to be priced in a way where it can be accessible.” 


    The yoga classes will take place in the atrium in the back of Deer Park Baptist Church, 1733 Bardstown Rd., from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday beginning later this month. Participants should wear comfortable clothing and bring water and a sticky yoga mat. For more information about the location, call the church office at 451-7220; for more information about yoga, call Jodie Tingle-Willis at 644-5796.


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