DeKALB – Jill Browne, a yoga instructor at Creative Therapeutics in DeKalb, has seen clients lose weight, become more confident and gain strength while taking her class.
Browne can even work with people who are recovering from sports injuries or surgeries. Her love of yoga was so strong that last year, she decided to offer classes for free while benefiting nonprofits.
"It's a way to connect with the community," she said. "It allows the opportunity to give back if they want to."
Creative Therapeutics, 400 E. Hillcrest Drive, DeKalb, will hold a free community yoga class from 3 to 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Any donation will benefit the Friends of DeKalb Public Library, an organization that provides programs, materials and services that are not part of the library's regular budget.
The business chooses a different nonprofit organization to support each time they offer the free class, which is generally held the second Sunday of each month. Organizations that have benefited in the past include Hope Haven and the Pay-It-Forward House in Sycamore.
Creative Therapeutics owner Mark Mattson said the instructors are experts in physical therapy. As long as someone gets clearing from their doctor, yoga instructors can work with anyone, Mattson said.
"That's the whole reason we offer yoga and the types of classes," he said. "You want people to maintain their health, not only to rehabilitate, but to improve their quality of life."
Besides offering the scheduled free classes, Creative Therapeutics holds yoga classes for members six days a week. They also accept walk-ins at a rate of $15.
Those employed by Creative Therapeutics say yoga is an exercise that connects the mind to the body while focusing on breathing.
Residents who attend the free class can expect to do basic poses such as the child pose, downward facing dog and some twists, Browne said.
"It can be strengthening," Browne said. "You can gain flexibility and stability so you can feel strong and increase your balance. As we age, it's important to keep in good shape."
Mattson also practices what he preaches by attending the yoga classes. He said another reason for holding the free classes is to introduce newcomers to yoga who may have pre-conceived notions about what yoga may entail.
"We're big believers in yoga as a practice," he said. "Anyone can do it."