CLEVELAND, Ohio- Deep breaths in and deep breaths out, set the intention for the free yoga classes held by the yogis from My Village Yoga in Cleveland. The classes are aimed to remind people that yoga is for everyone and every BODY.
What You Need To Know
- My Village Yoga teaches five free "Karma" classes per week at various locations in Cleveland
- The classes are aimed to remind people that yoga is for everyone and every BODY
- My Village Yoga Studio is in located the Shaker Square area of Cleveland
- For more information on the Karma classes go to Kimberly's website at myvillageyoga.com
That’s the motto that yoga instructor Kimberly Archibald Russell preaches to her classes. Kimberly is the owner of My Village Yoga in the Shaker Square area of Cleveland. The studio was founded on the idea that the benefits of yoga should be shared with everyone throughout the Cleveland community, regardless of age, body type, race, religion, or fitness level.
In the early years of her yoga practice, Kimberly rarely saw people of color at the studios around Cleveland -- Which motivated her to start teaching.
“I saw the need for people not knowing about yoga, thinking that only white people did yoga. Oh, that’s just for skinny white ladies. You know, that’s all they would see on the commercials. So that’s maybe why you’ve never been in a studio,” she said.
Teaching yoga six days a week, Kimberly says she goes where the people are -- offering five free “karma” classes weekly in different locations, including evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Thurgood Marshall Recreation Center.
“This is our Seva selfless service, which all yogis should do. Right. We have this beautiful practice that we found to be very valuable, and we’re sharing it, right?,” she said.
Kimberly expresses to her students that the yoga experience will be unique to their body and their life experiences. Emphasizing the breath more than ever before, she aims to teach her students tools to calm themselves during these uncertain times.
“That smooth, conscious, mindful breath calms the nervous system. So the more you do it on your mat, the more that it just comes to you off the mat when you’re trying to find that calm,” she said.
Rita Howard is a new student of Kimberly’s. In light of everything going on in society with the protests for racial equality, and fears over COVID-19, Rita says Kimberly’s classes offer an escape.
“With the pandemic going on, there’s a lot of stress issues, and triggers and a lot of us have a lot of emotional issues that we really don’t know how we’re going to react to certain things. The whole practice with yoga and still and calmness it kind of diverts you back to just remaining still and knowing that you have the control and you have to take control of your own breaths, your own peace, and your own understanding,” said Howard.
Come one, come all -- Kimberly wants her karma practices to be a safe space for anyone to come together, despite their differences, to exhale life’s stressors as one.
“I just want to have a beautiful healing place for folks to be introduced. It’s not expensive, because it doesn’t cost a dime. You don’t have to look any certain way. You don’t have to be dressed in a certain way. You don’t have to come with any certain things. And it’s, it’s here. It’s going to be here for you,” she said.
For more information on the Karma classes, go to Kimberly’s website .