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Families can exhale, enjoy

Kristen Mory, right, leads Family Yoga classes Saturday mornings 
in the pavilion at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in St. Petersburg.

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.

20 Today

Mamet comedy: American Stage presents Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and director David Mamet's new comedy, November. It's an Oval Office romp that proves that there is no lower place than the highest office in the land. Be prepared for strong language.

3 p.m. American Stage Theatre Company at Raymond James Theater, 163 Third St. N, St. Petersburg. $26-$45. Call (727) 823-7529 or go to

22 Tuesday

Florida Vegetable Gardening: Program covers the basics of what and when to plant, how to prepare soil, and gives tips for an abundant harvest of fresh vegetables. 2 p.m. West St. Petersburg Community Library at St. Petersburg College, Multipurpose Room, 6605 Fifth Ave. N. Free; advance registration required. Call (727) 341-7199.

Qigong class: Qigong is an ancient form of moving meditation that uses specialized movements and deep breathing to improve balance and support overall well-being.

6 p.m. First Unity Church, 460 46th Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $10 each class. Call (727) 527-2222.

23 Wednesday

Gay film: The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival monthly film features Role/Play by Rob Williams. Q&A with the writer-director is after the film. 7:30 p.m. Baywalk 20, 151 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $9.50. Call (727) 502-0965. For tickets, visit

24 Thursday

TASCO Teen Games Extravaganza: Activities galore. Inside activities include inflatable Battle Bots, inflatable slides, joust, bouncy boxing, Pong, make-your-own-music DVD, live performances and large-screen Wii video games. Outside activities include three-on-three basketball tournament with prizes, street hockey tournament, quad racing course, four-sided bungee bounce and a rock-climbing wall. Don't forget your shoes for the rock wall. Open to all teens who have completed grades 6-12. Free for teens, who can just show up. Groups, as on field trips, are $5 per person. They should call Shawn at (727) 892-5060 to register. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

25 Friday

Korean War ceremony: Suncoast Chapter 14 of the Korean War Veterans Association will host a ceremony recognizing the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War and celebrating the eighth anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Korean War Memorial at Freedom Lake Park in Pinellas Park, 9990 46th St. N. 10 a.m. Call (727) 541-0721.

Pride in Fashion: A fashion extravaganza by Macy's includes celebrity guests Tyra Sanchez, the 2009 winner of RuPaul's Drag Race, and comedian Christine O'Leary. With hors d'oeuvres and champagne. Benefits St. Pete Pride. 6 p.m. Tyrone Square Mall, 6901 Tyrone Square, St. Petersburg. $10 suggested donation, which Macy's will return with a $10 gift card. Call (727) 347-3889.

26 Saturday

Meet Highwaymen: Here's an opportunity to see how these artists work and learn more about their history. Original Highwaymen artists Carnell Smith and Willie Reagan will demonstrate their techniques and answer questions. The museum's current exhibit features works by four of the original Highwaymen, black artists who traveled the state's highways from the 1950s to the 1980s creating colorful Florida landscapes on the spot and often selling them from their cars. The paintings are now prized by collectors. 10 a.m. St. Petersburg Museum of History, 335 Second Ave. NE. $5 suggested donation. Call (727) 894-1052.

NASCAR car: Get a close look at the Cheerios NASCAR show car. Bring your camera. Noon. Winn-Dixie, 15200 Municipal Drive, Madeira Beach. Free. Call (727) 392-1003.

If you go

Family Yoga

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

Families can exhale, enjoy 06/19/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 19, 2010 7:47pm]
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