Yoga coming to Monument Park in Gardner this summer – The Gardner News

GARDNER — A local woman is looking to help residents have a calm and relaxing time during the warmer months.
Certified instructor Denise Cerrati will offer free weekly yoga classes in Monument Park this summer. The classes will run each Monday from 6 to 7 p.m. beginning on June 6 and continuing until Aug. 29 (there will be no class on July 4).
“It’s just an amazing connection to nature and being in the air and grounded on the earth,” said Cerrati about the benefits of doing yoga outside. “Anytime you’re out in nature it makes you feel better, and it’s very healthy, very beneficial and very calming to the mind and the nervous system.”
Cerrati, who practiced yoga for decades before becoming an instructor about two years ago, said her weekly classes in the park will be helpful for anyone looking to remove some of the stress and anxiety from their daily lives.
“I personally believe that yoga is right for everybody,” she said, adding that all classes will be beginner level and that participants should bring their own mat or equipment. “If you can move and you can breathe, then you can do some form of yoga. And we won’t be out there doing any power stuff. We’ll be doing some nice, basic, simple breathing.” She will, however, offer a few techniques for any advanced students attending the class.
“Because yoga is not about striving to be competitive, it has nothing to do with that at all,” Cerrati added. “It’s a mind-body connection, and it’s very personal because each body is different, and each person’s experiences are different. Looking around at the next guy and trying to keep up with him, that’s not yoga at all.”
Cerrati, who lives in Templeton and also works as a hairstylist at VIBE Studio in Gardner, obtained a permit from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to hold the weekly classes in the park, and she said the sessions will be listed on the city’s official calendar of events.
Among the things that make her to want to offer the classes to the public are the improvements she has been seeing in the downtown area, in particular the “Love” sign in the small park at the site of the former Gardner Cinema.
“I got kind of inspired by that and thought that it might be nice to do something for the whole community that would make people feel good,” she said, adding that it is her hope that the weekly yoga sessions will be an annual summer event at Monument Park, perhaps with a rotating schedule of different instructors. “I’m hoping (with these classes) to promote yoga in general, and if it does take off, I’m happy to share it with other studios.”
Although there will be no charge to participate in the classes, Cerrati said she will welcome donations, with the majority of the proceeds going to a different local nonprofit or charity organization each week. She said she feels that people are looking for opportunities to support their community.
“Because of the times we live in, I think people want to be a part of something bigger, but they just don’t know where to turn or how to contribute or where to contribute,” she said. “So, if you put a bucket out there and say that this week your donation will go to a food bank or whatever, I think it makes people feel like they’re part of something bigger, and that contributes to feeling good.”
“And feeling good about yourself is what yoga is all about,” Cerrati added.

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