Things to do
Families can exhale, enjoy
Photo courtesy of Frances Spurlock
Kristen Mory, right, leads Family Yoga classes Saturday mornings
in the pavilion at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in St. Petersburg.
Amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's difficult for families to find time to spend together, let alone squeeze in a regular fitness regimen.
Kristen Mory offers a calming solution that enables families to slow down, exercise their bodies and clear their minds.
Mory, a fitness instructor, created a Family Yoga class to get adults and kids learning and exercising together.
"These classes allow for families to 'play' together and are great for all ages, including grandparents," she said. Mory thinks the ancient practice is growing in popularity because it gives people a way to relieve stress and focus their minds by combining a physical and mental workout.
Megan Fetter takes advantage of Mory's classes. She says she enjoys yoga and the healthy benefits it provides, like improved strength and flexibility. She shares her passion for this popular form of exercise with her two young sons.
"The boys really enjoy the class. They especially like some of the poses and the fun names assigned to them," said Fetter, of St. Petersburg.
Luke, 7, and Sam, 8, have been taking the class with their mom for a little over a year. They appreciate the fact that they don't have to be "too quiet" as they would in a traditional yoga class.
"There is always some giggling," said Fetter, who points out that laughter equals fun.
The Family Yoga class meets Saturday mornings in the outdoor pavilion at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in St. Petersburg. Participants are asked to bring a mat, water and a positive attitude. For those who don't have a mat, Mory has some to lend. She advises that children older than 3 are best suited for this class, as they generally need to stay on their mat and be able to follow basic instructions.
The exercise pavilion overlooks Tampa Bay, where gentle gulf breezes, sea life and morning chirps from the birds provide a bonus.
"A few weeks ago, a manatee and her calf were feeding in the water," said Mory, who has been a fitness instructor for 15 years and a yoga practitioner for four.
She hopes to build a "community" of people who love yoga and enjoy doing exercises together. She started the Family Yoga class last year.
She said kids are really interested in practicing their flexibility, breathing, focusing and learning more about their bodies.
"This is a very fun and nonintimidating way to learn yoga, and a great activity for the kids," she said.
© 2013 Tampa Bay Times
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If you go
9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturdays at Holiday Inn SunSpree, 6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane, St. Petersburg. Meet under the outdoor pavilion.
Cost: Donations accepted.
Information: (727) 688-9597 or generationsyoga.com.