Fitness for Kindness spotlights many local instructors | daily city gate

Four local fitness/yoga studios came together on Saturday, March 19, at the First Christian Church in Keokuk, to organize a “Fitness for Kindness” event aimed at involving the community, with proceeds going to a charitable cause.

It was a group training, where each animator gave a 20-minute lesson to the group. Instructors included: Crossed Paw Yoga with Anna Westermeyer-Marlin, doing yoga and breathing classes; Joey Black W3llness with Joey Black in agility/coordination class; Reyvolution Fitness with Alexis Daughters doing the Bodyweight Basics class and Zen Soul Society Yoga with Alexis Taryn doing the Buti Yoga Basics class.

Participant registration fees were by donation and facilitators volunteered their time and expertise for a wide range of courses. Over $300 was raised at the event, with proceeds going to the Keokuk Homeless Support Alliance. A generous portion of the overall donation was donated by Mama Knows Catering of Fort Madison. They served delicious and conscious snacks for purchase, with a full donation of the recipes.

The instructors would like to thank FCC for donating their space and for being the facility that currently provides rest areas for the homeless population of Keokuk.

The goal of this event was to bring community members together to get moving and give back. As the organizers of the event, they were thrilled with the amount raised and look forward to working together again to raise funds and organize another Fitness for Kindness day.

Interested people can keep up to date with KHSA’s efforts and fundraisers by joining their “Keokuk Homeless Support Alliance” Facebook group and find out about some of the facilitators by “liking” their Facebook pages.

Anyone who missed Friday’s event and wants to bring fitness into their lives need not worry, as Keokuk has an array of Wellness Points to meet those needs.

If yoga is your thing, look no further as there are plenty of local outlets to help you on your journey.

Let’s take a look at Saturday’s hosts, Alexis Taryn and the Zen Soul Society is located in Keokuk, 801 Main St., Suite 1A.

Taryn has been teaching yoga in Lee County at Fort Madison since the fall of 2017. She has taught weekly in Lee County, Hancock County, and Quincy, Illinois. Shortly after Iowa reopened in 2021, she transitioned from teaching at Hoerner YMCA and Velocity Dance and Tumbling to Fort Madison (Now and Zen Yoga) to fully embrace “life” and “essence.” of the Zen Soul Society.

This led to the opening of three locations: Fort Madison Zen at 1006 Ave. H on April 15, 2021, Keokuk Zen at 801 Main St. Suite 1A on February 7, Mount Pleasant Zen at 126 N. Main St., (in partnership with Meraki Day Spa and the employment of five licensed yoga teachers.

The yoga teachers or “merchants of happiness” have over 200 hours of training, the instructors are: Taryn (owner/founder), Jen Woodley, Mercedes Hawkins, Liz Adams and apprentice teacher and co-owner Kendell Gregory.

“I see Zen Soul Society as a small and growing collaborative community, and it feels more aligned and alive when teachers and students step into their own identities on and off the mat,” Alexis said. “ZSS strives to provide a warm, safe, and sacred space for all ages, bodies, abilities, and souls to connect with themselves in a world that distracts us from our center.”

Their most popular classes are Buti Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yoga for Beginners, Yoga for Kids, Chair Yoga for Seniors, as well as their monthly events and fundraisers.

ZSS is a trauma sensitive yoga studio, they are running camps for kids on select Saturdays this spring and summer, as well as a spring break day camp on Monday, March 28, with Courtois Creations.

Saturday, April 10 at the Fort Madison location is their one-year anniversary event. This is a fundraiser for the Lee County Domestic Violence Intervention Program.

They’ll also have ’80s-themed Warm Glow yoga on Sunday, April 10, and they’re asking attendees to dress to impress.

Mercedes Hawkins, in partnership with ZSS, offers HIIT yoga classes for beginners and hot, which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. She has been practicing yoga for three years and has been offering her services as an instructor through the Zen Soul Society for a month and a half.

“You are seen. You are loved. You are welcome here,” she said.

There is also Crossed Paw Yoga taught by Anna Westermeyer-Marlin. These classes are held at the Keokuk YMCA on Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m. They are held in the aerobics room above the teen center.

Gracia Murphy runs Nari Garce Yoga, located at 711 Main St. in Keokuk. Nari Grace frequently donates her course proceeds to local charities. They run a free giving class once a month the last week of the month, with the next one taking place on March 27. Beginner classes are available on Sundays, with personal and advanced classes held on Tuesdays.

Finally, for local yoga spots, we take a look at Benny St. James.

St. James received classical yoga training in India where he completed his 500-hour diploma in yogic studies in two years. He has taught over 5,000 class hours over the past 15 years and has taken numerous continuing education courses to provide his students with a highly alignment-focused yoga experience rooted in tradition but powered by tradition. modern science and current health research. Her deep connection with the body comes from her journey as a professional ballet dancer for over a decade, while also drawing on her training in massage therapy as well as a Bachelor of Medical Science.

He currently offers private one-on-one master therapy sessions that incorporate everything he does, as well as group classes every Saturday at 9 a.m. and Mondays at 6 p.m. in Hamilton, Illinois at MissFit Studio, located at 1830 Keokuk St., between Hamilton Family Diner and Dairy Queen in the gym behind Lacey’s Hair Studio. Classes are open to all levels and cost $10 per person. Students should bring their own mat, small blanket and water. Children 13 and over are allowed with parental supervision and 16 and over with parental permission. If anyone has pre-existing health conditions that limit their abilities or are reluctant to join a group right away, they can contact Benny on his Facebook page, Primal Origin Holistics to schedule an individual session.

If yoga isn’t quite what you’ve been looking for, then Joey Black W3llness might very well be a better choice.

Joey Black W3llness began offering classes in June 2021 and is primarily focused on working with youth in the community. He hopes to strengthen the lives of his students inside and outside of sport with the principles his program teaches.

Classes are held outdoors when weather permits and indoors at the River City Mall in Keokuk when conditions are poor.

In his Haymaker program, Black focuses on strengthening his students’ change of direction, speed, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination. Black learned a lot from other coaches and borrowed some things in order to create a program that aims to strengthen his students both physically and mentally.

To contact Joey Black W3llness, find him via Facebook.

With the changing weather and so many ways to introduce fitness into your life, take advantage of all the local community has to offer and contact one of these great trainers.

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