An inclusive yoga class is being offered by the Capital Region Pride Center. Instructors are finding unique ways to bring expression into the studio.
“We’ve been offering it for about six weeks. It’s always a full house; it’s always tons of fun,” said Kristi Plunket, yoga instructor at the Capital Region Pride Center.
The classes fill up every Thursday night in the renovated studio with rows and rows of students that Plunket refers to as “yogis.”
Along with the stretches, Kristi sprinkles in words of encouragement. Her main message every class is to embrace the person you truly are.
“Leave the fear at the door, or bring it along with you,” Plunkett said, “and just do it anyway. We will walk you through any challenges there might be.”
Everyone in the room either identifies with or is an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, creating a truly welcoming space. The preconceived notions of what yoga typically is are thrown out, too.
Plunket believes yoga is more about expression and fun.
“It’s often the case that we need to release and relax and be with people that we feel good being around, and just fully be ourselves,” Plunket said. “We don’t have to act any certain way.”
Along with the exercises, you’ll see conversations and smiles and a community building.
“It was one of the most fun yoga classes I’ve taken in a long time,” Kate Reddy said. “I feel like there was so much joy in the room and excitement. It’s nice to be here and be part of it.”
“The way Kristi teaches, it’s all about letting loose, having a sense of humor and letting go of your inhibitions,” Joleen Hanlon said. “It’s about having fun and not worrying about what you look like.”