Yoga in the Gallery

Pearson Lakes Art Center hosts weekly yoga classes

Yoga classes seem to be popping up in more unique places. Add Pearson Lakes Art Center to that expanding list.

Starting last summer and continuing this season the facility has been hosting Yoga in the Gallery at 9:30 a.m. every Friday morning.

On top of that, the classes are free and open to the public.

“The idea was to get more people into the art center,” said executive director Bob Kirschbaum. “We feel strongly that if people come to the art center and see all the wonderful things going on here, they’re going to keep coming back.”

That’s certainly been the case with the classes thus far.

Debbie Haverkorn, a volunteer at the art center, has attended every class held in the gallery and has watched in grow in popularity.

“It’s an awesome venue,” Haverkorn said. “The art center is not open yet when we have the class and you’ve got the windows in the gallery and can look up at the sky doing the poses — it’s so serene and calming.”

That’s exactly the vibe Yoga in the Gallery was aiming for, and one that’s been hit right in the bull’s-eye.

“We know from hearing and listening to different yoga instructors that they really like being the galleries,” Kirschbaum said. “The atmosphere and environment lends itself to a relaxed, quiet frame of mind.”

The art center teamed up with the Bedell Family YMCA and instructor Chris Murphy to lead the weekly classes.

“She’s an amazing yogi — she’s awesome,” Haverkorn said. “Her way of presenting really emphasizes the mind-body connection and the atmosphere really adds to that and fits great. That combination has been really popular.”

While the classes are almost always in the Monte Pearson Gallery — some have been held outside on the art center grounds — the exhibits change over the course of the summer months making a class in July or August a new experience compared to one in June.

“Right now we have landscapes which is perfect and before that we had this underwater exhibit with blue lights that was absolutely fabulous — the glow from those lights was great,” Haverkorn said.

Beginning yoga practitioner or experienced yogi, and anywhere in between, all are welcome at Yoga in the Gallery.

Haverkorn says it’s been a great way to make friends and meet new people and has seen people that come for the first time and just keep on returning.

Kirschbaum says there will be discussions with both Murhpy and the participants about the possibility of extending the class beyond the summer months.

For now Yoga in the Gallery will run through Labor Day weekend at least.

“We want the art center to be a place for all abilities, all ages and all interests,” Kirschbaum said. “We want to show everyone that this is one of the most welcoming places you can be.”